UNC Charlotte Hosts Arts Journalism Conference

November 26, 2012

The Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance will present a full-day conference on Saturday, January 12 at UNC Charlotte Center City.  The conference, “Covering the Arts,” will provide a series of workshops that offer training in skills such as arts feature story writing, reviewing the arts, creating videos for the web, writing for radio, and reporting the arts across all media, as well as sessions that address issues of media ethics, successful freelancing and trends in the arts. Registration is available at http://cajaconference.wordpress.com and a registration fee of $35, $15 for students, includes lunch.

Workshop leaders include Dr. August Grant, of the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications; Greg Collard, of WFAE radio; Jeremy Markovich, of WCNC-TV; Mark Gustafson, of Charlotte Viewpoint; and Lawrence Toppman, Mike Weinstein, and Rick Thames, of the Charlotte Observer. College of Arts + Architecture Dean Ken Lambla, Director of Communications Meg Whalen, and Director of Galleries Crista Cammaroto will join a panel discussing "Trends in the Arts." For a full list of conference sessions and speakers, please visit http://cajaconference.wordpress.com.

“Covering the Arts” is the first in a series of educational programs to be sponsored by the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance (CAJA) in the coming year. UNC Charlotte will offer a curriculum course in arts journalism, underwritten by CAJA, in the Spring 2013 semester. Public workshops on arts criticism are planned for the spring and summer.

The Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance is the result of a challenge issued by the John S. and James L Knight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts to create a new model for arts journalism. One of three winning projects chosen from 233 applications from across the country, CAJA received a grant of $100,000 from the Knight Foundation and the NEA.  

The CAJA model aims to broaden awareness of the region's cultural landscape and to deepen community discussions about the arts by focusing on three key goals:

1.  Increasing the quantity of arts reporting in the Charlotte area
2.  Improving the quality of local arts reporting
3.  Expanding access to great arts journalism

CAJA is a collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and five major media players: the daily newspaper the Charlotte Observer; commercial station WCNC-TV; public radio station WFAE; African-American interest website Qcitymetro.com; and online civic and cultural magazine Charlotte Viewpoint. By training and commissioning arts journalists to produce compelling stories to be shared among the partners, the project will increase the quantity of local arts journalism and highlight the city's cultural diversity.