What We Do
In 2007, the former editor and chief of the Christian Science Monitor picked up a copy of works & conversations and exclaimed "When I first saw this, I knew it was something special -- a multicolored artistic cover contrasted with all black and white, glossy pages, no ads or commercial propaganda, noteworthy topics, honest writing. After decades in the publishing world, I just sensed an uncommon feel. And then, I met Richard."
Richard Whittaker is a soft spoken and thoughtful man. In the early 90's, he set out to explore artists' experiences and reflections about their own art making. The result was a series of deeply thoughtful interviews with a wide range of artists and a magazine called works & conversations. Richard creatively profiles unsuspecting everyday heroes: a flutist who became homeless for the love of music, a sculptor who tends to the public park daily, a young Desert Storm veteran who repents wartime by making ceramic cups as silent gifts for all who take it - stories that really stir your soul.
Fifteen years after reaching an impressive range of subscribers -- from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, SF MOMA, to the Art Institute of Chicago, Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia University, Richard decided to make a radical change and turn his 15-year old subscription model of selling his magazine into a gift-economy experiment. Now, the magazine is offered as a gift, and in turn, the subscribers are invited to pay forward a subscription to another reader.
Conversations.org is an online platform that allows us to make these interviews available to people all over the world at no cost. The website also encourages individuals to conduct their own interviews with people they.d like to learn from, and submit them to the website.
How Can I USe It
Write! Try your hand at interviewing someone that inspires you, and submit your interview to the website to help develop this beautiful repository of insightful stories.
Inspire others! Send your friends and loved ones interviews that you find inspiring and uplifting.
To stay in touch, subscribe to the works & conversations newsletter.
What Our Users Have to Say
"Thanks to the S.J. Mercury News I discovered your web site today and sat reading for 2-3 hours before coming up for air...oh my, what a find! A real ray of light in this crazy world. Are all the back issues still available? I do hope so because I would hate to miss anything this good." --Natalie C., San Jose, CA
"I spent the morning reading the Hubbell article. At one point I had tears of gratitude in my eyes. It is so difficult to find articles anywhere that read at the level where I like to think I think. 'We poets struggle with Non-being to force it to yield Being. We knock upon silence for an answering music.'" --Betsy S.
"works & conversations is so wonderfully distinctive in its approach and perspective/s from every other art periodical in our 200 + titles. We really value being able to offer a complete run for our students." --Claudia Marlowe, San Francisco Art Institute Library, Periodicals Dept.