In December 2021, I agreed to serve a trial run as acting editor of Highlights. More than one year into my six-month trial, I’ve come to realize that I cannot continue. The job, for anyone who has a full-time job, is unsustainable.
resolutions and Management activities are compiled, when photography, art and design elements are collected, when layout and above all, editing happens. Not only have I not been around, I haven’t even been in the same time zone. It has been exceedingly difficult for me to do this job at all, much less well. Moreover, it has impacted my performance on the job for which I’m actually paid, as writer and critic for a wine magazine.
All of us who work on Highlights put in many hours to get the publication to your mailbox. Our talented designers, Sophia Beauvy and Kelly Wilson Samojlik devote 5 to 8 hours on a rotating basis to lay out copy each month. Others contribute photographs, stories, interviews, and design materials. As editor, I put in an average of 35 hours a month—planning, scheduling, pulling together stories, collecting materials, taking photos, editing, proofreading, making print runs, wrangling, whip-cracking. Most of this work is loaded into the last two weeks of each month.
I had always hoped that these responsibilities would be shared by a team of editors
or executors, and that the burden of production would not settle on one person. The Communications Committee made several entreaties to this end, beseeching volunteers to share the workload, but no one stepped forward. In the end, most of the support came from the editor emerita, Lucy Fried, who had hoped to dial back her hours, but has been repeatedly pressed into service.
Until and unless there are volunteers to help the existing team, this will be the last issue of Highlights in its current form. Plans are underway to explore alternative formats. Board news, Management projects, and security details will still be reported on in a curtailed form, shifting at least some coverage online.
Given this crossroads, I cannot stress this enough: your community needs you. The Village has always relied heavily on volunteers to help with the myriad projects that contribute to making this place special. Many residents devote hours volunteering—members of the Board, the Tree & Landscape, Communications, Cultural Affairs, Court Council, Safety, and Finance committees—many more do not.
If you want to continue to see Highlights in your mailbox, it’s vital for you to get involved. For as long as we’ve been in existence, and for as long as we hope to thrive, it will always take a village to make the Village Green what it is.