In July 11, 1982, Across The Board Graphics opened the doors at an office in the radio station in Peterborough, NH, with the intent of working for small businesses in this region. Owner/Graphic Designer Diana Shonk’s first clients were The Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and Peterborough Savings Bank. In 1991 it was the marketing manager at Peterborough Savings that told Shonk that there was a recession coming and she should develop a business that didn’t rely on someone to hire the business to do work for them. That was when she developed The Blues Audience newsletter. Shonk had developed the idea when she was at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA. A publication dedicated to helping network the Blues entertainment industry in New England was born.
Since The Blues Audience newsletter was established in 1991, Shonk has worked to connect the musicians that love to play this great American music with the fans who love to enjoy their performances. Networking has been the key and even though many things have changed, it is still a business that works on a very personal level, one person at a time. Since its inception, Shonk has traveled and attended thousands of performances all over the six New England States.
The Blues Audience keeps fans updated in print, by special email mailings and updated information about musicians and fund raisers. Last minute gigs can be found on the web site. Rolling with the times, the newsletter is now offered by subscription as well in .pdf format which is sent to subscribers through their email inbox every other month.
Publisher, Diana Shonk, was honored with a “Keeping The Blues Alive” Award by HeatherFest, a yearly Blues Festival and fundraiser for local charities in the Boston area.
The Blues Audience newsletter is archived at the University of Mississippi’s Dept. of Archives and Special Collections, JD Williams Library, University, Mississippi