Throughout my days as the Arts Editor at HuffPost, I carried with me this quote from rock critic Ellen Willis: "Although I am by no means completely uncritical, I am willing to follow a song where it leads and suspend judgment for a while -- practically all noise is interesting in some way."
In other words, Willis is saying why not see where the work takes you, rather than dumping on it immediately? Why not foster creativity rather than squelch it? This view is echoed by Kimberly Brooks, the founding Arts editor, who is a practicing artist herself. In our minds, it was clear: Let's start a conversation on the page, rather than end it.
For the past two years, the Arts page has been putting a spotlight on big events and thought-provoking phenomena in the visual and performing arts, and for the past year, Culture has been actively covering theatre, film, music and dance. We've both tried to start conversations about our respective fields, and have been mostly successful. But we've also noticed that there's been so much overlap with our shared interests in these twelve months that we finally decided it was time to take the leap and join forces.
This new page will deliver all the best parts of what you've enjoyed on Arts and Culture so far -- from news to reviews to a robust community weighing in on the issues at hand. Instead of warring and staking our claim on territory, we're uniting to create a page that is bigger and better than the sum of its parts, and we want you to be a part of it. As Kimberly wrote in her introductory post two years ago, "No matter how beautiful, clever, or cynical the message, the driving force of all artists -- be they painters, musicians, writers, actors -- is to share, to evoke, to move something significant within the viewer."
In the last two years, we interviewed Marina Abramovic, Yayoi Kusama, Guy Laliberte, Santiago Calatrava, James Franco, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Gary Oldman, Courtney Love, Margaret Cho, and other key personalities in the art, culture, film, and design worlds. In addition, we've had David Lynch blog about his coffee obsession, and Nick Offerman write about his devotion to woodworking. But we've also gone beyond big names to deliver the exhibitions, performances, viral works, and other phenomena that are part of the cultural conversation not just in New York, but in cities throughout the world.
In the months to come, we'll continue to democratize the arts through profiles, interviews, sneak peeks, and other regular features -- shining a light on the many ways people can be creative.
Which is all to say: I'm very much looking forward to this marriage. It's going to be a happy one, I promise!