Over decades, our entire nation has been slowly invaded by market-tested, cookie-cutter, faux-thentic, utterly cynical chains. Restaurants, hardware stores, movie theaters, ice cream shops, radio stations: all designed in some cubicle in some city far from our home. The music you hear across most of our dial is being chosen in some suburb of San Antonio. The money you just spent on that burger is heading back to Washington DC.

What makes Santa Fe one of the most awesome places is that it is still … real.

We have family-run breakfast places, not-for-profit theaters and art spaces, boutiques run by your friend's friend and locally programmed radio. Money you spend at these places nurtures our whole city.

And, best of all, we have an independent press. I love The New Mexican and the Santa Fean and THE, and the little spiritual magazines that pop up and then disappear. But I love, just a little bit harder, the Santa Fe Reporter. Independent weeklies rocked my world when I was a teenager—I discovered an alternative portal to the world. Free weeklies taught me about weird movies, strange and magical music, sexual diversity and radical politics. I'd read them obsessively—they were and remain my first stop whenever I travel.

Santa Fe is blessed to have a vibrant, persistent, soulful and connected alt weekly. The Santa Fe Reporter is by us and for us. It is one of the reasons Santa Fe remains its own distinctive, free-thinking, open-hearted places anywhere.

Jason Silverman Cinematheque Director, Center for Contemporary Arts

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Support independent journalism by joining Friends of the Reporter today. Visit sfreporter.com/friends, where we made it easy to honor our birthday in 1974 with a one-time or recurring donation. Why put your money here, now? The business model that has sustained journalism is changing. Local advertising support matters, but it's no longer enough to cover cost. We want to do MORE journalism, not LESS. You can help.

The first 200 people to sign up at the $9.74 per month level — or make a $100 one-time donation or more — will receive a pair of tickets to the CCA or The Screen as our gesture of friendship. Plus extra perks like a discount on on our merch. Go the extra mile and donate $19.74 per month (or $200), and we'll regularly acknowledge you in print as a BFF of the Reporter.

Send a check or visit us at 132 E Marcy St., Santa Fe , NM 87501