“Seven Year Itch?”

Welcome to our seventh annual issue of Artslandia Magazine. When we set out to create a magazine to promote the performing arts in Portland, one thing we agreed straight away was that the purpose wasn’t just to aggregate schedules and publish ticketing information. It was about creating relationships, joining Portland’s community of artists and organizations whose mission was ours to promote to our readers. We dreamed of mutualistic symbiosis—an interdependence in which the actions of one benefit the other. We set out to make connections that would foster collaboration.

As we began this seventh issue, after what we can all agree was a tumultuous year, I returned to the guiding purpose of Artslandia, which left me keen on examining relationships. That led me to explore the lore of the seven-year itch. Seven Year Itch—A Broadway play and psychologists’ shorthand for the concept that happiness in a relationship declines around the seventh year. The phrase originates from the medical shorthand for a highly contagious and itchy skin rash caused by a burrowing mite. Scabies, in particular. What a lovely comparison. Shall I compare thee to an infestation?

Are we here? Beyond the apex and now desperately itchy? Where does that leave us? How do we move into the next phase of our relationship, together?

As it turns out, we need look no further than our own community for examples of enduring relationships. Our city is full of partners, in love, in art, and even in both at the same time. We sought out those who blend their personal and professional lives and asked them: What does it take? Or is it the give and take that’s the secret ingredient to a lasting relationship? Is it a constant compromise? We learned that long-term, mutually symbiotic relationships take work, and the most successful ones are rooted in equal parts gratitude, respect, humor. And, the greatest of all, love.

On behalf of Artslandia, let me take the opportunity of this seventh issue to re-affirm our commitment and express our love. We are grateful to be a member of this immensely talented community. Our appreciation for organizations who continue to partner with Artslandia, who embrace the concept that rising tides float all boats, is beyond measure. We respect our friendships with trusted advisors and collaborators. Our laughter-filled meetings are often the highlight of my day. To you, reader and arts patron, your role in this relationship is the most important. Thank you.

And to you, my amazing Artslandia team (Chris, Lisa, Bella, Lindsey, Kristen, Katrina, Dan, Susannah, Meg, and Cory), thank you for your hilarious memes, giant hearts, immense talents, and unflappable work ethic. I could not do it without you.

Finally, I want to thank my brother, Steven. As much a founder of Artslandia as I, he has moved on from this crazy world of publishing after seven years. He sold ads in his spare time back when this was all just a dream. Though he grew with that role along with the magazine, I’m most grateful for his roles as therapist, coach, protector, and source of comic relief for his little sister. No one can make me laugh harder. Thank you, Steven, for keeping me sane and in stitches.

Our love affair with the arts continues. No prescription required, even after seven years.

Be kind and grateful.

Misty Tompoles
Publisher + Founder