An Announcement

To the readers, writers, and supporters of Ruckus,

It is with heavy hearts that the staff and board of Ruckus have decided to cease its operations at the end of 2023. Our story is likely one you already know: we began as a fledgling and experimental project in Louisville, Kentucky over six years ago. During the intervening time, Ruckus evolved rapidly into a state-wide, then region-wide publication that not only fought fiercely for the recognition of art and artists in the Midwest and Midsouth but also championed a voice and metric of success unique to these places. We dreamed—and still do dream—of an art landscape that is not defined by our nation’s larger and wealthier cities, but more simply by the people you live near, wherever you are.

A large part of this advocacy, we felt, was ensuring that writers from our region were paid fairly for their work. Ruckus was lucky enough to secure funding for our writers early on in our history and we always tried to make this compensation as competitive as possible—a fact we remain very proud of. Thank you to our sponsors, whose contributions over the course of this project helped make our intentions a reality: The Carnegie, Fund for the Arts, Great Meadows Foundation, KMAC Contemporary Art Museum, Louisville Visual Art, Queer Kentucky, Snowy Owl Foundation, TAUNT, and WheelHouse Art. Despite our success with program funding, we were never meaningfully able to fundraise for basic operations costs (a structural dysfunction shared by many new nonprofits) which might have helped projects like ours transition from using volunteer labor for our administration to hiring of proper staffing. Our team is now ready for a much-deserved break and the opportunity to put their energy towards new dreams.

Still, the force that carried Ruckus through the last six years was the readership and support of individuals across our region—those who shared our content, subscribed to our Patreon, attended our events, and otherwise thought favorably of our world’s smaller fries. We started this project as outsiders to art writing and stumbled our way into building a new community of art writers, learning much along the way. Imperfect and incomplete as Ruckus is, we are very grateful for your generosity, attention, and care during this time.

The Ruckus staff is currently busy closing things down: posting our writers’ final essays, and working to identify a long-term archival solution to the over 200 works of writing, video, and audio we have published since 2018. Stay tuned for updates on what that will look like. In the meantime, look around you for the next wave of thinkers who want more for art and artists, who want to hold art institutions accountable to the people they serve, and who want to continue questioning what art can be and who art is really for.

With gratitude,
The Staff of Ruckus

Anna Blake
Mary Clore
L Autumn Gnadinger
Gervais Marsh

RUCKUS, 2018-2023
Louisville, KY