It’s been 10 years since Hyperallergic first appeared on your screens. Can you believe it? What began as an indie blog/publishing experiment in a small Brooklyn office has flowered into an internationally read publication reaching over 140,000 email subscribers and more than a million visitors each month. Over the past 10 years, we’ve had the pleasure of publishing over 1,500 writers and 25,000 articles.
Hyperallergic works because we care about our community. We cut through the daily noise in a field that often elevates the networked, pedigreed, and wealthy rather than the critical, scrappy, and fiercely independent. We publish more criticism than any other publication, often giving you a front seat to exhibitions, performances, guerrilla actions, and so much more. Our opinions are honest, unhindered by artspeak, and address all people who love art and are frustrated by the dominance of the 1% and those who cater to them.
We remain fearless and undaunted in our reporting. In 2012, we called out institutions for having unpaid internships and have since covered the first of many protests against major museums and their questionable relationships with plutocrats and autocrats. We published Sarah Bond’s influential article on polychromy and we’ve waded into topics few others wanted to, including the 2017 Whitney Biennial (and the even more controversial iteration in 2019). Even our current coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic reinforces that we care about everyone in the arts community. And there’s much much more, including our annual Powerless list that focuses on the many folks disenfranchised by this system.
Independent arts writing remains critical, now more than ever. Among the independent voices in contemporary art, Hyperallergic is a proud leader. But we can’t do it without your help.
When we started Hyperallergic in 2009, we were in the midst of the fallout of the 2008 Global Economic Crisis. At the time, common wisdom told us we were foolhardy to imagine that we could sustain an online publication without a big donor or institutional backing. We happily proved the naysayers wrong.
At first, Hyperallergic’s work was supported by just the two of us. For roughly five years it was our side hustle, which we labored over while maintaining other, steady day jobs to pay the bills. We were one of the first outlets to pay our contributors for online arts writing and introduced many conversations about social and economic justice into the field that continue to percolate today.
Throughout our first decade, we have been funded primarily by advertising. We’ve worked with countless museums, nonprofit organizations, and art schools that want to reach our audience with relevant messages and campaigns. Additionally, in the last year, we’ve received generous support from a number of foundations to support new areas of coverage. But the reality is that it’s not enough to sustain us over the long term or to fund future growth; for that, we need your support.
Advertising has traditionally been seasonal and unpredictable, making it difficult for us to plan for the long term or to invest in research and deeper investigative reporting. Our sponsors are focused primarily in New York and Los Angeles, which limits us from dedicating the resources required to cover art scenes around the world.
Here’s where you come in. Today, we’re entering a new phase by launching a new Hyperallergic Membership program. As the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized, advertising can be unreliable, and we’re not the only indie publication reeling from the financial effects of this crisis. In the last few weeks, almost all of our scheduled campaigns were put on hold or canceled, which proved to us why we need a membership program more than ever.
Join us! By being a Hyperallergic Member, you will bolster our existing channels of support and help to ensure that we can weather crises when you need our reporting most. Hyperallergic Members will know they are part of a publication that speaks truth to power, while advocating for inclusion and accountability.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean Hyperallergic will be placed behind a paywall. Bringing you Hyperallergic for free is an important part of our mission, as we’ve always advocated for a more inclusive community unhindered by conventional barriers to access. But being a member will have its benefits as a thank you for your support, including members-only newsletters as well as special offers and discounts on our store and from our friends and partners.
We’re asking you, our dedicated readers, to support Hyperallergic with a recurring member contribution or one-time donation. Not only will memberships allow us to strengthen our relationships with those who most enjoy and rely on our publication, but it will also give us the stability we need to tackle more ambitious work and invest in our future.
Thank you, as always, for reading, and for your continuing support.
Hrag Vartanian, Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief
Veken Gueyikian, Co-founder and Publisher