The Future of Arts Criticism and the Academy (2010)

The arts community was invited to an exploration and working sessions to generate ideas about the future of arts criticism and coverage in our region. Changes in arts coverage and print journalism, along with the burgeoning of blogs, social media, and unmediated online arts criticism raise several issue that were examined. Sponsors: Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts and Charles Loridans Foundation with additional support from Hightower Fund, the Michael C. Carlos Museum, and Public Broadcasting Atlanta.

Keynote Speaker: A.O. Scott, national film critic and arts journalists

A.O. Scott joined the New York Times as a film critic in 2000. in addition to regular reviews and articles about movies, he has contributed frequently to the Times's book review, magazine and week in review sections, writing on topics ranging from the Simpsons to Romanian Cinema to the writings of Kingsley Amis and David Foster Wallace. In September 2009, he was named co-host of At the Movies, the long-running syndicated film-reviewing show. He lives in Brooklyn with his family.


Mark Bauerlein

Mark Bauerlein is Professor of English at Emory University, and has recently served as Director of Research and Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. His scholarly essays have appeared in PMLA, Yale Review, Wilson Quarterly, and Partisan Review, and his commentaries and reviews have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, TLS, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Weekly Standard, Reason Magazine, and Chronicle of Higher Educatio

Blake Beckham

Blake Beckham has a BA from Emory University and MFA from The Ohio State University. She serves as the Development Director for Moving in the Spirit, a dance program that empowers children in underserved communities. Beckham teaches ballet and modern dance at Agnes Scott College. She is a board member of Gardenhouse Dance and advisory council member of the Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts. MAACC named her a 2009 "Arts Leader of Metro Atlanta." In 2009, she was a guest choreographer and performer in Emory's Dance Program, participated in the Decatur Arts Festival, and the groundbreaking project, "Dance Truck." Her dance credits include roles in works by artists including Bebe Miller, Michael Estanich, Adam Overton, Joe Alter, Anna Leo, Nicole Livieratos and Lori Teague. She has danced and presented her choreography in Atlanta, Miami, New York, Chicago, Ohio, and Poland. She co-founded "The Nerve Series," showcasing emerging contemporary dance artists (2001-2006) and is the curator of "Dance for Reel," a series of screenings featuring dance for camera. Beckham's newest work premieres at 7 Stages in April 2010. Learn more at

Susan Booth

Susan V. Booth joined the Alliance as its Artistic Director in 2001. Since then, the theatre has originated new work for Broadway ("The Color Purple"), London's West End ("Sister Act"), National and International tours ("25th Putnam County Spelling Bee" and "Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk") and has partnered each season with both regional and local theaters. During her tenure, the Alliance has created the Kendeda National Playwriting Competition, the City Series, and the Collision Project, and received the 2007 Tony Award for Regional Theatre Excellence. She has directed for theaters across the country, including The Goodman, La Jolla Playhouse, St. Louis Repertory Theatre, New York Stage and Film, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Cincinnati Playhouse, and has been on the theatre faculty for Northwestern, DePaul and Emory Universities. She is a board member and past chair of TCG, board member of Metro Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition, and co-chair of the City of Atlanta's "One Book, One Community" Program. She has degrees from Denison and Northwestern Universities, and was a fellow of the National Critics Institute.

Cinqué Hicks

Cinqué Hicks is a writer, artist and cultural analyst. From 2003 to 2005 he edited and produced the resource blog Electric Skin: Black Art and Technoculture News from the Front Lines. Art in America named Electric Skin one of 10 art blogs most worth daily reading. He founded Code Z, an online daily news magazine in 2006. He is currently visual arts critic and arts writer for Creative Loafing and is concurrently undertaking research in the mapping of creative ecologies at Georgia Tech.

Pierre Ruhe

Pierre Ruhe is editor and co-founder of, a website that covers the arts in Atlanta and is written primarily by professional journalists. He was The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's classical music critic for nine years, and had been a critic for The Washington Post and London's Financial Times and an editor of National Public Radio's "Performance Today." He is working on a book about Handel, Rameau and Baroque opera (Amadeus Press).