Monday, September 11, 2006

Go and talk!

Tomorrow is the roundtable at the Richmond Times Dispatch and I encourage anyone who is reading this right now to attend. As you probably know, I write for Style. So by all rights I should just tell you all to kick the T-D to the curb and just read Style, which has superior arts columnists and is simply more fun to read. But the truth is Style -- being an independent weekly -- doesn't have the immediacy, the resources, or the reach the T-D has and it never will.

One of the main reasons I got into the critic thing was because I support the arts, I love theater and I admire the many talented people who devote their lives to entertaining and challenging people through the arts. Those people -- you people -- deserve first rate arts coverage and I think the only way you are going to get it is to let the T-D know how important you think it is. Richmond has great potential -- but it's had great potential for years and yet it still plays second fiddle to the other burgeoning mid-sized cities across the country, your Raleighs and Cincinnatis and even your Louisville/Lexingtons.

The arts are the key to unlocking Richmond's potential. But they have got to get the support from the press to make it happen. The roundtable may be the best way to lobby for that support. Here's the vitals on the roundtable:

Tuesday, September 12th from 7 – 8:30 pm.
The Roundtable will be held at the Times-Dispatch downtown offices, 300 East Franklin Street in Richmond.
Parking is available in the RTD garage.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Dave for posting this! I hope they have so many people at this meeting that it is standing room only and out the door! I don't know if any of you have tried to find an event on the "new" RTD event site...but it is like finding a needle in a haystack! And have you ever gone on line to find a review....good luck! Yet they claim to be "art" friendly. Our review for "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change...was in the obit section! I am sure soooo many people saw it...NOT!!!
I can't be at the meeting because of a rehearsal...but I have many people going in my place.

Kick ass people!

Scott Wichmann said...

I won't be able to attend because of 'dress' rehearsal, but I encourage folks to show up. The RTD is shooting the city in the foot by cutting off access to the art community in Richmond. It really sucks because the city needs a newspaper that really has it's finger on the pulse of the city in all areas of endeavor-- Politics, sports, civic life, community outreach, and the arts!! Information & acces-- That's what makes a community!! I urge everyone to go to the meeting & to Stand up and be counted!! ....Shouldn't we present ourselves at the meeting with a huge musical number?? (Like the muppets do??) Great blog Dave!! Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

I attended the "discussion" last night. It was not a roundtable; it looked more like a firing squad, with members of the RTD staff sitting behind a table at the front of the room, stone-faced and seemingly unfriendly. Behind them, images of what they consider to be their Arts coverage scrolled on a large screen: dozens of front pages that featured Elliott Yamin, national recording stars, some artists, even an article on Yamin's mother. It's a shame they couldn't have shown some of their cover stories on local theatre, the Symphony, the Ballet... Oh that's right, THEY DON'T HAVE ANY! Some questions were addressed to -- and deflected by -- the staff. But they listened to suggestions, seemed open to ideas about improving the website, and asserted that coverage of the Arts IN PRINT WOULD NOT BE DIMINISHED. Good news! Most speakers were passionate & eloquent (myself excluded... I choked), and resisted the urge to curse & throw things. Some distressing comments came from the staff: 1) they do not have an Art critic because they found that's not what "people" want to read; 2) they don't "do" press releases; 3) national stories sell papers. They also said, if there are stories worthy of features, they will do feature stories! I don't know who determines a story's worth, but we certainly have stories to tell! We've got a MILLION of 'em!!

Frank Creasy said...

I have to agree with Joe's comments about the RTD roundtable, and I also found it especially distressing that the editor, Glenn Proctor, quickly dismissed any criticism that came before "his watch" His "watch" began nine months ago, we were reminded time and again...apparently, in nine months he has birthed a newer, less friendly, less community-focused RTD ("but Mr. Proctor, you don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no paper!") Working by night in the theatre and by day in a corporate environment, I can see why someone like Mr. Proctor would hide behind the "If it sucked before, don't blame me!" defense. But it points out even more plainly how the RTD doesn't GET IT...their longtime, loyal readers are finding less and less reason to pick up their rain-soaked newspapers from the driveway because there is less and less focus on what is really the heart and soul of Richmond, and the arts community is a part of that heart they seem ready to excise at any time now. Look forward to more shots of Ashlee Simpson coming soon in the "Arts" section!