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RMU Alum Noah Purdy ’12 Launching New Magazine, “Rustbelt Almanac”

Rustbelt Almanac KickstarterWhen most of us hear the term “Rust Belt”, we think of decaying factories, vacant brownfields, and once vibrant small towns struggling to find a place in the post-industrial era.

Not Noah Purdy ’12. For this graduate of Robert Morris University’s photography program, the Rust Belt means “industrious people; artists, craftsman, laborers, entrepreneurs”. What he refers to as “Makers”. Now he wants to document these individuals and share the stories of the many people who are changing the face of this sprawling region.

Along with graphic designer Michael Artman, Purdy has created Rustbelt Almanac, a new magazine that will share stories and photographs of people who live in the Rust Belt and share what they’re doing to drive the region’s growth.

“Folks in the Rust Belt have always been resilient and hard working; they’re literally the people that built America,” says Purdy, who was named an RMU Dean Scholar in 2011 and won Best in Photography that same year in RMU’s Media Arts Gold Show. “It seems that the rest of the country thought that work-ethic died with the steel and automotive industries but it didn’t. There’s just as much innovation and creation happening in the Rust Belt as there is anywhere in America, but it gets overlooked because the mid-atlantic region is thought of as a wasteland of urban decay; it’s not, and we want to tell the world that.”

With issue No. 1 of Rustbelt Almanac ready for production, Purdy and Artman have initiated a Kickstarter.com campaign to help fund the magazine’s initial print run and distribution. Anything above and beyond what they’re asking for will go towards future issues and will allow them to expand the publication’s reach.

“I’m eternally grateful for any support we get on this journey,” says Purdy. “For Mike and I, this started out as a passion project. To see the idea gain traction is like having our dreams come true.” ~

Written by Valentine J. Brkich
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