Help us celebrate our 10th birthday!

Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 25, 2013 at 2:25 p.m.

Roll back the calendar to the beginning of 2003. We were on a mission, and as usual, we gave ourselves a tight deadline to accomplish it: Create a magazine for our fair city, one that would be uniquely, completely Gainesville.


Jacki Levine, Editor


We kick off our anniversary

Please visit us at the Home and Garden Show at the O'Connell Center on March 9th and 10th. Then, on March 17, at “Puttin' on the Ritz” held at the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall, stop by to have your portrait taken for your own Gainesville Magazine cover.
Keep up with us on our website,, and our Facebook page for events and promotions as our anniversary festivities continue.

The fact that none of us had ever worked for a magazine before, let alone created one, was no deterrent — we were newspaper people, and we trusted our instincts: Gather information, brainstorm, work as a team... and move fast.

But for it to work, it had to be custom-made for Gainesville, reflecting what our lives are like here. So first and most importantly, we gathered members of the community and asked them what they wanted. As I wrote in that very first editor's letter, they told us this must be “a publication that would reflect the soul of the place – that particularly heady Gainesville brew of the artsy and earthy, intellectual and irreverent, high-brow and high-spirited, community-minded and playful.”

It would be separate from the newspaper, with its own distribution and its own distinct identity, but with the values of credibility and fairness so important to us as journalists and you as readers.

In other words, a magazine worthy to carry the name “Gainesville.”

By summer — just months after Jim Doughton, our publisher at The Gainesville Sun, said it's time: Let's do what we've long talked about. Let's create a city magazine — we held the first issue in our hands, with University of Florida gymnastics coach Rhonda Faehn on the cover, and featuring “a lucky 13 of Gainesville's intriguing people.” We were off and running.

With this issue, we begin our year-long celebration of the magazine's 10th birthday. It's a funny thing about milestone events – a child's graduation, any birthday that ends in “zero,” or a decade of publishing a magazine – they cause you to reflect on how time flies …and ponder what's changed and what remains the same.

Gainesville, naturally, has grown in many ways since then – downtown, for example, is buzzing with what appears to be a true Renaissance (we'll explore that in our next issue). The city has gained biz/technology cred with Innovation Gainesville and UF's Innovation Square, and a boost to our cultural options with Santa Fe College's new Fine Arts Hall.

We've changed the magazine, too, mindful that to truly reflect our community, we have to keep evolving along with it. So in celebration of our anniversary, we've energized and reimagined our website (please check it out at and our Facebook page), tweaked our page design and launched several new features: Generation Next profiles one of Gainesville's incredible young people; This Is My Gainesville tells the story of our town through the eyes of a prominent citizen; Key to the City unlocks local treasures you may have overlooked; Gainesville Remembered provides a time machine to the past through the memories of longtime Gainesvillians; and Home at Last: Tales of Rescue offers heartwarming stories of homeless pets finding forever homes. (We're happy to launch this one in this, our Pet Issue, where we explore the many ways in which Gainesville is truly a haven for animals.) Like so many of our ideas, these came from you, through our advisory board.

What remains the same after all these years: Our magazine is deeply entwined with and indebted to our community, our readers – you, who support us with your ideas, your advertising, your feedback. You, who make Gainesville the vibrant, dynamic and ever-changing place that is fascinating to capture in the pages of every issue.

We hope you enjoy this one as much as we've enjoyed bringing it to you.

And we thank you, as always.

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