Little Village announces new publisher, staff expansion

As Little Village wraps up 20th anniversary celebrations this July, the publication is proud to announce Genevieve Trainor will become its new publisher. Little Village also welcomes multimedia journalist Adria Carpenter and events editor and graphic design assistant Sidney Peterson as new members of the team.

The changes come as Matthew Steele (publisher, July 2010 to July 2021) announces his family’s relocation to Olympia, Washington, where his spouse Andrea Jensen is pursuing a new career opportunity.

“Leaving Iowa City is something I honestly never thought I would do,” Steele said. “It’s where I had chosen to put down roots, and will probably always feel like my true home.”

Trainor Steele
Genevieve Trainor and Matthew Steele outside the Little Village Creative Services offices in downtown Iowa City.

Steele will remain president of Little Village LLC and creative director of Little Village Creative Services, continuing to expand the company’s custom publication, graphic design, videography, website and digital services business.

“I will miss being on the ground in Iowa City every day, so much, but I will be back often. Wherever I am, and however my role changes, I remain committed to the company’s mission of reinvesting its growth into more journalism that serves the people of Iowa. It’s my great passion, and indeed has been my life’s work. It’s not a mission I can really ever see myself completely setting aside, especially now with so many pressing issues facing so many communities in this state.”

Genevieve Trainor will remain arts editor, their role at Little Village since December 2015, while assuming the paper’s executive role.

“It’s exciting to step in at this time of growth,” Trainor said. “We’re financially and organizationally strong; our core team has been together for several years; and our staff trust and support each other. I’m honored to pilot such a well-built deck.”

While Trainor brings continuity of leadership, new challenges await as the publication looks toward further expansion of its coverage, establishing new reporter positions in the Des Moines area.

“Key to our vision and values is fostering a statewide and regional conversation — adding our voice to statewide environmental, social, cultural and political discourse. Bringing in new voices and reporting from the ground in our state’s key areas allows us to engage and be part of the wider community, not just report on it,” Trainor explained.

For Jordan Sellergren (art director, 2016 to present; graphic designer, July 2014 to December 2015) the change is a natural progression for Trainor. “Everyone on the team has so much respect for Genevieve as a professional and human. Genevieve deeply understands our editorial process, the important relationships we have with our contributors, is excellent with budgeting and not afraid to take a stand and make a hard decision. That they should step in and take the lead just feels right.”

“Genevieve has brought so much purpose to Little Village’s arts coverage over the years, highlighting artists who are using their platforms to advance essential conversations in our community,” adds Emma McClatchey (managing editor, August 2017 to present). “They are the ideal person to represent Little Village and to lead the company into its next chapter.”

Genevieve Trainor is an editor, critic and creator based in Iowa City, Iowa. As arts editor at Little Village magazine, they have prioritized engaging diverse perspectives in cultural conversation. Several years in marketing at Bankers Advertising reinforced a passion and skill for reaching people where they are and driving dialogue. Genevieve has a bachelor’s in English from the University of Iowa. Past projects have included Weird Cookies Poetry magazine; editorial work with One Squared Studios, 48 Hour Comic Project and Red Stylo Media; and volunteer work with various community arts organizations. Genevieve currently sits on the board of Public Space One and the Center for Afrofuturist Studies digital circle. Once upon a time, they used to sing in public. Genevieve loves comic books, stoner rock, tabletop gaming and arguing about politics. Everything good about them is attributable to their wonderful wife Madeline and tolerant offspring Calliope, D.C. and Thalia.

Adria Carpenter is a reporter, editor and photojournalist who recently relocated from Athens, Georgia. She is a 2020 graduate of the University of Georgia, earning a BA in journalism and a BA and MA in English. As a multimedia reporter with Grady Newsource and Flagpole Magazine, Carpenter covered everything from the death penalty, 911 call centers and COVID-19 to local food and arts events in Athens, a community not unlike Iowa City in both size and cultural offerings. “Working as a reporter connects me to my city and community,” Carpenter wrote in her cover letter to Little Village. “The exposure to different people and perspectives has changed my life entirely, and I can’t wait to experience the opportunities in Iowa.”

Sid Peterson is a recent graduate of the University of Iowa with majors in Journalism and Mass Communication and International Studies. At Iowa, she was the Digital Marketing Director for SCOPE Productions, photographed for the Daily Iowan, and studied abroad for a semester in Prague. She loves all things music, art and travel.

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