National Endowment for the Arts Convenes Second Arts Journalism Institute on Classical Music and Opera
July 21, 2005
Washington, D.C. and New York City - The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University today announced the second NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera. The Institute, which will take place October 16-27 at Columbia University, is part of series of linked institutes that focus on improving arts criticism in classical music, opera, theater and dance.
The programs are designed for journalists who cover the arts for print and broadcast outlets located outside the country's largest media markets, where professional development opportunities are limited. Institutes for dance critics are being hosted by the American Dance Festival at Duke University and for theater critics at the University of Southern California. The NEA is providing $1 million for the first two years of the program. Most of the participants' expenses will be covered including travel, room, board, materials, instruction, and admittance to performances.
"The vitality of the arts depends more than most people think on lively and informed criticism, especially local reviews and coverage from their own communities. Outside our major cities, journalists who cover the arts often are overextended with multiple beats and assignments that allow few opportunities to concentrate on various artistic disciplines," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "Columbia has created an exemplary program of professional development for arts journalists."
“Last year's institute succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. Many of the participants described the program as the most important professional development experience of their lives. We're thrilled that another group of journalists can benefit from this learning opportunity,” said Andras Szanto, who will direct the institute at Columbia, in collaboration with Artistic Advisor Joseph Horowitz and Institute Producer Anya Grundmann.
Professional Development through Study and Hands-on Training
The NEA Arts Journalism Institutes are helping to establish the importance of arts journalism through lectures and seminars with leaders in higher education, the arts, and journalism. Participants acquire basic working knowledge of the relevant art form through pre-institute reading lists; introductory lectures covering basic vocabulary, historical roots, and contemporary trends; and by attending performances.
The attendees work with senior journalists and faculty members to improve their viewing, analytical, and writing skills. In addition, participants attend performances that cover a wide variety of genres and styles, as well as rehearsals and behind-the-scenes meetings with artists and administrators of New York's leading classical music presenting organizations.
Finally, the journalists develop a firsthand understanding of artistic creation through a physical learning component, such as a basic lesson on a musical instrument, memorization of a monologue, or a lesson in physical movement. Last year's Institute included a voice coaching session at the MET Opera.
The October 16-27 Institute at Columbia University
At Columbia University, the next NEA Arts Journalism Institute will take place October 16-27. Applications are due August 16, 2005. Information and details are available at www.jrn.columbia.edu/events/nea/ or by contacting Kathy Brow at 212.854.2717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participants will take part in morning classroom sessions on the history, concepts and current practices in classical music and opera, as well as classical music journalism. The curriculum for the institute includes hands-on sessions conducted by experts on classical music reviewing and the basics of musical performance. Invited faculty and speakers include, in addition to the Institute organizers, classical music critics Justin Davidson, Jeremy Eichler, Anne Midgette, James Oestreich, John Rockwell, Alex Ross, and Terry Teachout; and music professor Michael Beckerman, Walter Frisch, Karen Hanson and Elaine Sisman.
Afternoon sessions will bring participants into contact with leading practitioners in the field - performing artists, composers, arts managers and others. The Institute participants will have the opportunity to meet members of the senior creative and administrative staff of the American Symphony Orchestra League, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, Miller Theatre, New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, and other leading institutions.
Evenings will include visits to performances at New York's main classical music and opera presenting venues. This year's group will attend Verdi's Falstaff at the Metropolitan Opera and concerts featuring the violinist Midori at Avery Fisher Hall and the Cleveland Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, among other performances.
"We are grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for giving the Columbia Journalism School the opportunity to deepen its service to the Profession," said Nicholas Lemann, Dean of the Columbia School of Journalism. "The program the NEA's grant makes possible will provide journalists from all over the country with a wonderful means of learning more about classical music and opera, and over time it should have a demonstrable positive effect on American journalism in that area."
For more information about the NEA Arts Journalism Institutes or the National Endowment for the Arts, contact the NEA Office of Communications at 202-682-5570.
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