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November 18, 2012

A Call to Arms, or a Cry for Help

Okay, fellow NAJPers. We are nearly down to the wire here. I've been doing this daily blogging for about four weeks now, and I have only three days left in my promised month.  Who would like to step up next?

You wouldn't have to commit to a whole month, and you wouldn't have to blog every day (though there is something to be learned, in a kind of pseudo-Zen-practice way, by the daily obligation to pour out one's opinions or experiences online). Even if you only committed to a week of this--a mere work-week, with weekends off, say--you would be doing our community a tremendous favor.  There are thirty-one of us listed over there on the right-hand side, and if you subtract Laura Collins-Hughes (who does yeoman's work for ARTicles already), Doug McLennan (who handles the technical side of the blog), and me (of whose voice we are all heartily sick by now), that still leaves twenty-eight potential volunteers. If each of you did just one week, that would take us through more than half a year.  Easy, no?

The designated blogger wouldn't by any means have to be the only voice involved.  I would have liked it if someone else had been writing intermittently during my month on duty. I would have liked it if someone else had been writing during the three or four months preceding my month on duty, but the absence of any such voices, including my own, is what compelled me to take on this task in the first place. Surely we all have occasional interesting things to comment on (and I myself hope to report in again once in a while over the next few months, after I've got my wind back).  But ARTicles, in order to survive, seems to need at least one committed writer who is willing to be responsible for keeping it going in the short run. That could be any or all of you.

Why does it matter if this blog lives or dies?  Well, I don't think I have to tell any of you about the parlous state of the arts in America these days.  The bad economy and the ever-more-consuming digital world have combined to make things very difficult for the live arts--that is, the arts in person, the arts that allow for a direct encounter between the viewer and the artwork itself, whether it be a concert or an opera or a painting or a book. We arts critics or reporters, by paying serious and in some cases knowledgeable attention to those desperate and necessary art forms, are helping to keep them alive.  I hope there are also readers out there whose curiosity we feed and whose interest we stimulate, and that too helps the arts.

I didn't mean to turn this into a commercial. I just hoped to get my fellow bloggers thinking about who might come next in this rota, doing this little job that earns no pay but is actually rather fun, if you enjoy fun that has an element of self-imposed work in it. My one-month term ends on Wednesday, November 21. We can all take Thanksgiving off--hell, we can take the whole holiday weekend off. But isn't there someone out there in NAJP-land who is willing to take up the torch by Monday, December 3?  If so, I would certainly love to read what you have to say.
November 18, 2012 6:19 AM | | Comments (0)

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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. ARTicles is edited by Laura Collins-Hughes. To contact her, click here.
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