The 20th Annual Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association (MMPA) Excellence Awards were held on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. The awards recognize both print and digital platforms for pieces and projects published between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. Lavender is the only magazine in the MMPA representing the rainbow community in the state. And, after being judged by our peers from across the organization representing all types and sizes of publications, Lavender was named Magazine of the Year for 2016.
This honor was first presented by the MMPA in 2010 and is based on the accumulated awards a publication has won through the years, since 1997. Previous winners have been: 2010, Minnesota Monthly; 2011, Exhibitor Magazine; 2012, Twin Cities Business; 2013, Lake Superior Magazine; 2014, Experience Life; and 2015, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Lavender is in good company, something which has pushed us to strive for excellence. To not only have the mission of creating a publication for a marginalized, under-represented community, but to be recognized for where it fits within the larger community is a great honor. Thank you for giving us this opportunity.
We were aware that we were in the top five publications under consideration for the award, so I did make sure that I had a few notes prepared, in case our name was called. And then it was.
And the applause was heartening.
When I got to the podium, this is close to what I said:
Lavender has been a biweekly magazine for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and ally community in the region for over 21 years, just one year longer than the MMPA has existed. We make sure that it is free and presented online, without barriers, so that as many people as possible have access to it, regardless of where they are, regardless of whether or not they are in the closet.
Lavender is a fairly simple magazine in that it presents daily aspects of life for people to be able to see themselves and to see each other. But it is also political by virtue of its very existence. For over 21 years, Lavender has been building an archive of this community on a biweekly basis. Proof that the people of this community have been here all along. The people will not be erased. The people will not be converted. The people will not go back into the closet.
And then there was the standing ovation.
I will cling to the response of my peers to those last three statements as we move forward.
Thank you so much for being with us on this journey. We share this honor with you.
2016 MMPA Excellence Awards
Winter Fashion & Holiday Gift Guide by Kyle Lieberman and John Mark
How To Capture Your Wedding Day in Photography by Melissa Hesse
Skirting the Issues by Ellen Krug
Single Page or Spread Design
2016 Spring Arts & Dining
2015 Fall Wedding Issue: Finders Keepers
(PrEP)are Yourself: Demystifying HIV Prevention by Shane Lueck
How To Harbor View by Andy Lien
Editor’s or Publisher’s Editorial or Letter to the Readers
Finders Keepers by Andy Lien
Eat the Menu by Bradley Traynor
2016 Spring Arts & Dining Issue