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Inaugural MEA Winner, Better Manchester Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Inaugural MEA Winner, Better Manchester Celebrates 10th Anniversary

February 14, 2020

By Chris Gilson, CCM communications writer

Here at Connecticut Town and City, we celebrate the power of the written word to communicate innovative ideas from throughout the state. According to the Scientific American, reading still offers advantages that technology has not been able to replicate, which is why after a scare in the past decade, the industry is starting to level out. And it’s also why we want to continue to praise Better Manchester Magazine, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

Better Manchester is the official publication of the Town of Manchester and Manchester Public Schools, and is run by the town’s Department of Leisure, Family, and Recreation, whose director, Christopher J. Silver, serves as editor-in-chief.

In his editor’s message, he says that the magazine was developed in response to a recommendation from the Children, Youth and Family Master Plan at a time when the nation was reeling from an economic crash and when morale was low. “By taking a strength-based approach,” he says, “the publication would keep the community inspired by and working toward a vision of a better future — a community where all children, youth and families would have the opportunity to thrive.” 

Better Manchester back to top

In 2016, Better Manchester took home an inaugural Municipal Excellence Award in the Population 3 category, for towns and cities over 40,000. In their submission, they say that all content is researched, written, edited, and laid out in-house by staff from departments around town and the public school district, which allows them to keep the cost down. And while there is a budget for artwork, they also have an agreement for their annual Neighborhoods and Families art series to license three pieces of work at no cost for one-time use in the magazine.

It’s clear that the magazine has not only survived, but thrived, being published both online and in print, directly mailed to all 28,000 households in Manchester. It is a space where Manchester is able to talk about “revitalizing the community and creating a sustainable future,” as Silver says.

“We investigate the Town’s new incentives for attracting businesses and investment to the downtown district,” he wrote, and “we also have a story about how the school district is partnering with businesses and institutions throughout Manchester to give students internships and other valuable personalized learning opportunities.”

In 2020, with media trying to come at you on your phones, on your tvs, and your computer screens, seeing a newspaper or magazine is a welcome reprieve. It’s one of the best ways to tell your story, not only the successes, but the attempts at making home a better place. For 10 years, Better Manchester has succeeded in this goal, and we’d like to wish them another great 10 years.