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THREE JOURNALISTS OF EXCEPTIONAL PROMISE AND ACCOMPLISHMENT have been accepted by the National Arts Journalism Program (NAJP) to spend one-semester residencies at Columbia University in the spring of 2005. Announcements of additional fellows are expected this fall.

Now in its 11th year, the NAJP, based at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, in association with the School of the Arts, has hosted 126 senior and mid-career fellows for academic residencies. The program's alumni network spans 29 U.S. states and two continents.

The 2005 fellows will take classes at Columbia and pursue individual research projects, in conjunction with the NAJP's efforts to promote a national dialogue about arts journalism. The fellows selected thus far represent a wide range of individual talent and experience.

Laura Collins-Hughes has been arts editor of The New Haven Register since 1997, supervising coverage of theater, visual arts, classical music, dance and books. Also a theater writer, she was formerly arts and entertainment editor at The Cape Codder newspaper in Orleans, Mass., where she wrote feature stories, news and criticism. Originally from Milwaukee, she studied history and journalism at Boston University.

Claude Peck is fine arts editor of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Previously he was a metro editor at the paper, editor of the Twin Cities Reader, an alternative weekly newspaper, and executive editor of MPLS.ST.PAUL Magazine, a monthly city magazine. He has also worked as a radio producer. A native of Chicago, Mr. Peck lives in Minneapolis.

Mark Rozzo writes the First Fiction column for the Los Angeles Times Book Review. He has also covered books, pop music, art, food, wine, and design for The New Yorker (where he was a longtime staffer), The Oxford American, Vogue, Tracks, The Washington Post and other publications. He plays in two indie-rock bands (Champale and Maplewood) and lives with his wife in Brooklyn, NY.

"The NAJP advisory board was pleased to select three journalists of proven distinction into the program, and we're not done yet," said Andras Szanto, NAJP's director since June. "We're working hard to make sure these fellows can be joined by other candidates for the mid-career fellowship from the United States and from abroad by next spring."

In 2004-05, NAJP is overseeing a new mix of fellowships. The program is launching its first short-term fellowships in October, when up to 25 journalists focusing on classical music and opera will take part in a specialized institute at Columbia, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. "We consider the combination of short- and long-term fellows a major service to the field, and a welcome broadening of our national mandate," Szanto added.

In addition, the program will release a national report on the state of arts journalism, titled Reporting the Arts II, and organize conferences and public events around the country, with the involvement of current and past NAJP fellows.

Funding for the residential mid-career fellowships this year comes primarily from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Current NAJP publications and activities are also being supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The MacArthur Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Columbia University and other funders.

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