The publication, its editor, and its over 60 writers believe that the health of arts criticism and the arts community are inextricably intertwined.
By Bill Marx
As I promised in my recent column, a heated response to the Boston Globe’s cutting its freelance theater critics, The Arts Fuse is initiating a series of monthly discussions (the final Mondays in February, March, and April) on the fragile state of theater and arts criticism, particularly in our mainstream media: The Boston Globe, WGBH, and WBUR.
The first talk took place on February 26th at Burnes Hall (located in NEC’s new Student Life & Performance Center at 255 St Botolph Street).
The Arts Fuse, its editor, and its over 60 writers believe that the health of arts criticism and the arts community are inextricably intertwined. Succoring one is a mitzvah for the other. It is time to fight for more critical dialogue and less happy talk.
The evening was made up of three parts. I begin talking about the history of arts criticism in Boston (it has not always been so grim). Then I sketched out a vision of what criticism does, at its best, concluding by making a rousing case for why we need more (and better) critics to cover our rapidly expanding cultural scene. After that, fellow reviewers and members of the arts community were invited to speak about how criticism has made a valuable contribution to their career and/or their art. Next, attendees were encouraged to take part in a discussion aimed at coming up with a response to the current situation. The result was passionate claims made for the value of arts criticism and a lively exchange of views.
The video of the February 26 discussion, generously recorded by HowlRound:
Bill Marx is the editor-in-chief of The Arts Fuse. For over three decades, he has written about arts and culture for print, broadcast, and online. He has regularly reviewed theater for National Public Radio Station WBUR and The Boston Globe. He created and edited WBUR Online Arts, a cultural webzine that in 2004 won an Online Journalism Award for Specialty Journalism. In 2007 he created The Arts Fuse, an online magazine dedicated to covering arts and culture in Boston and throughout New England.