NEA Institute Day 1

NEA conference Day 1 – Sunday, October 14

Arrived in NYC before 10:00 a.m. Still summer here. 70 degrees, people in shorts, clouds of midges in Central Park. It's all green and leafy and feels like July.

I met my fellow Fellows tonight. What a range of personalities, ages, and experiences! There's an Italian polyglot classical guitarist from Hawaii, a Spanish media editor from Texas, an ex-CIA man from Oneida who dove headfirst into opera midlife at Glimmerglass.

I'll learn a lot.

This NEA journalism institute in classical music (there are others in theater and dance) sprang from someone's conviction that investing in artists' work was simply not enough: there needed to be some investment in the “transmission mechanisms” (i.e. radio, newspapers, websites) by which people receive the arts.

So here I am.

My hotel room is on the 4th floor of an inn at 94th and Broadway on the upper west side. There's a grocery store, a sushi bar, and a Tandoor Indian place across the street. I have a small room with a red carpet. So-so water pressure.

Most of the fellows are print journalists. A few write for radio or the web.

It's going be intense, and I'll have very little free time to bum around. That's ok.

Tomorrow, we'll meet Justin Davidson and Steve Smith to talk about covering classical music in the newsroom. After lunch, we'll hear from Alex Ross (I must must MUST remember to get his autograph for my friend Carl), take a history class with Joe Horowitz, and then hear from a guy with a philosophical bent, Michael Beckerman.

Fashion detour: I've seen a lot of jeans tucked into high boots and thin, textured scarves single-wrapped around necks. Hardly anyone is scarf-less.

More tomorrow.



Keep on bloggin'

This is basically a repeat of note I just sent in station email, but thought you might get to this place first.

Enjoyed reading the first day of your blog. What happened yesterday (Monday) and today? Going to any major performances or museums? (I'd guess not, given that you said the conference is so intense, but I'd also hope you could do something really artsy while you're there.)

Let us read about your reactions to all the sights, sounds, smells, food, etc. in the big city. Have you been there often, or is this as big a deal for you as it would be for most of us? Also, more about the people as you get to know them, and insights you and they have as you go through the week.

Clearly, blogging is important there at the conference. How can anyone publicize their blog and therefore get more folks to hit it? Is there a clearinghouse for musical blogs that could be mentioned on air?

Anything tying together the aural and visual arts? That is, beyond the obvious: tranquil scene, tranquil music; active scene, active music; dark both; bright both; mysterious both; etc.

Do enjoy the week and get home safely!