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For over 13 years, The Sopris Sun has delivered on our mission to inform, inspire, and build community. In 2020, the board and staff rose to extraordinary challenges and didn’t miss a beat. With great sacrifice, editor Will Grandbois, artistic director Ylice Golden, and ad manager Todd Chamberlin — along with our dedicated contributors, board members, and volunteers — assured that The Sopris Sun was continually delivered every week without pause. In this way, our nonprofit newspaper remained an invaluable source of information and connection even as other avenues for community-building and cohesion were lost.
A review of the wide-ranging topics covered in last year’s editions reveals unsurprisingly that “health” was at the top, followed closely by “business,” “local government,” and “nonprofits.” That snapshot reveals a clear commitment to our communal wellness. Meanwhile, other categories typical of The Sopris Sun continued to appear, including Our Town local personality features, gorgeous photo spreads, and more.
The Sopris Sun was born of crisis for times of crisis. Even when the Grizzly Creek Fire closed Glenwood Canyon, isolating us from our printer in Gypsum, fresh editions were delivered.
We are proud to announce our next step as a nonprofit news outlet. Beyond unfaltering commitment to our weekly print product, “to inform, inspire, and build community,” The Sopris Sun is adding to our mission, “by fostering diverse and independent journalism.”
Our nonprofit status affords The Sopris Sun a platform for outreach and nurture to assure that independent journalism for future generations is cultivated within our own communities.
This expanded mission statement formalizes a long-standing attribute of The Sopris Sun. We’ve graduated reporters like Megan Tackett to serve as editor in chief for the Aspen Daily News; freelancer Kathleen Shannon now works full time in KDNK’s newsroom; former editor Terray Sylvester has gone on to publish with Reuters, Getty, Bloomberg, VICE Magazine, and High Country News; and our first editor, Trina Ortega, is now editor in chief for Mountain Flyer Magazine.
Within the expanded mission is an opportunity to bring more of our diverse community into the fold of locally-produced journalism. In the past, we’ve published the Roaring Fork Rampage. In the future, we will launch an after-school program designed to bring together high schoolers from throughout the valley to produce original content for print. Along with promoting sound and ethical practices, The Sopris Sun will teach media literacy to help our youth navigate the prevalence of misinformation.
El Sol del Valle is already making a splash as a new, regular Spanish-section within The Sopris Sun. This involves training and supporting people with translation and reporting work and will continue to define itself through authentic voices from within the valley’s Spanish-speaking communities.
It’s no secret that to sustain a newspaper is increasingly a challenge. So far, advertising in 2021 has come with understandable hesitation. Additionally, we face a more than 20% increase in printing costs beginning May 1. Thankfully, The Sopris Sun board chose to broaden Todd Chamberlin’s role from ad manager to executive director as an evolution for the paper and new strategy for navigating increasingly uncertain times.
This spring, we are asking you to help us match two substantial grants. FirstBank has generously pledged up to $20,000 if we can raise an equivalent amount among individual donors. This adds to $5,000 pledged by MANAUS to help us launch el Sol del Valle. Our ultimate goal is $35,000 to sustain and grow The Sopris Sun.
More than ever, your donations are essential to our continuation as a community asset and service. In this way, we become “the people’s paper,” beholden to our readers beyond all else. Take stake in this community journal by donating today.
As always, know that we are open and eager to hear from you. This story of our home is complex and merits diverse voices in respectful conversation. Help us to be that forum by showing support and keeping us apprised. Where is coverage lacking? How may we better reflect and inform our ever-changing community? Know that you too are The Sopris Sun.

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