In a city that thrives on celebrations, it's fitting that we celebrate Gambit's 35 years of giving New Orleans an alternative voice. This issue is about much more than our company's milestone, however; it's a celebration of all things New Orleans. While media companies the world over face daunting challenges from new technologies, we are blessed to be able to continue covering America's most interesting city in print — and online — because our readers are as passionate as we are about New Orleans. That makes our city, and our paper, truly blessed.
Along the way, we have covered the biggest stories of the past three and a half decades — fights over utility regulation and environmental enforcement, the 1984 World's Fair, the revitalization of downtown, a burgeoning artistic, culinary and cultural scene, a devastating hurricane and flood and a Super Bowl victory by the New Orleans Saints. We've seen political reforms and sweeping indictments for political corruption. We've celebrated new generations of musicians, artists and chefs. We've seen some neighborhoods demolished and others rejuvenated. Through it all, like our readers, we have always believed passionately in New Orleans. That will never change.
As Gambit celebrates its 35th anniversary, we acknowledge other local businesses and institutions — and the years that they have served New Orleans. In the following pages, many of our advertisers are promoting their own milestone achievements. New and old, locally owned businesses keep New Orleans unique and help support our award-winning efforts here at Gambit. We thank and congratulate them all.
We also thank our talented and dedicated staff of editors, writers, artists, sales execs, business and administrative staffers and contributors. Week after week, they fulfill our company's motto: Work hard, have fun, publish smart media. We hope every issue of Gambit shows our readers just how much we love what we do. How could we not, in a city dedicated to having a good time?
Although we love what we do, we also take very seriously our mission of covering the arts, entertainment and culture of New Orleans. In addition to covering these topics, we also celebrate and advocate for them. That's why Gambit created and continues to sponsor the annual Big Easy Entertainment Awards, which celebrate the best in local theater and music, along with the annual Tribute to the Classical Arts, honoring the best in local dance, classical music and opera.
Our Commentary this week notes that many of our city's current challenges are the same ones that confounded us when Gambit first appeared as an alt-weekly. Despite those challenges, we remain fiercely bullish on New Orleans. Our economy is stronger, our public schools are significantly better, our streetcar grid is expanding and we're making great strides toward becoming one of America's most bike-friendly cities. All these things make New Orleans significantly more livable than it was in 1981.
Looking to the future, we are filled with hope for New Orleans. We're proud and grateful to be a part of the city's landscape by telling the stories that define its heart and soul. Our commitment to telling those stories will never waver.