Can you believe 5enses, Prescott’s Premier Arts, Science and Culture magazine, is ten years old? That’s pretty cool, especially in the post-literate, post-fact times in which we live. 5enses is my go-to source for information on my interests, like art shows, music and entertainment, but once I open its pages there’s always more to find. Regular columns on astronomy, local flora and fauna and food grab my attention, and it’s always nice to know what’s on the mind of our local Big-Time science-fiction author in Alan Dean Foster’s column, Perceivings.
5 Senses was launched in 2012 by journalist Nick DeMarino. Originally from Ohio, Nick studied journalism abroad in Japan, later in Eugene, Oregon, and was a reporter for the Rawlins (WY) Daily Times for two years. After leaving the small-town paper in Rawlins (pop: 8,300) for the “Big City” of Prescott, he briefly worked for The Daily Courier covering arts and entertainment. With an idea for an “informal and informative” magazine with a “different spin on local news,” he waited out his non-compete contract with the Courier and started 5enses.
5enses began small and was a one-man operation at first, with Nick doing most everything. A free magazine, supported by advertising, 5enses succeeded rather quickly and evolved over time to what it is today, Prescott’s foremost arts, science and culture publication. After five years life took Nick in another direction and he sold the magazine to John Duncan.
John took over as publisher in 2017 and expanded the magazine’s art, science and culture coverage. John is a graduate of Prescott High School and attended Yavapai College. He’s a successful event planner and entrepreneur, and a constant, steady contributor to the LGBTQ+ community in Prescott and Northern Arizona. When John isn’t producing live theatre and drag shows or promoting arts, culture, theatre or social events, he can be found working on 5enses, which has become an alternative voice for the greater Prescott area.
Small-town, area and neighborhood newspapers and magazines are a robust part of American culture. Community newspapers keep the town informed about meetings of elected officials, local acts of heroism, and of course high-school sports teams. Inside each issue is a beautiful microcosm of local culture.
America’s very first community newspapers began in Boston in 1690. Local, nicheand neighborhood newspapers became increasingly common with the establishment of third-class mail in 1928. Despite the emergence of new information technologies, community newspapers continue to play an important role in the Information Age. Over 150 million people are informed, educated and entertained by a community newspaper every week.
As a contributor, both a writer and photographer, I love the small-town, community and neighborhood newspapers and tabloids. These are the publications that really offer the local flavors you don’t get in a big-city metropolitan newspaper or national publication. My first exposure to the community papers was The Shopper, a small, neighborhood newspaper that was the pre-internet equivalent of Craigslist. The Shopper had ads for area grocery stores, wedding announcements, recipes, stories of neighborhood interest, and of course, ads for garage sales and stuff for sale.
As a kid I answered an ad in The Shopper offering a photographic enlarger, which I bought and installed in my own home darkroom. I used that enlarger to make prints from local weekend motocross races, which I sold to another local niche publication that reported on the Sunday motorcycle and motocross scene.
A piece of equipment that I learned about from one small publication actually got me a job photographing for another small publication, which paid me and gave me the credit line under my pictures that bolstered my portfolio and allowed me to get a job with a bigger publication later on. It was the small, independent, local press that provided my very first job in the print media.
If you’re looking for music and arts events or want to learn about local natural history, animals, astronomy, poetry, books, health or local food, it can all be found here in 5enses. You can pick up a copy of 5enses from any of the racks or boxes outside most of Prescott’s eating and cultural establishments.