I am excited and fortunate to take the helm at The Hassle. I am a 28-year-old queer, non-binary poet, and journalist from and based in Boston. I have been part of the Hassle for 5+ years and am ready to open a new era for our publication. What better time to do this then on our ten-year anniversary? Hassle is turning 10 this October and to mark the event, we are holding a fundraiser to kickstart off our efforts to Hassle for ANOTHER 10 years at least.
Boston Hassle is a radical publication. (I use the word radical because it is one of the only terms that the NYT can’t co-opt.) But seriously, you couldn’t start what we do through a venture capital firm because no investors would be crazy enough to back us. This is why we need our readers and followers help now more than ever to fund what we do. All the money will go directly into paying our staff and writers a fair and competitive rate, as well as making the Boston Hassle sustainable.
But what do we do you may ask? We highlight fringe and lesser-known artists, musicians, and filmmakers through our writing, as well as provide opportunities to writers, volunteers, and interns to see if journalism and the media industry is right for them. But now with our emerging Arts & Culture section, we have an even bigger outlet to provide quality journalism and reporting from the heartbeat of the city. That means we can have a real social impact through our writing and reporting. We plan on Sticking It To The Man, but not just through covering rock music. But by actually disrupting the status quo through the written word. Have you ever heard of the Gutenberg Press? I’m talking that level of headiness and reverberation right here in our backyahd of Boston.
We are also going through a Patreon restructuring and changing up our tiers. Our entry-level tier will be raised to $5. But we are beefing up our offerings and adding more tiers. I don’t want to get into too much detail here (more details to come), but we are looking into creating a LISTSERV for Greater Boston Area creatives, writers, musicians, crafters, and more to spearhead conversation, regional opportunities, and more. We are also putting together a resource guide to help our followers navigate whatever industry they are trying to break into. With these offerings, we are also looking into editorial services, criticism services, and more for live events and get-togethers. We are even unleashing our music section’s “Master To Be Reviewed List” (The MTBR) that spans 7+ years and has literally thousands upon thousands of entries: it is a music lovers wet dream.
COVID has hit us and our staff hard, just like everyone else. I lost my job, but don’t spend too much pity on me. I hated my job and ever since I have been on PUA, I’ve been making more money than I ever have. (Take that one Senate Minority Leader McConnell.) But all good things must pass, and my ass will eventually get kicked off the dole.
But this past year and a half has been an absolute blast because I have been able to do what I love to do most, which is Hassling and writing. I was able to interview Mayoral hopeful Michelle Wu and countless other musicians and creatives, put out numerous pieces of reporting for Dig Boston and Cambridge Day, and get the honor to work and collaborate with our fine crew at the Hassle. Whether it is organizing company get-togethers (outdoors), busting out content, or organizing Hassle’s campaigns, it is a pleasure to work with these folks day in and day out and create what I consider to be a beautiful product (for free mind you.)
But for everyone that hasn’t lived under a rock for the past ten years, media has changed, and we as an organization need to evolve to exist another 10-20 years, hopefully more. Because of that we are expanding our product and I hope that you can stick along for that ride with us and help us out. We truly want to pay our staff a humane wage and pay our writers for their labor. We wholly believe in maintaining an ethical work environment and practices. But that starts with you and your donations. Though we will be asking for money more and asking folks to give just slightly more, our content and products will continue to get better and better. I hope they will have a greater impact in the Boston area in the long term, and in the short term, provide creatives with many resources for navigating creative industries and more.
So please stick along for the ride this year and into the future as we wag our digital cans to ask for your donations and support for our new programs because everybody gotta eat.
Feature Photo by Omari Spears
Chris Hues is a human & writer from Boston, Ma. Follow them on twitter and instagram @chrishues_