OLY ARTS magazine announced today that it has been named the Best Multiplatform Arts Publication (USA) in the 2020 Media Innovators Awards by Corporate Vision.
Corporate Vision launched the original Media Innovator program in 2019 to celebrate innovation and creativity in the media landscape, recognizing industry leaders who are adapting to the changing needs of the consumers they serve.
The mission of the Media Innovator Awards is “To adapt, grow and evolve to the needs of the industry in the pursuit of bettering it and challenging others to follow their lead.” Discussing the success of 2020’s winners, awards coordinator Jazmin Collins said, “I offer a sincere congratulations to those recognized in this year’s program and I hope you have a wonderful rest of the year ahead.”
“We’re thrilled and humbled to hear that we are setting the standard for innovation and creativity in the online media landscape,” said Billy Thomas, owner and publisher of OLY ARTS magazine. “This award is a testament to the dedication, imagination, and support of our contributors and readers.”
OLY ARTS magazine is a multiplatform arts and culture publication founded in 2015 and based in Olympia, WA. It covers arts, food and culture news in the South Sound. Prior to the COVID-19 health crisis, OLY ARTS published a free, bi-monthly magazine distributed at local businesses, restaurants, coffee shops and libraries throughout Thurston County and beyond.
OLY ARTS online and print editions launched simultaneously in the summer of 2016, led by Northwest arts booster Ned Hayes as publisher and Olympia writer Christian Carvajal as managing editor. The newspaper immediately earned enormous interest and highly positive reviews from readers throughout the South Sound and was distributed by hand throughout Thurston County.
In 2017, OLY ARTS expanded coverage to broader portions of Thurston County and also covered events in Lewis and Pierce counties. The publication covered arts and cultural events in Tacoma, Centralia, Yelm and beyond. It was distributed throughout Thurston, Pierce and Lewis counties and received accolades from readers throughout the Puget Sound region.
OLY ARTS was acquired in 2018 by Thomas, a local media expert formerly of The Olympian and The Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Founding publisher Hayes and editor emeritus Carvajal remained with the team as contributors. In late summer 2018, Thomas moved OLY ARTS to a glossy, full magazine format, and began to lead the regional market in the creation of arts program guides throughout the South Sound.
During the COVID-19 health crisis, distribution of free, printed copies of OLY ARTS was suspended. In a letter to readers, Thomas stated it was the most responsible choice for a free, community publication to make, to protect its readers health and safety.
In response to the lack of performances and other artistic events that were normally featured in OLY ARTS, Thomas transitioned the editorial direction of the magazine toward profiling local artists and highlighting the importance of sustaining a vibrant, local arts community. “I know that we will make it through this uncertain time of we continue to focus on what’s important — the health, safety and stability of our local communities and populations. Thank you to all our readers and supporters,” Thomas said.
Today, OLY ARTS magazine reaches thousands of local readers in Thurston, Pierce, Mason, Lewis, Grays Harbor and King counties. It delivers up-to-date arts and culture news weekly on its recently redesigned website.