I’ve put off writing this for a few reasons. First, while I can physically type keys or move a pen across a page, I don’t consider myself a writer. Which, to be honest, not having the ‘label’ of something is probably a poor excuse for not attempting said thing, unless of course we’re discussing neurosurgery, Olympic gymnastics, or rocket science. Second, having been shoved into public scrutiny when I took over the Southern in 2011 I’ve tried to make this new phase of my life a little less press-worthy. Third, I honestly didn’t know exactly what to say.

But I felt something should be said.

I am not sure words can capture the magnitude of what Alan and Leah have built in MN Playlist, but it is worth trying.

When we met at Blackbird Café in mid-Jan this year to sign the papers transfering ownership of the site to me, the scope of what Alan and Leah built hit home. Sure, they know the ins and outs of this site and its operations – Alan can rattle off the location of a minuscule site setting and how it impacts the look of a particular element, Leah can tell you in detail the history of how the site functioned in each version and why changes were made. But more importantly, they understand that every article, every profile, every classified, every calendar listing, is tied to the people of this community. And no matter how small the issue, how specific the request, or how differing the opinion they ALWAYS treated each of these interactions with the utmost respect and reverence. In Playlist, they have created a for-profit public resource that is necessary, while rooting it in the nonprofit model’s ambitious manifesto of service.

That accomplishment can’t be overstated. It is a testament to their love of this community, and that love is reflected in Playlist’s success through the support of the community. It is with a huge dose of humility that I take the reins of this organization, I’m lucky to helm such a vessel.

This community has been incredibly generous in their support of my new role here at Playlist. I’m grateful for the words of encouragement and that people consider my stewardship of this resource to be a good choice. While I will never fill the shoes of Alan and Leah, I hope to live up to your expectations and continue to make Minnesota Playlist a great resource for our performing arts community.

There is much to learn and think about with Playlist. What does the future hold for this organization? What is Playlist’s role in the changing environment? How can Playlist represent the diverse communities of the performing arts state-wide? Can Derek Miller write a News and Notes column in 2017 without referencing POTUS? I’m looking forward to the conversations I’ll have the privilege of participating in. And I’m looking forward to this community providing feedback on how Playlist can grow and continue to adapt to the landscape of our often rewarding, but many times challenging, industry.

Thank you for your warm welcome. It is time to roll up my sleeves and get to work. Reach out and let me know what you think of Playlist, or just say hi. – [email protected].