The Rapidian Home

Go deeper: Community Media Center prepares unique ArtPrize coverage

The Community Media Center will provide opportunities for public response through multiple platforms: The Rapidian, GRTV and WYCE will be creating unique content geared at building broader conversation.
Juried Short List 2013

Juried Short List 2013 /Copyright © 2014 ArtPrize, All rights reserved. Photo credit: Brian Kelly.

Underwriting support from:

Get involved

Contact Chelsie Wyse, Community Engagement Specialist, at [email protected] for more information on how to get involved.

Juried Short List 2013

Juried Short List 2013 /Copyright © 2014 ArtPrize, All rights reserved. Photo credit: Brian Kelly.

"Can Art Save Cities" discussion 2013

"Can Art Save Cities" discussion 2013 /Copyright © 2014 ArtPrize, All rights reserved. Photo credit: Brian Kelly.

Last month, ArtPrize announced its expanded Critical Discourse series, which includes seven events, talks and panel discussions, including a two-night critique of the pieces making up the Top 20 in the public vote and juried award short lists. The series is one of ArtPrize’s primary educational outreach programs, and represents an attempt to facilitate a broadened public discussion surrounding the annual art competition.

I have participated in some capacity in each of the five years of ArtPrize, as an artist in 2009 (in an exhibition curated by Rapidian managing editor Holly Bechiri) and 2010, and as the exhibition coordinator of the SiTE:LAB venue for the past three years. As a result, I have spent a lot of time talking to the public at ArtPrize. I have heard passionate expressions of opinion on the issue of what should be the measure of a work of art. I have experienced other viewers’ frustration on encountering a project that they “don’t get.” Many of those conversations were sincere attempts by visitors to expand their understanding of art and challenge their preconceptions. But as is the case with much policy debate conducted on social media and the comment section of online publications, the public discussion of ArtPrize too often consists of name-calling and sarcasm.

And so it was a great pleasure to receive a request from ArtPrize that the Community Media Center be the media partner for the Critical Discourse series. While I am not foolish enough to believe that this partnership will instantaneously heighten the quality of public debate regarding ArtPrize across the board, I do think it will offer the community unique opportunities to share ArtPrize experiences and opinions in a thoughtful way.

The CMC’s media support will consist of more than just reporting on the facts of the Critical Discourse events. On the two Fridays preceding the Critical Discourse talks, WYCE’s local events program Catalyst Radio will feature interviews with the speakers, giving listeners a preview of the talks, and an opportunity to prepare their own thoughts and questions concerning their subject matter. We are excited to have guest reporters Darlene Kaczmarczyk, Toni Bal, Mark Holzbach and Julie Christianson Stivers - chosen for their knowledge or interest in the subject matter - to report on each of the talks and panel discussions. Our own Rapidian staff will cover the short list announcement and top 20 critiques.

Most importantly, GRTV video crews and Rapidian reporters will be on hand at the close of each of the Critical Discourse events to capture the reaction of those in attendance. The talks and events – along with public’s reaction – will be rebroadcast on GRTV and featured on The Rapidian, as well as rebroadcast by ArtPrize. In the spirit of ArtPrize, and consistent with the CMC’s mission of giving the community platforms for the expression of opinions, this format seeks to give experts and the public equal opportunities to weigh in on the issues explored at the Critical Discourse events.

It is our hope that this partnership will afford the public ways to engage with ArtPrize on a deeper level, and then share their observations with their fellow residents. We are hoping that those interested in sharing their opinions will consider making an even bigger commitment.

The Rapidian is looking for citizen journalists willing to share their own unique perspective on ArtPrize: to point the public toward an overlooked venue or artwork, to review the extensive musical offerings presented at St. Cecilia Music Center or to share a conversation with an artist about their work. Perhaps someone who has created their own top 20 that might differ substantially from that chosen by the public or the critics, or just had an extraordinary or unexpected encounter with an artist or artwork.

To assist citizen reporters – whether joining the team for the first time or just wanting a refresher before jumping back in - there will be a training offered on September 17 for people interested. Along with the training, there will be a pitch meeting for reporters to gather story ideas and lay claim to the articles they are especially interested in covering. Contact Chelsie Wyse, Community Engagement Specialist, for more information on how to get involved.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.