The Fig Tree History
The Fig Tree was founded in 1984 as a monthly publication covering and connecting the faith and nonprofit communities in the Inland NW (Eastern WA and Northern Idaho). The first issue was published May 1984. It began under the auspices of the Spokane Christian Coalition.
In 2000 The Fig Tree became an independent nonprofit, covering stories of people living their faith and values, connecting diverse people and encouraging respect and listening, and inspiring people to action both locally and globally. The Fig Tree is supported by donations of sponsors, some individuals, congregations, regional churches and ecumenical and interfaith organizations, area universities and nonprofits, and by advertisers and underwriters. It is also supported by volunteers, who help with all phases of planning, writing, editing, and distribution, and promotion.
The first issue in 1984 was 8 pages with 37 inches in ads. The current issues contain 12 to 16 pages with 280-320 inches in ads. Grants for the Rural-Urban Connections Project and the Interactive Website Project added to the growth in the early years.
The Fig Tree is:
- The monthly newspaper of published on the first Wednesday of September through June. It reaches 21,000 readers through 7,800 copies distributed by mail and in bulk to churches and community organizations in the Inland NW.
- The Fig Tree website: www.thefigtree.org includes monthly updates and archives of issues from 2004 to 2015. In addition to the feature stories, it contains information about the Fig Tree’s approach to covering religious and community news, special projects, videos of events, and the Community Directory of Congregations and Community Resources.
- The Fig Tree on Facebook and Twitter highlight stories and report on more current events in the news, as well as comments from readers. Check out the monthly interview with Gavin Dahl of Local News on KYRS radio. There is a link for the latest interview on the Home page.
- A Directory of Congregations and Community Resources, published cooperatively with the Community Colleges of Spokane HeadStart/ECAP, includes congregations, ecumenical and interfaith ministries, multi-service agencies, human services, justice action resources, medical/health care resources, senior/retirement resources, youth and children support services, and emergency contacts. 10,000 copies are printed and distributed throughout the community.
- Annual Dialogue Events foster dialogue, discussion and reflection on issues involving media, journalism, faith and justice in the region.