By Dusty Sang
Stay Thirsty Magazine

On Friday September 1, 2006, the founders of Stay Thirsty Magazine met for a celebratory dinner at a neighborhood French bistro in Chicago. On that day, more than 13 years ago, Stay Thirsty Magazine was launched onto the internet without any fanfare or notice to the public. 

Stay Thirsty Magazine - Inaugural Issue Home Page (September 1, 2006)

Founded on the philosophy of my son, Ryan, to “stay thirsty” for things of the creative mind, his credo was based on an urban hieroglyph, frozen in cement, that he discovered not far from his Chicago apartment. And it was those two words that became the embodiment of the magazine’s manifesto and that have guided us on this incredible journey for all these years. 

Stay Thirsty Hieroglyph - Corner of Shiller & Wells Streets (Chicago)

Ryan tragically passed away in 2004 at the age of 24 from Bipolar Disorder, but this outreach of his philosophy is now read in over 180 countries by people from every continent. Stay Thirsty Magazine has remarkably become an international destination for creative people of all nationalities, disciplines and persuasions.

Ryan Licht Sang - Chicago (2004)

Working from a virtual platform from the very first day, our mission is to shine a spotlight on writers, musicians, artists, filmmakers, photographers, dancers, performance artists and more, along with issues from healthcare to economics, from the environment to technology, from politics to science. The magazine has evolved over these years from a monthly publication to a quarterly and has given space and energy to contemporary thought and artistic expression as we featured stories and works from the United States to China, from Japan to Europe, from Africa to Mongolia and beyond. The universality of creative expression continues to humble us as we work with some of the greatest minds of our day, as well as helping those just emerging onto the world stage.

To mark this anniversary, I took a little walk back into the magazine’s archives and surprised myself at how many of today’s leading talents we have worked with, in addition to thousands of other highly creative people too numerous to mention. I wanted to share the list below because it is a tribute to what Stay Thirsty Magazine has become by organically growing over time, without advertising, and by letting the world stake out its own claim. To those who have helped us on our path, we are forever grateful for your hard work, collaborative spirits and extraordinary abilities.

Thank you all for your enduring support and for your desire to “stay thirsty” for what comes next.


A partial list of those who have appeared in Stay Thirsty Magazine over the years follows. Click on each name to read their respective interview, feature or column.

Pulitzer Prize

A.E. Stallings (Finalist)
Du Yun  
Poets Laureate

Billy Collins        
Robert Pinsky      
Oscar/Tony/Emmy/Grammy/Golden Globe Awards

Joshua Bell - Grammy
Jerry Bowen - Emmy
Frank Galati - Tony
Randy Graff - Tony
Mariel Hemingway - Oscar & Golden Globe (Nominee)
Daniel Ho - Grammy
Rick Kogan - Emmy
Joan Lader - Tony
Ana Maria Martinez - Latin Grammy
Michael McDonald - Grammy
Bebe Neuwirth - Tony & Emmy
Kelli O'Hara - Tony
Carole Bayer Sager - Oscar, Grammy & Golden Globe
Gary Sinise - Oscar (Nominee); Golden Globe & Emmy
Leonard Slatkin - Grammy
Tina Turner - Grammy
Bill Ward - Grammy
TAKE 6 - Grammy
eighth blackbird - Grammy    
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

John Densmore - The Doors
Chris Frantz - Talking Heads

Various Honors

Jericho Brown - American Book Award
Jerome Charyn - Pen/Faulkner Award (Finalist)
Stephanie Chase - International Tchaikovsky Competition (Medalist)
Gerald Hausman - American Folklore Society Award
David Lehman - American Academy of Arts and Letters Award
Sarah Marquis - National Geographic Adventurer of the Year
George Saunders - Booker Prize
Richard Wiley - Pen/Faulkner Award
Pinchas Zukerman - National Medal of Arts

Original Work

Jerome Charyn - Novelist
Gerald Hausman - Author & Storyteller
David Lehman - Poet

New York Times Bestselling Authors

James Bowen       
William Least Heat-Moon       
Joe Klein    
Jean Hanff Korelitz        
Sarah Pekkanen    
Joe Posnanski      
Gerald Posner      
Susan Wilson
Carly Zakin 
Richard Zoglin

Guest Columnists

Warren Adler - Bestselling Author (The War of the Roses)
Tasha Alexander - Bestselling Author (Lady Emily series)
Patricia Barretto - President & CEO, The Harris Theater for Music and Dance
Fred Bronstein - Dean, Peabody Institute
Kirker Butler - Writer and Producer (Family Guy)
Jerome Charyn - Bestselling Author (The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson)
Stephanie Chase - International Award-winning Violinist
Ric Estrada - President & CEO, Metropolitan Family Services (Chicago)
Scott Eyman - Bestselling Author (John Wayne: The Life and Legend)
James Gandre - President, Manhattan School of Music
James Ginsburg - President, Cedille Records
April Gornik - Award-winning Painter
Jean Hanff Korelitz - Bestselling Author (You Should Have Known)
Phil Marcade - Author/Punk Rocker (The Senders)
Tania Castroverde Moskalenko - Executive Director, Miami City Ballet
Andrew A. Nierenberg, MD  - Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Rachel Barton Pine - International Award-winning Violinist
Robert Pinsky - Poet Laureate
Gerald Posner - Bestselling Author (God's Banker's)
Gary Sinise - Award-winning Actor (Truman)
Richard Wiley - Award-winning Author (Soldiers in Hiding)
Susan Wilson - Bestselling Author (One Good Dog)

Stay Thirsty Manifesto
The Creative Legacy of Ryan Licht Sang

All opinions expressed are solely those of its author and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.