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Bill Marx signs off

The WBUR art critic is getting canned; he writes his final 'BUR commentary:

... The elimination of reviews on WBUR, as well as the cuts in column inches for criticism in the city's major newspapers and magazines, is symptomatic of a larger crisis. There's more arts activity in Boston than ever before, with politicians lauding the arts as crucial for the city's quality of life and arts advocates citing studies that suggest cultural tourism will be an increasingly vital part of Boston's economic survival in the future. Yet the praise of the arts has led to a baffling paradox: there is less -- not more -- meaningful coverage of culture in the city's media. Mainstream media refuses to treat the arts with the same depth and passion as they do politics and sports. ...

WBUR's response, which notes the station has hired a full-time art reporter (not critic).

Bill Marx has a new blog

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I wish the best to Mr. Marx is his next endeavor.

1. I disagree with his take that somehow "Mainstream Media" (WBUR bosses) are irrationally making anti-arts decisions. It is consumers that have more passion for sports than arts. Media responds to listeners (and viewers, readers). For WBUR it probably happens more slowly, given its charitable foundation subsidies insulates it partially from the need for ratings.

2. I think he misses the much bigger story: the steady decline of American interest in theatre over the past 30 years. This is sad, as I'm a fan, but true.

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