Thank you so much for your support of Epicenter-NYC. Almost a year ago, we started as a newsletter to get New Yorkers through the pandemic. Now, as the state lifts almost all Covid-19 restrictions, we hope you continue on this journey with us.
Why? Because we are a community, neighborhood and city forever altered, and there’s work ahead. So today, we’re rolling out Epicenter’s membership program. You can sign up for $4.99 a month, $9.99 a month or $299 for the year. What that means:
- Our journalism — this newsletter, articles on our site, our podcasts, our livestream — remains free. No paywalls or sign-ins to access that.
- Our membership rests on the belief that Epicenter’s greatest power is in connecting neighbors to news, information and each other. This drove the success of our recent efforts to help New Yorkers get vaccinated (5,000+ and counting), and it continues to guide our work to meet communities where they are.
- We value convening as much as, maybe even more than, content. That’s why our very basic level of membership (Neighbor, $4.99/month) gives you weekly access to virtual yoga starting in September. Our rotating instructors excel at the art of gathering. They include the co-founder of the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance, a veteran yogi here in Queens, and a classical Indian dancer.
- The next level (status: Friend at $9.99/month) gets you the yoga —and helps give back to others by donating insulated food bags to local food pantries.
- Our highest tier allows us to learn and discover our city — together. Join us for a walking history lesson on Malcolm X’s Queens. A gallery hop featuring some of our very own artists and contributors to Epicenter’s “Last Word” feature. A hip-hop tour of the Bronx. A dinner discussion at an Egyptian seafood restaurant. A food crawl through Elmhurst. A tour of women-owned businesses in Hoboken. We call this “Auntie level” treatment and it gets you one experience as part of membership; additional costs for food and drink might apply. You also get access to virtual yoga.
What does your membership support? My husband, artist Nitin Mukul, and I launched Epicenter as a newsletter. It has grown into so much more. We now have a podcast, host livestreams and candidate forums, pay freelancers and contractors, engage a thriving fleet of volunteers who spread joy, optimism and vaccine information across the city, from handing out flyers in Spanish and Chinese to appearances on church TV. We pay artists when we publish their submissions. We hired an elections reporter to bring you an extra newsletter every week (we’ve been on the pizza analogies and ranked-choice voting for months). We are about to post a job for a community manager. (Interested? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
We have even grander ambitions: visiting artist fellowships, book and movie clubs, deeper neighborhood coverage, more resources in different formats for folks trying to navigate schools, healthcare and other institutions.
Until now, Epicenter has been sustained by philanthropy and advertising. We see membership and audience support as the crucial third leg of the stool. We hope you derive value from Epicenter’s work, and are grateful for your signing up. (And just to be clear: If you do nothing, you will still get our emails and remain a member of our community.)
Our membership is admittedly a work in progress. As always, please tell us what you think and tell us what you need. Thank YOU.
S. Mitra Kalita