This year, our campus and the Nexus suffered a tragic loss with the passing of Artsweek writer and CCS literature student Lalita Stone. I did not know Lita well outside of working together. She wrote often about burgeoning EDM bands and the downtown Santa Barbara music scene, and even though electronic music is not my forte, I loved reading her articles every week because of her distinct and fearless voice. Her passion for EDM was palpable and made even the most skeptical reader excited to hear more about the shows she trekked to and the bands she adored.
I admired Lita. As her editor, I got to see her work through tough issues in her writing with thoughtfulness and grace. We had several intense discussions about offensiveness in art, what qualifies as offensive, where the boundaries for artists are. I was impressed by Lita’s ability to talk about these things calmly and rationally, even when she was emotionally invested in the subject. The result was always a well-reasoned and meaningful article.
I am still shocked that Lita is gone, but I am so glad to have had the chance to know her, to work with her, to read her writing. There will always be a place for her in the Nexus. She will always be here — in the myriad of ways she touched people’s lives, and in her words.