Journos outside of country's largest media markets to be targeted

WASHINGTON — The National Endowment for the Arts figures that what the world needs now is a few more critics.

The NEA said it will establish three Arts Journalism Institutes that will focus on improving arts criticism in theater, dance, classical music and opera. The institutes will target journalists who cover the arts for print and broadcast outlets located outside the country’s largest media markets, where professional development opportunities are limited.

The NEA will provide $1 million for the first two years of the program. It said the institute for theater critics will be hosted by USC’s Annenberg School for Communication. The other participants are the American Dance Festival at Duke U., for dance critics, and Columbia U. for classical music and opera critics.

Beginning this summer, each site will host an annual two- or three-week institute for up to 30 attendees. All expenses will be covered, including travel, room, board, materials, instruction and admission to performances.

NEA said the institutes “will establish the importance of arts journalism through lectures and seminars with leaders in higher education, the arts and journalism.” Attendees will work with senior journalists and faculty members to improve analytical and writing skills.

“We believe these exciting and intensive workshops will enhance and increase local arts coverage across the United States,” says NEA chairman Dana Gioia.

Interested journalists should contact the NEA Office of Communications at 202-682-5570 or visit the NEA web site at http://www.arts.gov.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more