Restarting an arts engine in Louisville at Humana Festival

March 29, 2013
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Greetings from Louisville.

Just about every year since signing on with IBJ, I’ve made a pilgrimage around this time of year to the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville. See stories here,  here, and here

This remarkable fest gives full productions to untested work each year, launching such shows as “Crimes of the Heart,” “Dinner with Friends” and the recent off-Broadway hit “Becky Shaw” (which I’m still waiting for some theater company in Indy to stage—come on, folks).

This year, though, things are a little different on the far side of the Ohio River. Instead of just visiting, watching and reviewing at the Humana Festival, I’m doing a bit more.

I’ve been invited by the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism to be a part of Engine31, a pop-up newsroom created exclusively (and briefly) to focus on the fest. With arts coverage around the country shrinking in favor of puffery and gossip, figuring out not just what to cover but how to cover it becomes increasingly important.  

Here’s what the Annenberg folks say about the project:

“As coverage of the arts in the traditional press has declined, we at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism have been working on new and different ways of covering the arts. In the spring of 2011 we created Engine28 in Los Angeles…In the space of six days a team of about 40 journalists produced more than 100 stories, and the website attracted thousands of visitors...Engine31/Humana is our first test outside of Los Angeles.”

I don’t expect to get much sleep this weekend. I do expect to challenge myself, learn from my fellow journalists, and pick up ideas that will help improve my arts coverage at IBJ.

And see a half dozen plays, of course.

Visit www.engine31.org if you want to see what happens. I’ll be posting reports here as well.

Oh, and don’t forget to chime in Monday on the You-Review-It Monday blog to fill me in on what I missed in Indy this weekend.

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  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

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  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

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