Monday, July 17, 2006

Irrelevancy... Even in The Non-Profit World?

As read Playgoer's posts lately, I try to be positive about the future of theatre and it's reliance on the non-profit model. But my heart kind of sank when I read this in the Globe this weekend:

WBUR is Phasing Out Arts Criticism

Boston University-based WBUR-FM (90.9) is changing the way it covers arts and culture. The public radio station is eliminating its online arts magazine, Arts Scene , and with it the position held by editor and arts critic Bill Marx...

Read the ugly details in the article.

If anyplace should be expanding arts coverage one would think it would be Public Radio. WBUR's online Arts section has been rocketing forward in the last few months with a Blog and also podcasts. Bill Marx seems to have been forward thinking in ways to deliver arts coverage, without sacrificing voice or style. His articles on the state of Boston's Arts and Culture initiatives as compared to the city arts departments of Philadelphia and Toronto, are valuable reads as well.

Maybe Mr. Marx will find backers, (non-profit,) who will support the creation of a new, online arts coverage magazine, one that goes in the direction of his expanding vision he had for the WBUR Arts page.

All of this makes really clear that the Net needs to be taking up the slack where the major publications, (Non-profit or not,) fall off. Non-profit seems to be succumbing to bottom-line thinking.

Update: Boston Phoenix has a story also, see it here.

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