As we enter that “hiding from the sun” phase of life here on the Sonoran Desert, it seems like a good time to review what we’re doing and how things are going for Sonoran Arts Network.
SAN is a website devoted to arts journalism, not art criticism. Arts journalism is informative writing about the arts. In SAN’s case, this means features for reporting on arts organizations, interviews with artists, and reviews of current exhibits. The central idea is to pass on information to you about what is going on in the arts in our bioregion.
With recent budget cut-backs at every level in Arizona, it is even more important to keep arts news in the news. The November 2013 issue of Art in America has an article titled “Arts Writing: The New Models.” Author Rebecca Dimling Cochran, quotes Dennis Scholl of the Knight Foundation (Miami) who said, “…in order for a community to feel the benefit of the arts, you have to have a quality flow of news and information, or the power of the arts to impact people’s lives is significantly diminished.”
Consequently, I view Sonoran Arts Network as a kind of public service devoted to keeping that “flow of news and information” about the arts coming to you. Sonoran Arts Network is attempting to provide a wider, deeper coverage of the arts than we see in any other media in our region.
I realize that many of you are using the reviews and interviews to promote yourself as artists. That’s good news. But turn about is fair play. Sonoran Arts Network needs help, too. Think of how you can support this effort by becoming an arts journalist yourself. I have a lot of writing and editing experience (former newspaper reporter and editor), and I can help make your words read well. Also making a financial contribution is very welcomed....very welcomed.
A Few Changes:
1. Reviews: There’s way too much going on for one person (me) to review everything. I need people willing to step up and to write reviews of art exhibits, reviews of books written by local authors, reviews of theater and dance performances, reviews of music performances, reviews of locally-produced film, etc. These are informational reviews, not criticism, not interpretation, not telling people what to think. The idea in an informational review is to give readers the motivation to see/read/listen to the arts in question and then interpret and evaluate it themselves.
2. Well…Google Adsense isn’t working out all that well. Respondents to the December 2014 survey chose targeted ads as the best way to raise operating funds for Sonoran Arts Network. So far, the ads have brought in $9.70 in a four-month period. So….we need a new plan on how to make SAN financially sustainable.
I love getting your feedback so feel free to post a comment here.
C.J. Shane is the publisher and editor of Sonoran Arts Network. She is an artist and writer. Visit her website at www.cjshane.com to learn more about her.