We want to thank our readers for following us, engaging with us and sharing our content to others. With almost 900 subscribers and quality collaborators from all around the world, we continue to move forward with over 290 posts behind us — articles on music, iconography, architecture, symbolism and many other subjects. We have introduced our readers to some of the best contemporary liturgical art being produced today as well as to profound meditations on what this art means. As we work to promote quality in Orthodox art to the glory of Our Lord, we are overjoyed to watch our traffic steadily increase, reaching even up to 30,000 views for one month in 2015.
When we began on this adventure we did not know what results it would yield. Having programmed the OAJ website as simply as possible, we have now come to the limit of what our current theme and hosting can handle. In light of this, the editorial team has looked at how to redesign and upgrade OAJ to better serve the needs of our readers. This is why we now reach out to you, our readers, to help us make OAJ better. We are looking to raise $5,000 to pay for fully reprogramming OAJ to fit our needs. Here are some of the things we want to do:
- Orthodox illustration project online. Since Andrew Gould presented the Orthodox illustration project more than a year ago, his announcement has become the most viewed post we have ever published. Countless hours have been put into drawing, reproducing and editing quality images for the common usage of all. We want to make these images available and searchable through the OAJ website. Doing this will offer hundreds of quality illustrations to individuals and parishes for publications, examples of which can already seen in the beautiful new Hieratikon and Benedict Sheehan’s A Common Book of Church Hymns: Divine Liturgy, both published by St-Tikhon’s Monastery Press.
- Better access to content. As it stands, the content structure of OAJ is based on a simple blog model. But the OAJ is not meant to be a blog – it is conceived as a permanent resource of unique and valuable content. We want to give readers better access to past articles through more appropriate presentation and classification. We also want to offer printable versions of each article.
- A Newsfeed. We need to distinguish news items from our regular content. Currently, we can only promote an outside project when we are able to present a complete article about it. A newsfeed will allow us to promote far more events and publications than is now possible. We hope to become the go-to forum for listings of new events, books, and CDs related to the Orthodox Arts.
- Developed artist list. Many parishes and other organizations look to OAJ in considering which artists to choose for their project. In light of this, we want to present a more formal and documented database of artists that we can recommend to our readers. In particular, we want to develop a means for promoting liturgical musicians who may not have a website of their own.
- Professional programming. Because we began with low-cost solutions, we now need more tailor-made programming to fit our needs. This also includes better hosting, social media integration and more capacity for customization.
As has been the case since our first year, all our writing and editing will still be accomplished on a fully volunteer basis, but if you have enjoyed and appreciated our efforts, we kindly ask for your consideration. If all of our 899 subscribers gave 6$, we will have gone over our goal of 5000$. Every small donation makes a difference. To donate, please click the paypal “donate” button at the bottom of the left side column of the OAJ website.
We thank you again for your support and your prayers as we move forward to making OAJ better to the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is the ultimate icon of the invisible Father.