Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tucson: AZ Star response - In defense of local theatre

-----Original Message-----
From: Kathy Allen [mailto:allkat@azstarnet.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 24, 2006 11:27 AM
Subject: In defense of local theatre

Bill: FYI - A few people forwarded Art Almquist's editorial to me. I thought
I would forward my response to him to you.


Art: Someone out there in the arts community just sent me a copy of your
guest editorial - don't know if it will run, but I wanted to respond anyway.

I'm not sure if you know that I am the arts editor, in charge of Friday
Accent, which is devoted to arts in Tucson.

With arts now in Accent, we have much more space to do theater, dance, opera
and the other fine arts justice.

Last Friday, for instance, we had an in-depth piece on Jitney; news stories
on the new director of the opera and the gallery the Center for Creative
photography is opening at the Phoenix Museum; a story on a poetry reading at
the UA; preview of Acoustic Africa; preview of the Arizona Friends of
Chamber concert; short stories on the show at Conrad Wilde, with a refer to
an on-line audio slide show; a short story on the Cowboy Artists of America
show in Phoenix; quickies on symphonic concerts coming up, three different
short pieces geared specifically for kids; and a story on acoustic music

Now, I worked for Caliente for years. We never had as much arts coverage in
one Caliente.

Also, I still write about theater. If I'm too busy to preview, I make sure
someone else writes a story for my section. I review most professional shows
in town, and will continue to do so. I can't think of any professional
production this season thus far that has not had a preview, even if just a
short one.

The new Caliente does have theater and other arts listings - those are
pulled from our on-line listings, and are put on-line by the organizations.
If they aren't on-line, they don't make it to the paper. I don't think
Carrie was aware of that; hence, On the Verge didn't make it into a couple
of listings. When she called me, I made sure it was slipped in for the last

We have the arts coverage in the Friday Accent, but clearly we need to do a
better job of telling people where to find it. We're doing ads, we'll do
refers, and I'll nag and nag to make sure that happens.

As you know, arts coverage is very, very important to me, and I'll fight to
get it. Fortunately, the editors and publisher feel the same way, so
fighting hasn't been necessary.

I know there are frustrations out there because of the changes in Caliente -
but I think what we've got now is far more extensive than what we've ever

Give the Friday Accent a chance. And continue to look throughout the week
for reviews and other arts coverage. I think you'll find we have broader and
deeper arts news in this format.

Let me know if you have questions ...

Take care.

Kathy Allen
AZ Daily Star

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