Welcome to Oregon Arts Watch: The Early Days

Tsagaglalal (She Who Watches) in the Columbia River Gorge Credit: Angie Moore

This is the beginning of Oregon Arts Watch.

We couldn’t be happier to be here,  doing what we love to do best — trying to make sense of the cultural life here, describing it in the best way we can and then conveying what we’ve found to you, for your consideration. We are journalists, in the broad sense, and we are about to start committing our acts of journalism here, and as we do, we’ll have you in mind.

Oregon Arts Watch is going to evolve quickly. For example, this is a temporary design — another one is on the way. But we wanted to start working so that we had some experience to inform the new design. We’re going to start out more “text heavy” than we hope to be in the near future. We’re going to focus on visual arts, theater, dance and art music, even though ultimately we’re just as interested in popular music, literary arts, comic books, movies, video games and design of all sorts.

A lot of people have worked hard to make Oregon Arts Watch possible — which is why our Acknowledgments page is so long. If things work out, our contributors list will grow rapidly.  That only makes sense:  The number of artists and the number of institutions in the state has grown rapidly, too.  It’s going to take a lot of journalists to keep track of them all and take a stab at describing what they are up to. Why is this so important? We take a stab at that one on our About page.

We’re going to need your help: Your thoughts; your thoughts on our thoughts; your support; your guidance; your participation, in short. In 2012 we’re even going to ask for your financial support, ask that you become a subscriber to Oregon Arts Watch (for a limited time, you can sign up free right here). If enough of you take that leap, we’ll be able to continue this experiment in cultural journalism and extend it. This year, we want to give you a glimpse of what a fully funded Oregon Arts Watch might look like.

For now, you’ll be able to find our most recent journalism of whatever sort on the home page. Click on the tabs to find more specialized stories, though I warn you, our categories are pretty porous. We’ve even got a couple of blogs to keep you busy. Mine is called Flight Risk. Lisa Radon’s is RADONLEVELS. We’re going to be adding new ones, if things work out the way we hope.

Every month or so, we’re going to give you a progress report on Oregon Arts Watch. All the news won’t be good news. (We make far too many mistakes for that!)  But we want you to know how things are going.

Anything else? No — that’s more than enough for now. We’re going to be digging into things this weekend. See you out there, and then, back here.

3 Responses.

  1. Ross McKeen (@MightyToyCannon) says:

    Congratulations on the launch of Oregon Arts Watch. I’ll be watching the watchers and wishing you well. Barry’s blog name, FLIGHT RISK, reminds me of a poem by Jack Gilbert titled, “Failing and Falling”. Though the poem refers to a dissolved marriage, the opening line is apt for any venture, really: “Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.”

    Best of luck as you take flight.

    http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16872

    • Barry Johnson says:

      Thank you, Ross, and thanks for the poem. Failing like Icarus would be a very great honor indeed!

  2. eva says:

    So happy to see this! Congratulations!

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