Six years ago, when ArtsATL was born, arts journalism was in trouble. Print media had abandoned arts coverage and its viability online was untested. Fueled by concern for the future of a community without a voice, Pierre Ruhe and I decided to take a shot at filling the void.
Thanks to the support — moral, technical, financial — of our board, local foundations and many of you, ArtsATL has thrived. It has earned a reputation as a hub of intelligent writing about the many dimensions of our arts scene.
By last year, it was evident that ArtsATL had grown to the point that its infrastructure needed to expand. I proposed that my position should be split into two full-time ones: executive director and executive editor. At the same time, I informed the board that I wanted to retire at the end of 2015.
I am immensely gratified by ArtsATL’s success and your support. I am also tired. Having been on deadline for 33 years, counting my AJC tenure, I’m ready to slow down. Susannah Darrow, our energetic new executive director, has initiated a call for the executive editor position. The plan is to have the new editor in place by January 1, 2016.
Although my day-to-day responsibilities will cease, I will remain involved. The board has asked me to take an ex-officio board position and be available as a consultant. I also plan to contribute to the site as a writer, a role that had taken a back seat to all of the pressing needs of running a start-up.
I am confident that ArtsATL will only get better and that, with your support, it will continue to be an important resource and a clarion voice for and about metro Atlanta’s arts.