A selective guide to arts commentaries in print and websites elsewhere.
Introduction to Broad Street Review, plus biographies and contact points for our editors and contributors.
See a list of coming appearances by BSR's writers.
A selective guide to arts commentaries in print and websites elsewhere.
Thinking Dance: Part publication, part scholarly institute, Thinking Dance blends journalism with weekend intensives and open symposiums hosted by top thinkers in dance writing. This site’s features, reviews, editorials and think pieces attempt to cover all aspects of dance performance and dance making in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Dance: Since 2005, this online resource has provided a comprehensive guide and listing of performances, workshops, lectures and dance classes for all ages happening in and around Philadelphia. The site’s online magazine, “Dance Journal,” offers features, reviews and editorials. (Jim Rutter.)
Music to My Ears: Classical music and opera lovers looking for a deeper theoretical understanding of their genres will find much to appreciate in Dan Coren’s new website. Here, the former Penn musicologist and long-time BSR contributor posts straightforward articles to provide general music lovers with a greater understanding of the musical terms and concepts that will enhance emotional resonance and deepen enjoyment. (Jim Rutter.)
The Rest Is Noise: Since April, 2004, the New Yorker’s music critic (and best-selling author) Alex Ross has used his blog as both an online archive of his published writings, daily journal and notes on works-in-progress. Classical music lovers will find a trove of Ross’s thoughts and activities, which range from his current playlists to analysis of recordings and videos to brief three-line commentaries, reprints of his 15 years of New Yorker writings and unpublished essays on the state of classical music both here and abroad. (Jim Rutter.)
Philly Space Finder: Looking for a Philadelphia space to host your next rehearsal, performance, workshop or gallery event? This Philadelphia Cultural Alliance website enables anyone with a usable venue to create a free listing and lets artists and companies peruse the directory to find the location best suited to their needs. (Jim Rutter)
3 Quarks Daily: In The Two Cultures, C.P. Snow famously argued that an insurmountable rift had developed between the arts and sciences. This website attempts to bridge the divide with original articles on Mondays as well as a daily collating of pieces from around the web that focus on “science, design, literature, current affairs, art,” and whatever else its editors find fascinating. (Jim Rutter)
The Art Newspaper: Since 1983, this boutique British publication has catered to the art world professional, covering gallery openings, new trends and artists, high-profile sales and legal and political issues surrounding the production and distribution of artworks. Its online edition provides the print content while also offering web-only features.
Artist Share: The cost of producing a record has become prohibitive for many young or unknown artists. Artist Share helps them defray costs by enabling existing fans to contribute to an album’s production. In return, the performers can use the site to connect with their followers by posting session videos, copies of scores or direct messages. (Jim Rutter)
Live Arts and Fringe Festival Blog. Philadelphia’s annual Live Arts and Fringe Festivals take place each September, but the organization’s tech-savvy staff has maintained its online presence on a year-round basis. On the Festival’s daily-updated blog site, you can find a full schedule of all the 200-plus Fringe and Live Arts events, as well as interviews with the artists and performers, videos of the works-in-progress, and the staff’s “weekend picks” for the performing arts during the entire calendar year.
ARTicles: Want to read about the issues that drive art insiders to vent? Then check out ARTicles, the website of the National Arts Journalism Program. Daily posts from prominent arts journalists, such as music critic Robert Christgau, ballet reviewer John Rockwell and commentator Alicia Anstead (among others) provide a unique perspective on the concerns facing art institutions and the journalists trying to cover their work. (Jim Rutter)
The Future of Classical Music: Amid widespread eulogies for Classical music, composer and music educator Greg Sandow perceives a potential renaissance. On his regularly updated Artsjournal site, Sandow has posted chapters of his forthcoming book, Rebirth: The Future of Classical Music, a work in progress. On his accompanying blog, Sandow also suggests marketing strategies to lure new audiences in the face of changing demographics (for instance: calling new works “sound art”) and innovations in performance. (Jim Rutter)
The Philadelphia Junto: Frequent BSR contributor Richard Carreño covers the fine arts in Philadelphia and beyond at his blog Junto. Carreño’s regularly updated site blends personal observations and anecdotes with art history as well as critical appraisals of the offerings at the Art Museum, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and Washington-area galleries, among others. (Jim Rutter)
ArtWorks: On his regularly updated blog, former Broadway producer Rocco Landesman— President Obama’s new head of the National Endowment for the Arts— posts policy reports, commentary on his visits to other cultural communities (including Philadelphia) and recommendations for how the arts in America can survive and grow. (Jim Rutter)
Keeping abreast of reviews: The website Metacritic provides statistical averages of reviews for new movies, music and books. Theatergoers can find similar analysis about the latest Broadway openings at Stagegrade (a cleaner, more user-friendly upgrade of the earlier Critic-O-Meter,). As each new Broadway or Off-Broadway show opens, Stagegrade collects the commentary of critics across the nation and then calculates a median grade for each production. The newly designed site even enables users to search for the opinions of their favorite reviewers, including scores derived from articles by the Inquirer’s Howard Shapiro and BSR’s Toby Zinman. (Jim Rutter)
Open Culture. Want to know where you can take college level economics at no cost, or find six different websites where you can learn Arabic for free? How about a collection of e-books or “smart” movies that you can download to your computer without paying a dime? Openculture.com bills itself as the “best free educational and cultural material on the web.” Updated daily with blog entries that detail everything from the debate about open source vs. digital copyrights and “cultural tweets of the week” to short science entries. including one on Google Earth’s new historical function, which lets users see what their favorite spots on a map looked like through history. (Jim Rutter)
Critical Mass. Collectively, American publishing houses churn out over 65,000 new titles each year. If you’re stuck for a new read and interested in what the members of the National Book Critics Circle consider worthy of their valuable reading time, you might want to peruse the daily updates at Critical Mass. Its posts include features about publishing and literary culture as well as troves of reviews; note especially “30 Books in 30 Days,” a month-long dissection of the finalists for their upcoming awards. (Jim Rutter)
PhillyFunGuide. This website sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance probably offers the region’s best-organized guide to local cultural offerings. Especially noteworthy is its weekly listing of half-price ticket offerings. Downside: The site lacks critical evaluations (as you might expect of an organization that’s leery about passing judgment on its own members), but it does occasionally provide links to reviews published elsewhere. (Jim Rutter)
Classical Music: Philadelphia Metropolitan Area Organizations (Pa. and N.J.) This comprehensive website offers links and descriptions of dozens of music organizations, broadcasters and related sources. It’s the brainchild of Richard Greene, who originally launched it as a guide to black classical musicians and subsequently expanded its reach.
the art blog. This continuing conversation about visual arts in Philadelphia between Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof is personal, passionate and fun, and covers plenty of ground as well. Updated daily, or close to it.
Inliquid. This not-for-profit organization showcases an extensive collection of work by local, national and international artists. It’s also an excellent source for what’s happening weekly in the Philadelphia visual arts world.
ArtsJournal. A comprehensive and well-organized daily Internet digest of arts and cultural journalism from more than 200 English-language newspapers and magazines and publications. (Stories from sites that charge for access are excluded.) The site, based in San Francisco, also includes a blogging corner where professional critics can argue with amateurs. Editor is Douglas McLennan, formerly an arts columnist and arts reporter with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Seattle Weekly.
Arts and Letters Daily. A good national daily clearinghouse of news, commentary and debate on arts and culture, sponsored by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
signandsight.com. Arts, essays and ideas from German media. In effect it’s a fresh gathering of insights into European eggheads. And the whole site is in English.
Spector’s Art Jaw. In theory, artists prefer to let their work speak for itself. But Art Jaw counter-intuitively invites Philadelphia visual artists, critics, teachers and students to discuss who they are, what they do and how they got where they are today. Operated by Spector, the South Street neighborhood gallery.
Black Composers. An impressive rejoinder to anyone who believes that African-Americans lack interest or facility in classical music. Richard Greene’s site provides an exhaustive guide to black composers of serious music and their recordings, plus a good deal more, with special emphasis on Philadelphia.