10th anniversary USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program announces 2011 Fellows and Engine29.org “pop-up” lab

The USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program celebrates its 10th anniversary with the creation of Engine29, a “pop-up” arts journalism lab, and the return of 28 of the Fellowship program’s alumni and three Senior Fellows. With support from The Getty Foundation, this special Alumni Fellowship will be held in Los Angeles from Nov. 4 to 13.

The Fellows will work collaboratively on six experimental arts journalism projects, called Engine29, that were competitively chosen in response to a call for proposals among the 64 Fellowship alumni. The projects focus on art criticism, audience engagement, investigative cultural reporting, innovative technology and new forms of storytelling.

The Fellowship takes place at a particularly vibrant and active time in L.A.’s arts calendar; Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980 is a region-wide collaborative arts initiative organized by the Getty that features exhibitions and shows at more than 60 museums and arts venues across Southern California and seeks to tell the story of a seminal period in the region’s cultural life.

Past and present students from USC Annenberg's M.A. in Specialized Journalism (the Arts) program will periodically work alongside the Alumni Fellows in the Engine29 lab, an actual space that will “pop-up” and be staffed with a web help desk and editors. The Engine29 Projects are open source and will be available online at Engine29.org.

The Alumni Fellows for 2011 are:

  • Joshua Samuel Brown – Author and photographer, Lonely Planet/BBC
  • Laura Emerick – Arts Editor, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Sara Fishko – Producer and host of culture series, “Fishko Files,” WNYC radio
  • Celeste Headlee – Co-host of “The Takeaway” for WNYC and PRI
  • Rick Holter – Supervising Senior Editor, NPR's weekend “All Things Considered
  • Jennifer Hsu – Video journalist and producer, WNYC’s online arts portal
  • Carol Kino Regular freelance contributor, The New York Times and Art Economist
  • Kim Levin – Independent art critic and curator; author, Beyond Modernism
  • Edward Lifson – Former bureau chief, reporter for NPR; USC architecture professor
  • Alison MacAdam – Senior Editor, NPR's “All Things Considered”
  • Doug MacCash – Art Critic, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans
  • Peggy McGlone – Arts industry reporter, The Star-Ledger and NJ.com
  • Carolina A. Miranda Regular contributor, NY Public Radio; freelance for Time, ARTnews
  • Laszlo Molnar Music and Drama Editor TV, Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Nekesa Mumbi Moody – Music Editor, The Associated Press
  • olufunke moses Music and arts regular freelance writer, Creative Loafing
  • Kevin Nance – Arts freelance writer and contributing editor, Poets & Writers
  • Michael Norman Online Arts and Entertainment Editor, Cleveland Plain Dealer
  • Andrew Patner Critic-at-Large, WFMT; classical music critic, Chicago Sun-Times
  • Ryan Pearson – TV producer and entertainment reporter, The Associated Press
  • Gillian Rennie – Editor of Cue, South Africa’s daily for National Arts Festival
  • Randall Roberts – Pop music critic, Los Angeles Times
  • Michele Siegel – Producer, public radio's “Studio 360,” WNYC and PRI
  • Ariel Swartley – Freelance culture writer, Los Angeles, Los Angeles TimesThe New York Times
  • Neda Ulaby – Art, entertainment and cultural trend reporter, NPR Arts Desk
  • Alissa Walker – Freelance design and architecture writer, GOOD, Fast Company
  • Matthew Westwood – Arts correspondent, The Australian
  • Douglas Wolk – Pop music and comic books freelance writer, TIME, The New York Times

Engine29 and this Alumni Fellowship are about asking ‘What should arts journalism look like in the 21st Century?’” says Sasha Anawalt, founder and director of the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program. “The alumni who are international in scope have put together six different projects that will test possibilities in the truest sense. What works, what doesn’t for arts criticism, for any communication about or reporting on the arts – they aim to find out, and they will do this in teams, working collaboratively on new models, for the greater good of arts and culture everywhere. ”

Douglas McLennan, founder and editor of Artsjournal.com, is the chief architect for Engine29. He has been part of the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program faculty since 2005. With Anawalt, McLennan will run and operate Engine29, the pop-up lab, at the Los Angeles Athletic Club downtown and host Engine29.org.

“We’re in an interesting time, when traditional arts journalism is challenged,” says McLennan. “The way culture is being communicated is fundamentally changing. The relationships between artists, arts organizations and audiences are being transformed. So where does journalism about the arts fit in these relationships? That’s the fundamental question behind Engine29."

The six Engine29 Projects on Engine29.org are:

The Arts Journalism Game – Will investigate the idea of building an arts journalism delivery (and funding) system based on electronic gaming and social-media gaming technology.

Arts Journalism Next – Will go outside of journalism and talk to innovators and artists -- inside and outside of the Pacific Standard Time period, 1945-1980 – who are telling stories and conveying information in new ways in disciplines that aren't particularly close to arts journalism.

The Engine29 Garage – Will examine how the Cleveland Plain Dealer is currently reinventing itself through an online project with the goal of engaging audiences in new ways.

The L.A. Cultural Context Machine – Will construct an L.A. cultural timeline that will attempt to put Southern California events and artists in a critical context, beginning in 1945.

Moving Experience: Taking Arts Journalism to the Streets – Starts with L.A. where it lives – transportation – and suggests a different context in which to consider its arts and culture.

Thawing the Critical Response – Will explore many facets of reacting and responding to art and expressing those reactions. The project will use L.A. cultural institutions as test subjects for their experiments in critical response.

Joining the Alumni Fellows for the final weekend of the ten-day program are Senior Fellows:

  • Kurt Andersen – Novelist, essayist, Vanity Fair, New York, N.Y. Times; radio host “Studio 360”
  • John Rockwell – Former music and dance critic and editor for The New York Times
  • Jeff Weinstein – Culture, food and gay issues essayist on “Out There,” ArtsJournal.com

LA  INC, the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, is also helping to sponsor the 10th Anniversary USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program as part of its ongoing efforts to promote cultural tourism by building visitor awareness, appreciation and demand for L.A. as one of the world’s premier cultural centers.

For more information about the Fellowship, visit http://annenberg.usc.edu/getty.

The Getty Foundation fulfills the philanthropic mission of the Getty Trust by supporting individuals and institutions committed to advancing the understanding and preservation of the visual arts locally and throughout the world. Through strategic grants and programs, the Foundation strengthens art history as a global discipline, promotes the interdisciplinary practice of conservation, increases access to museum and archival collections, and develops current and future leaders in the visual arts. The Foundation carries out its work in collaboration with the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, and the Getty Conservation Institute to ensure that the Getty programs achieve maximum impact. Additional information is available at www.getty.edu/foundation.