2008 NEA Arts Journalism Institute for Dance Criticism « PREV | NEXT »: ARTicles

January 30, 2008

ARTicles Bloggers

Meet our bloggers: Sasha Anawalt, MJ Andersen, Alicia Anstead, Laura Bleiberg, Larry Blumenfeld, Jeanne Carstensen, Robert Christgau, Laura Collins-Hughes, Thomas Conner, Lily Tung Crystal, Richard Goldstein, Patti Hartigan, Glenn Kenny, Wendy Lesser, Ruth Lopez, Nancy Malitz, Douglas McLennan, Tom Moon, Abe Peck, Peter Plagens, John Rockwell, Werner Trieschmann, Lesley Valdes and Douglas Wolk.
Sasha Anawalt is director of USC Annenberg Arts Journalism Programs. A faculty member of USC Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism, she founded the Masters degree program in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) in 2008 and directs the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program, as well as the NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater. In October 2009, she co-directed and co-produced with Douglas McLennan the first-ever virtual National Summit on Arts Journalism, streamed live from USC Annenberg in Los Angeles. Anawalt's best-selling cultural biography, "The Joffrey Ballet: Robert Joffrey and the Making of an American Dance Company" (Scribner, 1996) went into University of Chicago Press paperback a year later. She was dance critic for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, LA Weekly and KCRW, National Public Radio in Santa Monica. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times, SoHo Weekly News, Montreal Gazette, Dance Magazine, TV Guide, Wall Street Journal (WSJ.com), KUSC and MSNBC-online sites. Anawalt served on the 2006 and 2007 Pulitzer Prize Committee juries for criticism. A native of New York City and a graduate of Barnard College, Anawalt serves on the boards of the Los Angeles Stage Alliance, the Magic Poetry Bus and Philadelphia's Art Sanctuary. 

M.J. Andersen
is an editorial page writer for The Providence Journal. Her signed columns appear on alternate Fridays and can be found on the Journal's Web site, projo.com. She is also the author of a memoir, "Portable Prairie: Confessions of an Unsettled Midwesterner" (www.mjandersen.net). She was an NAJP fellow in 2002-03.

AliciaCROP.jpgAlicia Anstead is an arts and culture commentator, reporter, editor and educator. Arts and culture have been her primary subjects, but Alicia has written about politics, health, education, food, the environment and, in 2003, she reported from Iraq. She is editor of the national magazine Inside Arts, published by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters in Washington, DC, and co-editor, with Scott Lozier, of Harvard Arts Beat, the blog for the Harvard Office for the Arts. During the summer, she is critic-in-residence and host of the blog Shake Stonington for the annual Shakespeare production at the Stonington Opera House in Maine. In addition to teaching journalism at Harvard Extension, Alicia is an arts consultant, lecturer and conference facilitator. She co-produces arts programming for Harvard's Nieman Foundation for Journalism, where she was the inaugural Arts and Culture Fellow in 2008. She is a National Arts Journalism Fellow with the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and with the National Endowment for the Arts Cultural Editor Program at Duke University. (Photo: www.michelestapleton.com)

Laura Bleiberg
is a freelance dance critic for the Los Angeles Times. For 18 years, she was the dance critic and arts reporter for the Orange County Register. She has written extensively about arts education. Her stories have appeared in The New York Times, Dance Magazine, Pointe Magazine, Premiere Magazine and other publications, existing and defunct. In addition to her year as an NAJP fellow (2001-2002), she cherishes the experiences she had at the 1985 American Dance Festival's Critics Conference in Durham, N.C., and the 1992 Bournonville Festival in Copenhagen. She lives in Long Beach, California.

LBforListengood3.jpgLarry Blumenfeld writes about music and culture for The Wall Street Journal, Village Voice, Truthdig.com, and Salon.com, among many other publications. He was a 2006-7 Katrina Media Fellow for the Open Society Institute, documenting cultural recovery in New Orleans, and a 2001-2 Midcareer Fellow in the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University. His essay "Band on the Run in New Orleans" was selected for Da Capo's "Best Music Writing 2008," and his "Exploding Myths in Morocco and Senegal" appears in "Music in the Post-9/11 World (Routledge); his "Since the Flood" will be included in the forthcoming "Pop When the World Falls Apart" (Duke University Press). He is editor-at-large of Jazziz magazine, and he blogs at www.artsjournal.com/listengood/ He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and travels to New Orleans whenever life and work suggest.

Jeanne Carstensen headshot.jpgJeanne Carstensen is a writer and editor based in San Francisco. She was managing editor of Salon from 2005-2009. Previously, as senior arts and features editor at SFGate.com, she wrote about the first cell phone photography show and the artist who genetically engineered God. She was awarded a National Arts Journalism Program fellowship at Columbia University in 2001. Carstensen lived in Costa Rica for six years, where she covered human rights and feminism for the shortwave station Radio for Peace International and worked as a translator. At the Whole Earth Review magazine under Kevin Kelly, she wrote about mail art and the future of the human body in the technological age and served as managing editor of the "Essential Whole Earth Catalog."

NAJP vice chairman Robert Christgau was a senior editor of The Village Voice from 1974 to 2006. His Consumer Guide column now appears at msn.com and his Rock & Roll column at Barnes & Noble Review. He is also a critic at NPR's All Things Considered. He was awarded a 1988 Guggenheim fellowship and a 2002 NAJP fellowship to study the history of popular music, and in 2007 was a Ferris Teaching Fellow at Princeton University. Since 2005 he has taught in the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at NYU. He has published five books based in his journalism, and most of his work can be read on his website, robertchristgau.com. In 2002 colleagues presented him with a festschrift entitled Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough for his 60th birthday.

Laura Collins-Hughes 2.jpgLaura Collins-Hughes is an assistant arts editor at The Boston Globe, where she had been a reporter covering theater. Her writing on theater and books has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, American Theatre, Tablet, Newsday, the Forward and other publications. She has been deputy cultural editor at The New York Sun, a contributing news editor at ArtsJournal, arts editor at the New Haven Register, and arts and entertainment editor at The Cape Codder in Orleans, Mass. A member of the National Arts Journalism Program board from 2006 to 2010, she was a 2005 NAJP fellow at Columbia University.

thomas conner-cup.jpgThomas Conner is the pop music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. He's been at the Sun-Times since 2005, serving as editor of several entertainment sections and the features content of suntimes.com. He was a fellow with the National Arts Journalism Program (2000-2001), during which he conducted research at the Woody Guthrie Archives. He's written extensively about Guthrie's life and legacy, including a play, "Time Changes Everything" (in which Guthrie twice encounters western swing bandleader Bob Wills). A native Okie, Conner was the pop music critic for the Tulsa World daily newspaper for nearly eight years, where he also created and directed the annual Spot Music Awards. He teaches journalism and communication as an adjunct instructor, and he writes a blog about tea.

Lily Tung 2282.jpg
Lily Tung Crystal is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and actor. She is currently on the board of the National Arts Journalism Program and was an NAJP fellow in 2003-2004. Crystal works for NBC News and contributes to American Theatre Magazine, as one of this year's grant recipients of Theatre Communication Group's Bay Area Commissioning Fund. Crystal began her career in 1994 in Shanghai, China, as a foreign journalist covering contemporary Chinese culture. She served as the launching editor of Shanghai Talk, the city's first English-language monthly. She also covered stories for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, Associated Press Television, WGBH Boston, Asiaweek, The South China Morning Post and National Geographic Magazine. After returning to the US, she worked as a writer and segment producer at KRON 4 Television in San Francisco from 1999 to 2004, covering arts and culture, news and current affairs. Crystal is also a media and communications trainer. She speaks Mandarin Chinese and is working on a book about Chinese immigration to the United States since 1949.

Richard Goldstein.jpgRichard Goldstein is the former executive editor of the Village Voice, and a longtime commentator on popular culture and politics. He is currently living and working in Paris.






Glenn Kenny was the senior editor and chief film critic for Premiere magazine from 1998 to 2007. He has written on film and music for The Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, The New York Daily News, TV Guide, Rolling Stone, and other publications. He is the editor of the book "A Galaxy Not So Far Away: Writers and Artists on 25 Years of 'Star Wars.'" He currently contributes to MSN Movies, The Auteurs' Notebook, and the DGA Quarterly and maintains the blog Some Came Running.

Wendy_Lesser crop.jpg
Wendy Lesser founded The Threepenny Review, a quarterly arts and literary journal, in 1980, and she has been editing it ever since. She is the author of eight books, including one novel; her ninth will be about Dmitri Shostakovich and his fifteen string quartets. She also writes The Lesser Blog for The Threepenny Review's website. Lesser divides her year between Berkeley and New York.

_ruth.jpgRuth Lopez is based in Chicago and is a correspondent for The Art Newspaper. She is the former Art & Design editor for Time Out Chicago. Lopez is the author of "Chocolate: The Nature of Indulgence" (Harry Abrams) published in conjunction with a traveling exhibition organized by The Field Museum.






Nancy Crop pix 3.jpg
Nancy Malitz is the founding music critic at USA Today and a pioneer in journalism on the internet. Writing as the cultural columnist for The Detroit News, she concentrated on the intersection of the arts and technology, and she was tapped to create the newspaper's first websites. She subsequently moved into senior management and worked on strategic planning for media change with Gannett publications. She has written about the arts and technology for the New York Times, the Washington Post and dozens of other publications. Also active as a commentator, she has appeared on NPR, the CBC and Detroit's WFMT, where she did a daily spot aimed at culture lovers. She recently moved back to Chicago, where she grew up. She wrote her first music reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times, learned from her first students at the University of Illinois Chicago, and carries vivid memories of mentors Ralph Shapey, Edward Lowinsky, Philip Gossett and Leonard B. Meyer at the University of Chicago. Now returning to arts writing and tapping her extensive internet experience, she is developing cultural websites.  

Tom Moon.jpgTom Moon is the author of the New York Times bestseller 1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die (Workman Publishing, 2008). A regular contributor to National Public Radio's All Things Considered, he has written for Rolling Stone, GQ, Blender and other publications. During his twenty-year tenure as a music critic at the Philadelphia Inquirer, his work appeared in hundreds of daily newspapers and magazines. A saxophonist, Moon began his career as a professional musician, touring with assorted rock bands, cruise ship orchestras, and Maynard Ferguson's big band. He lives with his wife, daughter, two dogs and thousands of CDs outside of Philadelphia.

PP, oil, Nick Miller, Sligo, Ireland, 2007.jpgPeter Plagens is a painter and writer in New York. From 1989 
to 2003, he was art critic at Newsweek magazine, to which he 
still contributes occasionally. In 2004-2005 his work was the subject of a retrospective at the Fisher Museum at USC in Los Angeles; the exhibition traveled to Chicago and Youngstown, Ohio. Currently, he writes a monthly column, "Eye Level," for Art in America magazine, and is working on a book about the artist Bruce Nauman for Phaidon.

John Rockwell was a longtime critic, reporter and editor for The New York Times. He served as a classical music critic and music editor, chief rock critic, European Cultural Correspondent, editor of the Sunday Arts & Leisure section, arts columnist and chief dance critic. From 1994 to 1998 he was the founding director of the Lincoln Center Festival. He retired from The Times at the end of 2006. A prolific freelancer, he has published four books, on contemporary American composition of all kinds, on Frank Sinatra, on Lars von Trier's film "The Idiots," and a compilation of 40 years of his journalistic writings. 

werner.jpgWerner Trieschmann is a former features writer of 15 years at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, a published and produced playwright of too many years to worry about, a sometimes Web series writer (www.withtheangels.com), a subsistence freelance writer for sundry publications including Village Voice, Nashville Scene, Babble and American Craft, a blogger of little faith and ill repute (www.wernertplays.com) and a father of two boys. He lives with his wife and kids, who tolerate his nonsense, in the vastly underrated flyover city Little Rock, Arkansas.

Lesley Valdes headshot.jpgLesley Valdes is critic-at-large for Temple University's WRTI, 90.1 FM, Philadelphia's classical and jazz radio station, a post she has held for eight seasons. Previously, she was the chief classical music critic at The San Jose Mercury News and reviewer for classical music for The Philadelphia Inquirer (1987-99). Her work also has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Vogue, and on NPR's "Performance Today." She has reported for Women's Wear Daily & W.
 She holds a degree in piano performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University. She studied musicology and comparative literature on a fellowship from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The National Arts Journalism Program fellow is also a poet. Her mentor is Henri Cole. Her blog is Notes from Philly.

Douglas Wolk.jpgDouglas Wolk writes about comic books, pop music and technology for The New York Times, Techland, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and elsewhere. He's the author of "Live at the Apollo" and "Reading Comics," and lives in Portland, Oregon.

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    ARTicles ARTicles is a project of 
    the National Arts Journalism Program, an association of some 500 journalists in the United States. Our group blog is a place for arts and cultural journalists to share ideas and information, to celebrate what we do, and to make the case for its continuing value.
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    ARTicles Bloggers Meet our bloggers: Sasha Anawalt, MJ Andersen, Alicia Anstead, Laura Bleiberg, Larry Blumenfeld, Jeanne Carstensen, Robert Christgau, Laura Collins-Hughes, Thomas Conner, Lily Tung Crystal, Richard Goldstein, Patti Hartigan, Glenn Kenny, Wendy Lesser, Ruth Lopez, Nancy Malitz, Douglas McLennan, Tom Moon, Abe Peck, Peter Plagens, John Rockwell, Werner Trieschmann, Lesley Valdes and Douglas Wolk. more

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