Jon Spayde

Writer, editor, communicator

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Jon Spayde

I'm a veteran journalist who tells powerful stories about how spirituality, art, science, and history impact our lives. And I do it with a smile.



Interdisciplinary Art

Sara Cluggish, the Perlman Teaching Museum’s new director, talks about mission, visual learning, and acquiring work for the permanent collection. A bold watercolor landscape by postimpressionist master Maurice de Vlaminck. A blocky figure with a book in its lap by French sculptor Jacques Lipchitz.
Carleton Voice Link to Story

The Science of Stress

Understand how stress operates in your body — and how to reduce stress and build resilience. You’re trying to concentrate on a project that’s due in less than two hours, and that horn has been beeping outside your window for the last five minutes. Its effects are impossible to ignore. Your heart rate is up.
Experience Life Link to Story

The Craft of Scent

For a growing number of independent scent makers, perfume is a powerful and delightful means of self expression.
American Craft magazine Link to Story

Sacred Silence: Silent Retreats

Writer Jon Spayde takes a break from his noisy world and spends a few days in quiet contemplation. When I signed up for my first silent retreat several years ago, I was delighted by the prospect of three days without small talk. I was also bent on total serenity, and hopeful that I might experience a vivid spiritual vision (or two).
Experience Life Link to Story


The versatile hemp plant-which can be processed into textiles, bioplastics, food, and a lot more-is a "new" old crop that offers visions of profitability. And U of M research is exploring those visions.
Minnesota Alumni Link to Story

Museums Go Public

The art museum has been undergoing evolution, from a warehouse of rare objects into a force for education, community involvement, and even social change.
Public Art Review Link to Story

Highly Infectious

None of Cape Town’s richness, and none of her contradictions, are lost on the people who organized Infecting The City, a weeklong public art festival that I attended in mid-March.
Public Art Review Link to Story

What Does it Mean to Be Educated?

It's far too easy to stop learning anything you don't have to. We lead hectic lives, and by the end of the day just getting dinner on the table seems like an insurmountable challenge; who's got the energy to tackle Tolstoy, Fellini, or the latest music sensation from Cape Verde? Yet, self-education doesn't have to mean another bunch of chores to do.
Utne Reader Link to Story

Monumental Changes

In America, monuments have been coming down. Other monuments have been challenged, including a statue of Christopher Columbus in New York and one of Philadelphia’s former mayor Frank Rizzo (widely resented in the black and gay communities)—while cities ponder renaming streets and other facilities bearing the names of slaveowners or racists.
Public Art Review Link to Story

A Literary Treasure Hunt

The vast University of Minnesota Libraries system—in possession of millions of books and magazines, and able to address tens of thousands of research questions annually—provides U faculty and students with comprehensive coverage of the humanities, arts, sciences, and other areas of study. But, if U libraries is the universe, the Department of Archives and Special Collections is its glorious Pegasus constellation.
Minnesota Alumni Link to Story

How artists help communities heal after disasters

A couple of days after Hurricane Sandy slammed New York City, Caron Atlas, director of the nonprofit Arts & Democracy Project, got a call from a nearby neighborhood city council member, Brad Lander. The two had worked together as community organizers; now Lander wondered if Atlas could arrange cultural programming for some 500 special-needs evacuees—mainly elderly and people with physical and mental disabilities—who were taking shelter in Brooklyn’s Park Slope Armory.
Public Art Review Link to Story


Jon Spayde

I began my career in journalism in New York, at Travel and Leisure magazine and other travel publications. I was a long-time writer and editor at the pioneering cultural-political magazine Utne Reader, and am the author of the 2008 book “How to Believe: Teachers and Seekers Show the Way to a Modern, Life-­Giving Faith,” from Random House. I edited the online magazine The Line, covering business and urbanism in Minnesota, and am currently working with Franklin Covey in San Francisco, the Bolster marketing agency in Minneapolis, American Craft magazine, and other outlets. I live with my wife, artist/entrepreneur Laurie Phillips, and three beautiful black cats.



  • writing
  • editing
  • magazine planning
  • web content creation
  • book doctoring
  • voice work
  • stage performance
  • teaching writing
  • coaching writers
  • consulting