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home : decade of diversion : decade of diversion June 24, 2016


Decade of Diversion

10/4/2011 8:09:00 AM
A 10-year symbiosis with the A&E community
The debut issue of Kudos, Oct. 3, 2001
The debut issue of Kudos, Oct. 3, 2001
Bert Harclerode of Chamber Music Sedona says, “Kudos has been an important partner since its inception in helping us get the word out. When we speak of partnerships, it’s easy for us to reach out to Kudos and say thank you.
Bert Harclerode of Chamber Music Sedona says, “Kudos has been an important partner since its inception in helping us get the word out. When we speak of partnerships, it’s easy for us to reach out to Kudos and say thank you."

Steve Ayers
Staff Reporter


When former Verde Valley Newspapers, Inc., publisher Dick Larson launched Kudos in October 2001, he made a leap of faith.

He reasoned that the arts and entertainment scene had grown to a level where it could support some kind of publication. But what kind? And what could it offer in return?

As it was, Larson bet on the outcome. He believed that a quality publication, focused on local residents as well as out-of-town visitors, would create a symbiosis of its own -- one in which the publication fed the art scene and the art scene fed the publication.

How right he was.

Ten years later, Kudos is at the center of the artistic vortex. Both it and the local A&E scene have grown up together, both gaining stature locally as well as outside the Verde Valley's confines.

Merlyn Brown remembers a time when there wasn't much around but the Verde Valley Concert Association, an organization she became involved with in 1995 and today serves as its executive director.

"Maybe I wasn't paying attention. If there was anything else I wasn't aware of it. But when Kudos arrived it was like a mushroom cloud. Now it's simply amazing. The whole cultural scene has had a paradigm shift to it," said Brown.

Bert Harclerode has been around the local music scene for nearly 20 years. The organization for which he now serves as executive director, Chamber Music Sedona, has had a partnership with Kudos from the start, beginning with a front-page headline in the first edition of Kudos.

"We are always looking for ways to bring people into our fold, because sometimes chamber music is an unknown commodity to some people.

"Kudos has been an important partner since its inception in helping us get the word out. When we speak of partnerships, it's easy for us to reach out to Kudos and say thank you," said Harclerode.

Janet Turner of Verde Valley Voices credits a degree of her organization's success to Kudos, not only for bringing the public to their concerts, but helping grow the choir.

"We are not just some blurb in the calendar section of some newspaper. With Kudos we get a big splash. It really helps. We have grown the number of singers from 80 to over 100 since I came in 1995, in part because Kudos gives us the exposure," she said.

Sedona's Moshe Bukspan, who founded the Red Rocks Music Festival at almost the exact time Larson was sending the first Kudos to the print shop, says he has seen many changes over the last 10 years, not only with his own event but also with the music scene in general.

But one thing remains a staple.

"As long as we are in Sedona, there is nothing but Kudos," said Bukspan, "If you want to do an event in the Verde Valley or Sedona, Kudos is a must."


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