Letter from storge editor Sarah Lay – February 2018

Storge editor Sarah LayA year ago I wrote a piece on storge revealing I was the anonymous editor of the then fledgling publication and setting out the purpose of the site, some reflections on the local cultural scene and eluding to plans for the future. It seems like a good time to pen a short update – who knows, maybe it will become an annual thing.

Over the last 12 months storge has grown in more ways than I could have ever hoped for, and the first month of 2018 has been even more brilliant for us. We’ve had the busiest month yet on the site – in terms of amount published and readers on the site and social media. Thank you for reading, liking, and sharing what we do!

Nothing ever happens here…? The very idea of this area being a cultural desert makes me laugh. The existence and growth of storge reflects the richness of our cultural scene and I know we’re only scratching the surface with what we cover at the moment. We’re fiercely proud of what is being created and curated in our city and surrounds but we remain far from blindly enthusiastic.

Is Derby perfect? No. Is stuff happening despite that? Absolutely. Should you get involved? YES. Is it ok to question the things we’re not so happy about and debate the future of local culture? Not only ok, but I’d say necessary (especially if your only contribution to the debate and the scene so far has been ‘nothing ever happens here’).

More than music…

We’ve now grown to be a small but enthusiastic team (and our door is still open to contributors so if you want to join us – get in touch) and had the pleasure of covering creatives we knew as well as constantly discovering ever more talent in our local area.

I’m particularly interested in those who are involved in parts of our cultural scene away from music (or from areas of music other than rock and indie). Derby and Derbyshire are diverse and the way we cover our heritage and culture should reflect that – I want storge to be broad in our support of the arts but informed in all the coverage we give.

If you’re involved in theatre, visual arts, performing arts, literature, comedy, heritage, sub-culture or counter-culture – let us know! We’d love to cover what you’re doing, and I’m looking forward to introducing you to new columnists soon, but I’d love to hear from more people passionate about these areas who can share that passion with our readers. Come, join us.

More than a website…

I have plans for the way I want storge to continue to grow and some new ways for it to support the scene – some of these involve improvements to what we do online, and some of them are away from that. But I’d love to hear from you – what do you think storge could or should be doing to support music, arts and culture in Derby and Derbyshire. We’re a volunteer-led publication but we won’t shy from challenge, so share your thoughts in the comments section, on social media or by email.

And finally…

Creativity and culture have always been on some level about risk. Those doing the creative take a risk in sharing their inner selves, and those supporting them take financial risk in running creative businesses. What the scene relies on is for us all to diminish that risk by sharing it.

Create even if you’re worried what others will think, go to a show even if you don’t know any of the bands on the bill or what the exhibition is about, be proud to say you’re based in Derby or Derbyshire rather than cover it up with a ‘Midlands-based’ statement.

Be the scene, share the scene, support the scene. Together we grow.

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