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Feb 5, 2016 7:31 EDT

Keep Arts Journalism Thriving at TheaterJones

iCrowdNewswire - Feb 5, 2016

On Jan. 23, 2016, TheaterJones.com turned seven years old. Since we launched in 2009, our writers and critics have tirelessly chronicled the entire North Texas performing arts scene — theater, dance, classical music and comedy — canvassing a region the size of the state of Connecticut to bring you everything we can: news, reviews, interviews, searchable event listings and more. Collectively, our team sees more than 500 performances a year. We’re proud of the work they contribute, and we’re dedicated to paying them for their knowledgeable, professional-quality contributions.

And we do it for you. The arts lover. The arts maker. The arts goer who has a limited amount of hard-earned money to spend on attending performances in a region — DFW is the fourth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the U.S., and the largest in the south — with a wealth of arts choices. 

No city can aspire to be world-class without performing arts in a wide range of disciplines and styles, reflecting a diverse population. Dallas-Fort Worth’s performing arts scene has exploded, with an impressive array of stylistic and racial diversity in multiple budget levels. It ranges from entrepreneurial, independent and grassroots outfits that are passionate about their art, to established mid-level companies that have shaped the scene over decades, to the large-budget groups that employ hundreds of full-time artists and artisans, administrators and other personnel.

We are devoted to covering as much of it as possible. Why? Because they’re all essential to a dynamic, thriving arts scene — not to mention economic impact, as arts goers eat out and drink before and after shows, and the arts organization use myriad local services from printers to caterers to parking attendants. 

DFW needs to be part of the national performing arts conversation, and that starts at the local level. TheaterJones is the voice of that discussion.

We’re going to get louder!

Look at our 2015 Year in Review. You will not find more thorough and contextual chronicle of the outstanding work done in North Texas last year than what you get from our respected critics in theater, classical music, dance and comedy.

It’s no secret that it takes money to continue covering the scene so expansively, producing thoughtful reviews, timely news, deep-read interviews and compelling feature stories, with a staff of knowledgeable writers and critics. Our goal is to develop even more writers and keep arts journalism alive. We do all this on a dynamic digital platform, which we have built from the ground up, that will become even more awesome as we launch a new site and more products in 2016.

Now is an especially crucial time for arts journalism in North Texas. Since the rapid disintegration of traditional media in the past decade, thoughtful arts journalism has become harder to find. In 2016 it’s getting worse. Arts coverage in large, traditional publications is on life-support, or already gone. Entire publications have closed their doors. Of the remaining media outlets, only TheaterJones can give as much thought to provocative upstart theater companies and individual artists as we do to established theaters with massive budgets. Only TheaterJones covers the whole spectrum of chamber and choral music groups along with the big opera companies and orchestras, or the gamut from shoestring-budget dance groups to larger ballet institutions.

They’re all spokes on the same wheel, and we strive to be the pedal that moves it forward.

Your investment helps ensure that TheaterJones will continue our work, a benefit to all arts lovers, goers and makers; and helps keep arts journalism alive at a time when arts coverage in the corporate media will continue to fall away as the bean counters blame decreasing coverage on low click rates for arts stories.

With your investment, we will launch a growth-oriented strategy for the future:

  1. Developing arts journalists and compensating talented, qualified writers and photographers for their tireless, excellent work.

  2. Web hosting, recording equipment, office space and office equipment, especially as our plans include more video and audio components.

  3. New technological development in the web, mobile and the connected device space.

  4. Aggressive marketing through social media, traditional and digital advertising outlets so that we can reach an even larger audience.

Invest in TheaterJones. Invest in the future of performing arts. Invest in dedicated arts journalism. Invest in your city.

We have lots of perks for givers at various levels, but we will of course appreciate any contribution you can make.

And remember, another way you can help is by advertising on the site, where your arts organization or business will reach a diverse audience of arts loving patrons. To inquire about advertising, contact Bren Rapp, Director of Sales and Marketing, at [email protected]. Our advertising options will also increase this year as we develop a new site and more products.

And to those who have been advertising: thank you!

An additional note: Because we realize there might be sensitivity with the arts community giving money to a site that covers them, there is an option for you to NOT publicly display your name, or your contribution amount (but not both). We will see both of those, but the public won’t. Please note that contributing to the campaign will not affect if or how your arts organization is covered.

Contact Information:

Mark Lowry

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