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For the Love of Arts Criticism II: Small Magazines and Bloggers

"The Arts Fuse" ( has initiated a series of talks on the endangered state of theater and arts criticism. The first session took place on February 26 and dealt with the shrinking of serious arts coverage in the mainstream media: "The Boston Globe" along with NPR stations WGBH and WBUR. HowlRound videotaped what was a very lively discussion: 

The May 7th evening will focus on exploring on the value of small arts magazines in the Boston area. It will also examine ways in which they can be supported at a challenging time for independent arts journalism. Among the participants: Greg Cook of "Wonderland," Franklin Einspruch of "Delicious Line" (, the visual arts magazine, Jason Pramas, Executive Editor and Associate Publisher of "Dig Boston" and Network Director for the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, folk from Boston Hassle, perhaps arts editor Chloé DuBois, arts critic Heather Kapplow, Pat Williams of The Word BostonDave Ortega of Somerville Media Center, Lucas Spivey of Mobile IncubatorChristine Varriale, editor-in-chief of Allston Pudding, and Chanel Thervil of Big Red & Shiny. Admittance is free.

The session will be divided into two parts. First, there will be a round robin discussion among small arts magazine editors, bloggers, and writers. Why are these publications valuable? Then a brainstorming confab will follow, charged with coming up with ways online publications can support each other -- sharing readers and resources, opportunities for syndication -- as well seeing how a network of small online magazines and bloggers might be able to band together to apply for grants and other funding resources.

For decades, the city's alternative press played a crucial role in raising the bar for provocative cultural coverage, from supporting new, experimental, and marginal artists to dissenting from the sanitized political/commercial platitudes pushed by mainstream newspapers and magazines. We need more serious, informed, and diverse voices evaluating and reporting on the arts at a time newspapers and magazines are cutting back and/or dumbing down their arts sections. Please come and be part of this important conversation.