Be a Muse! Sponsorship Program
When I started O Muse! in January 2021, the pandemic had shut everything down. My Crescent Music Services clients weren’t performing, so I wasn’t working. After months of no new projects, no income and no end in sight,I began noticing that I was even forgetting how to use my design programs!
Then the Muses sent me the idea for O Muse! It felt like the beginning of something magical, the culmination of my decades of experience, bringing together my talents in graphic design, art direction, writing, music, photography, and my network of creatives.
But just as my first issue was about to go live in March 2021 my mother was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer that had spread to her brain. At the same time, my goats were giving birth in a barn that was flooding from torrential spring rains. I considered postponing the magazine.
But Larry Chiri helped me raise the barn floor with pallets literally as the goats were going into labor. Beth Patterson helped and encouraged me with ideas, writings, referrals to other artists, and much needed moral support. My cousin Morgan Wagner brought Luna and Danzi to life with her illustrations, and a few donations buoyed me to push forward.
So I made it through the first year of four issues filled with amazing art and writing, my mom’s cancer responded to treatment, the baby goats were all healthy and growing fast, and Covid was letting up. I was excited and hopeful for the first time in a long time.
But soon I found myself thinking about calling it quits again. Even though I was getting good feedback, the magazine was taking a lot of my time and I still wasn’t making enough money to support myself, either from the magazine or my music industry business which was not rebounding after Covid.
The Muses weren’t giving up on me yet. They sent me the inspiration for the Ukraine issue, and then Beth made the connection to Dr. Samuel Peralta who selected O Muse! to go the moon in his Lunar Codex. So I kept going.
I hoped that O Muse! would be a way to transition out of the music industry. But despite a few much-appreciated donations from family and friends, it is costing me more time and money than I can afford, and hoping for an occasional donation to drop into my lap is not sustainable.
So here I am again. My ninth issue is finished and filled with the amazing work of other artists. But I remain discouraged, struggling with my tenuous financial situation after two straight years of business losses for the first time since I started Crescent Music Services over 25 years ago. I am again questioning the wisdom and viability of O Muse. Every moment O Muse! is not bringing in revenue is a step in the wrong direction, away from something that will support myself and help me care for my mother.
Before I abandon O Muse for good, I will try one last time. I have been resisting paid subscriptions. I don’t like asking for money. I definitely don’t like paywalls or Google ads. I want everyone who visits O Muse! to read and share without needing to sign in or being blocked. But open access and free is not a business model. It is a recipe for bankruptcy.
One of the suggestions Beth and several others have given me is to set up a Patreon page. I have been asking for donations since the beginning, but Patreon is structured to encourage supporters to chip in a little bit each month, and is used successfully by indie publishers, musicians, podcasters and artists to support their work and provide regular income. Every dollar adds up, and it would allow me to reject paywalls and intrusive ads and keep the magazine alive.
When I signed up for Patreon, I realized I didn’t like how my readers would need to register for yet another account just to support O Muse. Luckily, I know how to set up something like this on my website, which will also save a little money.
Free subscriptions will still be available and I am developing special offerings, merchandise, zooms, and other exclusives for my sponsors. Let me know if you have any ideas or requests.
Thank you for your support.