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64 Magazine Looks for Answers

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Two and a half years ago, Wyckoff and her team launched the nonprofit magazine with jubilance, at a lively press conference held in the offices of the Martin Agency. There was an enthusiasm about starting a new kind of publication like 64, and the staff turned out a beautiful, award-winning glossy monthly that unabashedly celebrated Central Virginia's arts and culture community. In a difficult market, though, the business side of the magazine faltered.

Now a much more somber gathering is planned for June 27. Next week, after Wyckoff returns from a trip to Scotland, she and her executive committee will meet to discuss the venture's ending, says 64 executive committee member Gregory H. Wingfield, who is president and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership.

Such details include how the magazine will go out of business. Last week, Wyckoff did not rule out bankruptcy, a move that would offer the magazine some protection from creditors. The magazine could also liquidate its assets — selling off equipment and raising money to pay the final bills. "All of those details are under consideration," Wyckoff says. "And this just happened a few days ago, so all of those sorts of plans are in development. Lots of people working on it."

One fund-raiser in the works is an effort to sell three complete sets of the magazine's back issues for $150 each.

Perhaps profit from the Bruce Hornsby benefit will help. The concert, held at the Carpenter Center on May 9, was billed as a fund-raiser for 64 and a New Artists Fund, which would commission projects from young and undiscovered artists and then feature their work in the magazine.

Many wonder what will happen to that fund now. "[Wyckoff] mentioned to me that she was going to continue that New Artists Fund," says 64 board member William C. Thornton Jr., a senior vice president and director of marketing for SunTrust Bank, Mid-Atlantic. But he refers questions to Wyckoff.

"It's part of 64," Wyckoff says, "so if 64 doesn't exist, the fund doesn't exist." As for where the money raised would go, that remains unclear. "If you're suggesting any impropriety," she adds, "it's nothing like that."

Wingfield says that discussion will be part of the June 27 agenda.

— Jason Roop and Melissa Scott Sinclair

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