What's driving engine28.com?

June 15, 2011
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Greetings from Los Angeles.

In case you didn't know it, L.A. is a theater town. At least that's what playwright Beth Henley ("Crimes of the Heart"), director Sheldon Epps (Broadway's "Baby It's You), and actor/director/writer Tim Robbins (yea, him), told us yesterday.

They were speaking at an event sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, which you can see covered here at engine28.com.

What's engine28.com?

It's what happens when 21 theater journalists from around the country (including me) are told by a team of top arts editors, "Let's meet in L.A. on Sunday, take over a former firehouse on Monday, explore and create new ways to cover theater on Tuesday, and launch a new, interactive website on Wednesday."

Engine28.com is what happens when a group of sleep-deprived writers are given the opportunity to focus morning, afternoon, evening and late night on theater and ways to cover it.

It's all part of the NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater.

If you are interested in theater and/or journalism, please explore engine28.com and tell me what you like, don't like, and think can apply to covering the arts in Indiana and beyond.

While you do that, I've got to run over to my temporary office near the fire pole. We've got a morning editor meeting, visits to work and panels at the Radar L.A. theater festival, some stories and videos to file, and a performance of "The Method Gun" to attend at the Kirk Douglas Theater.

Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here.

Your thoughts? 

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  • El Portal Theatre this Saturday
    I like this idea...and as an Indy native living in SoCal, I can tell you there is going to be a great dance show this Saturday (4pm & 8pm) at the historical El Portal Theatre in north Hollywood. I, myself, will be performing along with many other dancers and think you guys should come check it out! It is put together by the company LA Unbound...and I'm officially inviting engine28.com to attend! :) (check out www.launbound.com for details)
  • Love the idea, but not the design
    Too boxy and too busy sums up my feelings about the site design. Quite honestly paper.li and some of the other automatic aggregator tools crank out something more visually appealing. If it's about the arts, it should reflect an artistic sensibility in the layout.

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

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