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This November and December, we’re taking you behind the scenes at BSR.
Our Friends and subscribers got all the details early, and now we’re spreading the word to everyone. The close of the year is an important time in the nonprofit world, and BSR is no different. But we don’t just want to ask for your support. We want to step up and make sure you understand our work, especially because digital and ideological fractures are eroding trust in media institutions. Many journalists now face increasing skepticism at best, and outright hostility at worst—and it’s spreading across the political spectrum.
That’s why we’re taking you behind the scenes. We want to make our work as transparent as possible to our readers and supporters. Plus, it’s interesting stuff! If you love Philly arts and you subscribe to BSR, you’ll probably enjoy learning how our stories come to be.
Webinars for writers, artists, and our supporters
We’re inviting you into our process with our first-ever webinars: Intro to Review-writing: A Webinar with the Editors at BSR (on Wednesday, November 29) and HELP US HELP YOU: A PR Webinar for Artists with the Editors at BSR (Wednesday, December 13).
Intro to Review-Writing is geared toward aspiring and emerging writers who want to learn the basics of writing arts reviews (anyone who wants insight into the critic’s process is welcome to sit in). We’ll explain what a good review really accomplishes, offer tips on writing and the editorial process, share how reviewers get access to arts institutions, and more. This interactive session will include a Q&A with three current BSR writers—Gail Obenreder, Cameron Kelsall, and Krista Mar—so bring your questions!
This session is free to BSR writers and Friends of BSR, and pay-what-you-can for everyone else ($20 suggested). It will take place on Zoom, and it will be recorded, so anyone who registers by November 29 can access the class later. RSVP here.
HELP US HELP YOU is geared toward independent artists and grassroots cultural groups who want to learn the basics of publicity (anyone who wants insight on the PR process is welcome to sit in, as well as experienced PR professionals who want to get to know BSR). We’ll offer tips for approaching arts journalists and building a good long-term media relationship, as well as navigating the benefits and challenges of inviting the critics, and more. This interactive session will include a Q&A with the editors and BSR writer Jill Ivey, who is a communications strategist when she’s not writing theater reviews.
This session is free to BSR writers and Friends of BSR, and open to everyone else with a suggested $25 donation (but no one will be turned away for lack of funds). It’ll take place on Zoom, and it will be recorded, so anyone who registers by December 13 can access the class later. RSVP here.
We’ll also be taking you behind the scenes with a special series of editorials, which Friends of BSR (our monthly donors, starting at $5/month) will have early access to with an exclusive newsletter edition. First, we’ll tackle how arts journalists relate to PR professionals and the bigger implications of changes in that industry. Next, we’ll take on the role of arts critique: it’s becoming harder to find—does it still matter? Finally, we’ll share more about the BSR editorial process: how our remote team stays connected, sifts hundreds of coverage requests, and produces coverage that you’d often be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in our region.
Swap recommendations with the BSR community
As if all that isn’t enough, save the date for our Wednesday, December 20, Year-End Recommend Zoom meetup, where our staff and writers will sit down with you to swap our favorite media of the year: what books, movies, shows, or podcasts have been keeping you going? This is a fun annual event that will leave you with a pile of great recommendations to take into 2024. RSVP here.
Whether it’s on our site, in the inbox, or at one of our exciting virtual events, we’re looking forward to seeing you before 2023 is over! If you want free event access and an early look at our behind-the-scenes editorials, join the growing ranks of our Friends today. But we know donating isn’t within everyone’s power, so whether or not you’re able to give financially, we’re happy to close out another year with you as part of our community.
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