MACON, Ga. – Macon Arts Alliance is pleased to announce that Steve Murray has been named critic-in-residence as part of Art Matters, an arts journalism project in collaboration with Mercer’s Center for Collaborative Journalism (CCJ). Murray will begin his tenure as critic-in-residence immediately. His office will be housed at the CCJ in Mercer Village. He will work closely with arts journalism interns, the CCJ’s staff and media partners to ensure the success of this new collaboration.
Art Matters: Engaging the Community through Embedded Arts Journalists is a one-year initiative designed to engage the community through high-quality arts journalism. The $80,000 project is funded by a $40,000 National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant and a matching $40,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. This award was among only four national arts journalism grants funded by the NEA in 2013 and is the first time in seven years that Macon Arts Alliance has been awarded an NEA grant.
The Macon Arts Alliance (MAA), in collaboration with Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism, will embed paid journalism interns in various arts organizations served by Macon Arts Alliance. These journalists will create news articles, blogs, video reports and more for local news outlets, the CCJ’s newsroom, and Macon Arts Alliance’s Ovations365.com and other publications. The program provides for a critic-in-residence at the CCJ and a series of public symposia that will pair different artists and critics to discuss the state of various art forms and criticism.
Murray is an award-winning writer, reporter, critic and playwright with years of experience as both a theater and film critic. He began his career at the weekly newspaper Southline in Atlanta as a staff writer and theater critic. He went on to be a staff writer at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Over his years at the paper, he was an arts writer, a film and television critic, and an adjunct editor for its weekly film section, Movies & More. Since 2009, Murray has worked as a columnist and film critic for ArtsATL.com, one of Atlanta’s leading arts blogs, covering all forms of art in the Atlanta metro area.
“We’re excited to have Steve on board as critic-in-residence. His years of experience in print journalism along with his recent transition to being a professional blogger give him first-hand knowledge of the changing media landscape and how it has affected arts criticism and arts journalism,” said Jonathan Dye, director of communications at Macon Arts Alliance. “He will be able to help our embedded interns identify potential stories, give them guidance on how best to present those stories, and be a strong liaison with the media partners at the CCJ. He’s a great choice for this residency.”
“I am excited to have on board someone with Steve’s talent and experience,” said Tim Regan-Porter, director of the Center for Collaborative Journalism. “Steve understands the art scenes nationally and here in Macon, and he knows first-hand the challenging nature of arts criticism in the evolving media landscape. He will provide valuable insight for students and help this program contribute to the local arts community and to the community at large.”
“This project is a great opportunity for young journalists to learn first-hand and in-depth the hard work that goes into making art. It’s also a chance to create an open and ongoing conversation among artists and the public about the many things we mean by ‘art,’ and why it’s a vital part of all of our lives. I’m hoping that Art Matters will be just the beginning of a long and rich dialogue in our community,” said Murray of the project.
About Macon Arts Alliance
The mission of the Macon Arts Alliance is to foster and support the advancement of arts and culture in Central Georgia. Macon Arts Alliance works to create an environment where arts and culture thrive and Central Georgia is recognized as an unparalleled cultural destination.
About the Center for Collaborative Journalism
The Center for Collaborative Journalism (CCJ) is a unique partnership between Mercer University, The Telegraph and Georgia Public Broadcasting, with generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Peyton Anderson Foundation. The Center’s groundbreaking collaboration has students, faculty and veteran journalists working together in a joint newsroom. Learning in a “teaching hospital” model, students engage the community using the latest digital tools and leave with a strong portfolio of published work.
About Art Matters
Art Matters is an arts journalism partnership of Macon Arts Alliance and Mercer’s Center for Collaborative Journalism that seeks to engage the community through embedded arts journalists. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works. Matching funding provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.