Warm Soda Magazine: A Local Place for Musical and Artistic Collaboration

Graphic by Paige Jarden
Alex Gent

“Warm Soda Magazine” is the passion project and longtime dream of Jerseyville IL native Lauren Leady. Based in Alton, it focuses on art, music, and culture, as well as offering insight and support to the creative side of the community.

Lauren Leady, 21 years old, graduated from Jersey Community High School in 2014 and went on to receive an Associates degree here at Lewis and Clark Community College in the summer of 2015. This past May she completed a Bachelor’s Degree in English-Publishing Studies at Illinois State University.

“Growing up, I was always into music and reading,” said Leady, “Both are different worlds and languages, but with ‘Warm Soda Magazine’ I want to fuse them together to create a new language, a platform for Alton’s creative side to meet in one place,”

Though she may be young, Leady has not wasted any time employing her skills and has already put together an extensive resume. She gained the experience to develop her skills through positions as an intern copy editor for “The Vidette,” the school newspaper at ISU, as well as an Editorial and Advertising assistant at “The Jersey County Journal”, and in her current position as a proofreader for Spectrum Brands in St. Louis.

A lack of resources had previously kept the dream from becoming a reality for Leady, but about a month ago the ball began rolling for her. “We have achieved a lot in a short time, but we still have a long way to go,” said Leady. “I like to see how fast we have grown. We already have been invited to a Main Street Alton board meeting. I am excited to see what the future has in store for us.”

Shelby Clayton, current LC student and layout editor here at The Bridge, is also responsible as a co-founder. “She has definitely been a driving force in making sure we achieve what we need to keep going,” said Leady.

As it has become customary with most publications in the internet era, social media has been paramount to building momentum for the project, and within its first few days on Facebook, it had already received over 100 likes. Anyone interested in following along with “Warm Soda Magazine” on social media can find them under: Warm Soda Magazine on Facebook, @warmsodamag on Twitter, and warmsodamagazine on Instagram.

In addition, “Warm Soda Magazine” would love to hear from artists and musicians of all kinds from the surrounding area. All are encouraged to submit works of art, musical pieces, photography, etc. For content contributions, submissions, or any additional information send an email to warmsodamagazine@gmail.com. While the project is currently only web-based, Leady has intentions of eventually publishing a hard copy of the magazine, and there will be a published website in the very near future.

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