Welcome to Rural America Contemporary Art.

Welcome to RACA.

“This is the second time we’ve ever played in front of an audience, man. We are scared sh*tless.”

That’s what Steven Stills, of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, said in front of the audience at Woodstock.

For those of a certain age, that Steven Stills quote is memorable. It has been drifting through my mind the past couple of weeks. For me it is a quote that expresses the fear of being audacious. I am being audacious, and I’m scared sh*tless.

I am publishing an online digital magazine.

For the next couple of months, in anticipation of RACAonline’s inaugural launch in early October, I will be blogging about RACA—what it is, how I started it, and where we want it to go.

First though, I must acknowledge the people that have gotten RACAonline to this point. For about a year we have been having meetings to discuss and work on this project. Every meeting involved good beer, great conversation, and real camaraderie. I have learned that it is fun to create something with cool people.

The designers of WR Design Lab, Matt Willemsen and David Rogers have worked hard to create this design. Many hours have gone into the design of the RACA logo and all the components of the RACA website. As you see before you, it is a beautiful, functional, and original design. Thanks to WR Design Lab, RACA has a clear, strong, identity.

The managing and literary editor of RACAonline, Stephanie Wilbur Ash has been a tremendous help. She is an amazing person and really knows how to run things! She is a pro with real experience in publishing a magazine. That experience has been invaluable for someone like myself, a total neophyte. Stephanie has been schooling me!

I also want to thank the brilliant and creative people who are the first contributors to RACAonline. Their enthusiasm and willingness to contribute is critical to our long-term viability. They do it for “God and Glory”—which means no money. Generous with their talents, I am indebted to them. Gary Justice, John Jodzio, Nicole Helget, Curt Germundsen, Richard Robbins, Matthew Fluhraty and Debra Monroe are all part of the first issue. I will be writing more about them in next few weeks.

I have spent the last two years buying beer or coffee for anyone who would sit and listen to me talk about this idea. Ann Fee, Diana Joseph, Scott Stulen, and Liz Miller have contributed advice, time, expertise and, most importantly, encouragement. Thank you!

Thanks to all the members of the RACA Facebook group. You were, and still are, the inspiration for this. I hope that the group grows along with the growth of RACAonline.

I must also thank my partner in life, Wilbur, for all her support. She listens, she nods, she tells me to go for it She helps me to be audacious. For that I am eternally grateful.

Now I just have to work on the scared sh*tless part.

—Brian Frink