Back to School and the Homework Assignment is THE DANCE JOURNALISM OF THE FUTURE
Can you help me with my homework?
For Pete's Sake... Stop Calling it a Blog, Tell Me What You’d Like, and Let’s Design The Dance Journalism of The Future.
By Christine Jowers, Editor/Content Creator of The Dance Enthusiast
|Christine Jowers, Photo by Jordan Matter|
For Pete's Sake...Stop Calling It A Blog
Sometimes I get confused as to what the difference between a blog and a website is. Do you? In my mind, a blog is a personal diary reflecting the opinions, tastes, and expertise of a blogger. There are great blogs out there, with wonderful communicators writing about dance, art, and their opinions. But, The Dance Enthusiast is a website (not a blog). It is an ongoing "original content creating" project- (not a blog). It is a unique portal, (not a blog). It is a dance pioneering stab at making a contribution to the eroding field of dance journalism using the magic of the web--but it is (not my blog).
The Dance Enthusiast is not about my expertise and my opinions, though my supportive ethos and expertise is reflected, it is about YOU- the people who make dance happen-dancers, choreographers, audiences, administrators, novices and experts. It is about the dancing contributors who share their work on the site, readers who write user-reviews, press agents who share event listings, web designers who create systems and codes for the attractive packaging of the site, and the photographers, writers, and videographers, in addition to me, who create content.
As the editor and a content creator forThe Dance Enthusiast my mission is to provide working artists in my community (and eventually in others) with thoughtful engaging coverage and reportage. Dance coverage is needed in many forms: reviews, previews, essays, and interviews. Ways to encounter dance beyond the stage are necessary to its survival as an art form. At a session on Engaging Dance Audiences, part of Dance/USA’s Annual Conference in July, researchers found that dance video on the web was a singular force in getting people to be aware of and engaged in dance apart from the stage. (See our DancEnthusiastic Minutes on Vimeo, a collection of excerpts from short videos we create to publicize the work of dance companies on social media) and (See Jennifer Edwards' article about the necessity of dance commentating and writing here.)
“Arts journalism is essential to the kind of vibrant communities we all want to live in,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president/arts for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. “With the changing media landscape, we have a real opportunity here to find new, engaging and sustainable models.” ( The Knight Foundation is currently working with the National Endowment of The Arts to fund innovative arts journalism projects in cities where the foundation is ensconced, unfortunately New York City is not one of those cities.)
It is my mission to continue to build The Dance Enthusiast into a vibrant, sustainable, engaging and helpful media tool where, at times, I will give you my opinion, but mostly, I will help you share your stories with an audience.
What would you like to see The Dance Enthusiast become? What are your coverage needs? Have you entered events in our listings? Did you know you could add free video and pictures there? Have we written about your company, and has it been helpful, or not? Are you aware of our presence on FB, Twitter, Vimeo, and YouTube? Are you aware that we will be expanding our work to include live “Enthusiastic Events” ( part of the Audience Engagement Platform sponsored by Chris Elam's Misnomer Company) where we can bring new audiences to your rehearsals and or performances acting as another voice to introduce people to your work? Have you read any of our pieces? Are you familiar with our different styles of articles ,i.e. some of our stories our pure reportage- where our staff alone creates the article- and other pieces are more participatory -where you send us information pictures, video, text and we help you structure and present a piece about your company.
Over this summer,I have been writing about the dance of the future , curious about what performance will look like in the time to come. Well, what does the dance journalism of the future look like to you? What is your vision? What are your needs? How can we work together to make it happen? Are you interested in working together to make it happen?
Take a moment to jot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject header “ Dance Journalism’s Future ”) to share your opinions about the site and how The Dance Enthusiast could be more useful to you. It is back to school time at The Dance Enthusiast and my homework assignment is titled " Doing My Part to Sustain and Grow Dance Enthusiasm in The Future." Is that something important to you? Should I bother with the assignment? I think I should, I just cannot do it without your involvement.