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Your Guide to Cultural
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About Arts America

Arts America gives you the inside story on 2,000+ museums and performing arts organizations in 95 American cities as well as major SummerArts festivals throughout the country. Plus lots of general advice for enjoying the arts, both where you live and when you’re traveling. Arts America provides all the important details for hundreds of arts organizations, including websites, public-transportation options, handicapped access, hours, and admission fees, along with potent strategies for saving money via free days, discounted performances, subscriptions and memberships, and myriad half-price opportunities.

The knowledgeable members of the Arts America Team share their informed observations and discuss important background details that will enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the art.

Jeffrey Compton (Publisher) has run a small manufacturing company in Cleveland and a marketing consulting firm in Las Vegas, and in his spare time founded an equity theater group, served on the boards of Chorus America (winner of the Michael Korn Corporate Award in 1989), the Cleveland State University Foundation, the Robert Page Singers, the Casino Management Association, and Cauliflower Alley Club. He has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree (MBA) from Babson College, and now lives in New York City.

John Broughton (Associate Publisher) is a writer living in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and two cats. Most of his career has involved computers and (more recently) the Internet; his interest in those began in 1969 with a National Science Foundation summer program. He was the Y2K Campus Coordinator for the University of California, Berkeley and is the author of the 2008 book Wikipedia: The Missing Manual (O’Reilly Media/Pogue Press). He has degrees from Johns Hopkins University, Golden Gate University, the University of Southern California, and U.C. Berkeley.

Justin Martin (Executive Editor) is a writer and editor living in Queens, NY. He has degrees in literature and history from Purchase College.

— Editors —
Brooke Pierce (Blog Editor) graduated in 2002 from New York University, where she double-majored in Dramatic Writing and Religious Studies and served as Theatre Editor of the NYU newspaper. She has written for TheaterMania, New England Entertainment Digest, Stage Directions magazine, Show Business Weekly, and Go2 Mobile, and was a contributing author to The TheaterMania Guide to Musical Theater Recordings and the Moon Metro New York City guidebook. Staged readings of her plays and musical-theater projects have been held at Stage One Theater in Louisville, New Jersey Dramatists and The Waterfront Ensemble in Teaneck and Jersey City, Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival’s PlayFest 2005 in Orlando, and at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the American Theatre of Actors, and the Snapple Theater in NYC. She wrote the book for the musical Sympathy Jones (music and lyrics by Masi Asare), which was produced at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2007 and is now licensed through Playscripts, Inc. She is co-director of the London-based theater company This Stage Limited and is a member of the Drama Desk and the Dramatists Guild of America.

Celena Cipriaso (Film Editor) has loved movies since she got her first VCR at fourteen and watched Fargo and Pulp Fiction in one weekend. Besides being a regular contributor to the website Film Buff, she’s also a longtime freelance screenplay competition reader. A nationally published writer, she has written for,, Draft, and Bitch. She’s the co-editor of the online magazine, The Beer Sessions, and blogs on In her former writing life, she wrote for ABC’s All My Children.

Michele Kadison (Dance Editor) has been teaching regular classes, workshops, and Master Classes in Contemporary Jazz Dance for over 25 years throughout the U.S., Europe, Japan and Latin America, with STEPS Studio in NY as her former base. Throughout her career, she has created, choreographed, and directed numerous projects for stage and film, and has coached many musical and film performers. In her capacity as innovator and director, she co-owned the NYC event production companies New York Live Productions and Mode Enterprises and helped found Performing Arts Network, the first performing arts center on Miami Beach. Among a legion of other credits, her latest work includes the tango ballet Eurydice Ascending for the Cambalache Tango Festival in Buenos Aires.  She is currently producing two animated multimedia projects that she has created for WebTV. Her work can also be found at MFK Dance and The Body in Form.

Daniel J. Kushner (Classical Music/Opera Editor) is a Buffalo-born arts journalist and music critic. He is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where he completed his M.A. and contributed as classical music critic for The Post-Standard of Syracuse. His subsequent work has been featured in Opera News, Symphony, NewMusicBox, and The Brooklyn Rail. A regular blogger for The Huffington Post, he has covered the new music and indie classical scenes extensively.

Michael Portantiere (Theater Editor) has been a theater journalist for more than 30 years, having worked as an editor and writer for such media as InTheater magazine, Back Stage, and He has also contributed articles and interviews to Playbill and Stagebill, and has written notes for several cast recordings. He is a regular contributor to Additionally, he is a professional photographer whose pictures have been published by The New York Times, the Daily News, and several notable websites. He has taught theater courses at Wagner College, and he is co-author with Gerard Alessandrini of the book Forbidden Broadway: Behind the Mylar Curtain, published in 2009. His credits as a director include All That Might Happen at Manhattan Theater Source; Butterflies are Free, A View From the Bridge, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, and Bent for Seaview Playwrights Theatre; Dames at Sea for the Looking Glass Players; Barefoot in the Park and The Who’s Tommy for Center Stage Productions.

Mark Sanderlin (Jazz Editor), a native of Oregon and a transplant to Brooklyn, hails from a diverse musical background, having shared the bill with various pop/jazz artists, including Peter Eldridge of New York Voices, pianist Michael Allen Harrison, and vocalist Julianne Johnson, as well as a number of popular rock and R&B acts including As Tall As Lions, Minus The Bear, and Big Boi. He holds a degree in Music Business from Hofstra University. As a performer, he has appeared at many notable NYC venues, including The Bitter End, The Bowery Electric, Caffe Vivaldi, the Waltz-Astoria, and the National Underground. Mark has two albums of original music available on iTunes and and is also one of the main songwriters and keyboard players for the popular NYC rock band, The Dirty Gems. In addition to his more mainstream pursuits, Mark is also a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and The Dramatists Guild. His theatrical work has been performed in New York, Philadelphia, Houston and Portland, Oregon. You can also catch Mark every Sunday morning, serving as a professional section leader for the choir at the Church of the Epiphany in Manhattan.

Norma Foote (Editor Emeritus) first met Jeffrey Compton in a high-school English class. He was sitting at a desk; she was the teacher. Norma taught Jeffrey the writing skills that have given him tremendous joy for more than 40 years. In 2002, Jeffrey contacted Norma to help teach members of his consulting company staff those same skills. While that was going on, they discovered a mutual love of the arts and a mutual sense of adventure. That led directly to the Arts America project.  In the period between adventures with Jeffrey, Norma taught English at Brecksville High School (Ohio) for 30 years, serving as English Department chair for 25 of those years. In the mid-1980s she took over full teaching responsibility (formerly taught by four teachers) for the school’s poorly-subscribed Humanities course and within one year had to schedule an additional section due to over-registration. Among her many honors were Presidential Scholars Awards, Commended Teacher from the State of Ohio, and Teacher of the Year from the Brecksville School system.

— Web Designer —
Jill Merk (Web Designer) owns and operates Elevate Web Designs, a web design boutique with a commitment to understanding each client’s goals and objectives for business. Her company creates websites accordingly, in a timely and professional manner. Elevate Web Designs offers branding packages and full web development solutions. Visit Elevate Web Designs to see an extensive portfolio.

— Bloggers —
John Accrocco (Chicago Theater blogger) is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. His journalism is published in the Windy City Times, a local LGBT issues newspaper. John occasionally blogs for the Broadway in Chicago local theater page. He also runs a home entertainment blog, which he hopes to one day turn into a book.

Sam Allen (Dallas Theater blogger) is a photographer and writer based in Dallas. He covers theater in all its many shapes and forms, from Les Mis to 4.48 Psychosis. Photos by Sam have been featured in the New York Times and the New Jersey Star-Ledger, among other publications. He’s equal parts Jazz Age and mod.

Kurt Barstow (Los Angeles Visual Arts blogger) has a Ph.D. in the History of Art from UC Berkeley and worked as a curator in the Manuscripts Department at the Getty Museum for fourteen years. He has written two books on Italian manuscript illumination. He currently works as a freelance editor and writer.

Heidi Berg (Twin Cities Theater blogger) is an avid theatergoer and performer in the Twin Cities. After being invited to write an Op-Ed piece for MPR, Heidi was bitten by the writing bug. She expanded her writing and concentrated her focus on music and film. Now she is thrilled to be writing about her first passion: theater.

Roy Berko (Cleveland Theater/Dance blogger) holds degrees, including a doctorate, from Kent State University, The University of Michigan, and Pennsylvania State University. He has had a lifelong love affair with the theater, starting on the stage at age 4, and has been an actor, director, and producer at professional, local and college theatres, including Cherry County Playhouse in Traverse City, Michigan, Berkshire Center for the Performing Arts in Berkshire, Massachusetts, and Theatre International in Leysin, Switzerland. In the Cleveland area, he has performed and directed for Dobama, Elyria Summer Theatre, Cassidy Theatre, Beck Center for the Arts, and Jewish Community Centers Performing Arts Program. He started the drama program at Beachwood High School, Beachwood, Ohio and Lorain County Community College, Elyria, Ohio. He is the author of twenty-eight books, a play, and over one thousand theater and dance reviews. He holds membership in the American Theatre Critics Association and Dance Critics Association and is presently the theater and dance critic for the Lorain and western Cuyahoga County Times newspapers. He formerly reviewed for The Elyria Chronic-Telegram, WCPN-FM, and Continental Cable. He is a contributing writer for and He blogs at

Katie Beynnon (Burlington blogger) was born and raised in Burlington, Vermont. She recently graduated from the University of Vermont where she studied biology and art. She loves traveling and recently spent the summer in Spain. She is especially interested in examining the connections between science and art.

Naomi Bird (Twin Cities Classical Music and Opera blogger) – piano teacher, blogger, mom, and wife of a professional tenor – resides in the Arts District of Northeast Minneapolis. With a background in music therapy, piano, flute, guitar, and choir, Naomi’s passion is to help all people recognize their identities as creative artists. She blogs about this at Arts At The Aviary.

Rebecca Bliss (Hartford Visual Art blogger) is a professional designer and photographer residing in the beautiful Farmington Valley of Connecticut. Her degree in Visual Arts, coupled with the large amounts of time she has spent in local museums and galleries, have given her the opportunity to meet many interesting people and artists that have expended her knowledge of Fine Art in the Greater Hartford area. She spends the majority of her time working on various artistic endeavors, as well as writing, reading, and playing the piano.

Natalie Boyd (New Orleans Theater blogger) has been an active blogger and actor in the city of New Orleans for most of her life. She is a member of The NOLA Project and cannot wait to let everyone know the amazing, crazy things that are going on down south.

Dakotah Brown (Boise blogger) is a recent Idaho transplant and a professional actor for the Shakespeare Festival and Alley Rep who loves watching theater as much as she loves performing. She lives on art, live music, and a stiff drink with good buddies who like to argue.

Tamsen Butler (Omaha blogger) is an award-winning author and an active member of the Omaha arts community. Visit her house and you’ll notice paintings she picked up in Turkey, sculptures she purchased in Haiti, and figurines she acquired in Egypt, but most prevalent are the art pieces created by her two adorable kids.

Janet Contursi (Minneapolis Visual Arts blogger) has been a freelance writer for more than 23 years. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, where she studied cultural anthropology, art history and studio arts. She has written for professional journals, newspapers and websites, and she is especially interested in ethnic art and photography.

Dayna Copeland (Denver Classical/Opera/Jazz blogger) is a writer and a musician, living in Denver, Colorado with her husband and newborn baby. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida State University, where she performed with a variety of different ensembles and she produced over a hundred concerts. After graduation, she promptly relocated to Colorado, where she now works for the Denver Post and enjoys the perks of living so close to a big city and a beautiful mountain range.

Lorelei Costa (Anchorage blogger) is a professional writer and amateur classical musician from Anchorage, Alaska. Lorelei sings with the Alaska Chamber Singers, helps worthy nonprofits raise funds for their programs, and is a passionate but lazy pianist who doesn’t practice arpeggios enough (i.e., not at all). She occasionally posts her writing at

Brandon De Hoyos (Houston Theater blogger) is a seasoned journalist and native of Houston, and as such, was exposed early on to the joys of professional theater. A dedicated patron and donor to the arts, his work covering the stage and lifestyle has been featured in a number of professional publications, including Houston Community NewspapersGalveston Connected, and Teen People magazine, among others. Brandon is currently an editor and columnist with the New York Times Co.

Patricia Davis (Washington, DC Theater blogger) is an author, poet, and playwright. With Dianna Ortiz, she co-authored The Blindfold’s Eyes, an award-winning memoir. Her poems and translations have been published in various literary journals, and her first play, “Alternative Methods,” was selected for inclusion in the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival.

Andrew Desiderio (Philadelphia Classical Music blogger) received both his bachelor’s (Music Theory, 2008) and master’s degrees (music history) from Temple University, where he currently teaches the course “Shakespeare and Music”. He has been playing the cello for 20 years, and has recently forayed into conducting, but his main passion is composing. He has written three film scores (with a fourth and fifth in the works!) and various solo and ensemble pieces. He is looks forward to posting monthly on Arts America, and hopes you look forward to reading!

Jessie Drake (Portland, Oregon Theater blogger) is a recent transplant to beautiful Portland (after four years in Santa Barbara, California) where she makes her way writing about theatre, travel, and crafting, and also selling jewelry, tea, and potions at Flora. She loves acting, quilting, slam poetry, karaoke, food carts, Stumptown coffee, Irish whiskey, and the adventures of public transit.

Karen Dybis (Detroit Theater blogger) is a lifelong Michigan resident, specifically in Metro Detroit. She has written for publications including The Oakland Press, The Detroit News and CORP! magazine. Dybis also was a blogger for Time magazine’s Assignment: Detroit project, a yearlong look at the city’s challenges and opportunities. She lives in Wayne County.

Kurt Cole Eidsvig (Boston Visual Arts blogger) is a writer and artist whose work has received recognition from the Warhol Foundation / Creative Capital, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, The Boston Globe, and many other journals and publications. His artwork is included in numerous private collections and can be seen at

May Evans (Kansas City Visual Arts blogger) is a writer and artist living in Kansas City, Missouri. She has been blogging personally and professionally since 2007. Her art has been featured in local galleries. She is a co-organizer of a local meet-up group called “Create Your Own Reality”. May has a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and a Master’s in Museum Studies.

Katie Garman (Kansas City Classical Music blogger) is a proud Kansas City native and a regular spectator of the KC arts scene. She has a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Kansas, and is classically trained at the piano, having participated in numerous competitions for ten years. In her spare time, Katie performs stand-up comedy around the city.

Cris Glaser (Cleveland Visual Arts blogger) is a veteran broadcast and print journalist in Cleveland, Ohio. He’s won numerous awards from the Ohio Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Press Club of Cleveland. He’s also guest-lectured on newswriting at John Carroll University, Cleveland State University, and the Ohio Center for Broadcasting.

Bobbi Goldner (Denver Theater blogger) is just a small town girl, living in a lonely world. She took the midnight train going anywhere, and it took her to Denver, Colorado. A theatre geek who blossomed in the Las Vegas heat, Bobbi moved to the Rocky Mountain state to pursue her dreams of life on the stage, but soon realized that the written word was her true calling. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Denver studying creative writing, and she is also featured on and in Kush magazine.

Daniel Harper (Houston Classical Music/Opera blogger) is a Houston local who works as a copywriter and freelance blogger. His interest in classical music has been evident since a very young age, with this passion becoming an ever more prominent part of his life as he has grown older. Graduating with a liberal arts degree from Butler University has given him a strong and developed understanding of the written word along with an awareness and commitment to the culture of creative expression.

Daniel Healy (Chicago Jazz blogger) is an experienced saxophonist, woodwind doubler, educator, and jazz journalist. He has played in some of the best venues in New York, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Sweet Rhythm, Smoke, and Smalls. Daniel is working on his Ph.D in music education at Northwestern University, where he studies the cognition of jazz improvisation.

Chad “Chadstract” Hemmert (Washington, DC Visual Arts blogger) is a Denver native artist and writer. He has won numerous awards for his art, including the 1993 International Sonoran Desert Alliance logo design contest. He recently moved to the DC area and is excited to take in the arts and culture of this vibrant and historic city.

Andrew Huntley (Pittsburgh Theater blogger) is a writer, director, producer, performer – above all, an artist. A playwright, he produces and directs theatrical events with his company, Theatre Sans Serif. In addition, his sculpture resides in many prominent collections. In his free time, he indulges his twin passions of cooking and travel.

Denita Inez (Chicago Dance blogger) is a graduate of Wayne State University’s Dance Program. She danced for Chicago Dance Crash and choreographed for Matter Dance Company and Mosaico. Denita has performed in various operas for the Detroit Opera House. She has trained at the Ailey School, Deeply Rooted, and Visceral Dance Center.

Irena Jacobson (Las Vegas blogger) is a Las Vegas-based arts blogger. Originally from Toronto, she has lived in Switzerland, the Caribbean, and Detroit, and speaks four languages. Now settled with two monkeys and one husband, Irena is a full time writer and home education mama. Passionate about all things related to The Arts, Ren started Lady Of The Arts in 2009.

Alex A. Kecskes (Los Angeles Film blogger) has written hundreds of film reviews and one-on-one celebrity interviews for a variety of online and print outlets. He has covered red carpet premieres at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, is a member of the registered press, and has covered key entertainment events throughout southern California.

Kallie Kirkland (Austin Visual Arts blogger) is an artist and art educator living and working in Austin, TX. Her art studies and teaching have taken her to places such as New York, Italy, and Honduras and back to the burgeoning Austin art scene. Kallie has a Bachelor’s degree in Art History and a Master’s degree in Art Education.

Kate Koop (Dallas Visual Arts blogger) relocated from her native Northern California to the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area 7 years ago. Since then, she has continued her studies in art history and has been a frequent visitor of local museums. She has a passion and love for art of all kinds. Kate is a wife, mother to two young girls, an avid blogger, a music lover and a vegetarian, and loves experimenting with lomography.

John Lariviere (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Theater blogger) has been a member of South Florida’s professional theatrical community for over 15 years, and is a theatre critic for the website Talkin’ Broadway. He is a member of the nominating committee for the Silver Palm Awards (press generated South Florida awards for theatrical excellence) and a mentor and award presenter for the Cappies program (the international Critics and Awards program for High School theatre and journalism).

Sophia Levine (Pittsburgh Dance blogger) is an independent dancer and Pittsburgh native. In 2010 she completed her B.A. in dance and Italian at Middlebury College. Since then, she has been traveling, eating good food and catching up with family. She is now back in Pittsburgh and is an artist teaching dance with local educational and outreach organizations. She is excited to be documenting the developments of the quickly changing Pittsburgh dance scene as a blogger for Arts America.

Gracie Linden (Philadelphia Visual Arts blogger) graduated from New York University in May 2011 with a degree in Art History. She enjoys contemporary art, the photographer Nan Goldin, and the paintings of Mark Rothko.

Sandy MacDonald (Opera blogger), a former opera brat (her father served as the Met’s medical director in 1954-78), is a theatre critic contributing to TheaterMania and the Boston Globe. She sings for pleasure – and edification — with the Oratorio Society of New York and the Collegiate Chorale. Her personal website is

Elisa Mader (Seattle Visual Arts blogger) is a writer and editor specializing in culture, entertainment, and video gaming. Her passion for art began with finger painting and Play-Doh, then blossomed as she traveled, visiting the great museums of the world. She lives in Seattle with her husband, digital artist Andrew McIntosh.

Jenna Makowski (Washington, DC Classical Music blogger) is a DC-based writer and editor who has lived in Europe and Russia. She graduated with a B.A. in Music from Ohio Northern University and an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from Indiana University. Deeply interested in ethnography, she loves probing into music by examining its larger connections to place, history and society. She blogs at

Jeffery S. McMillan (San Francisco Jazz blogger) is an author and researcher who lives in the Bay Area. His book Delightfulee: The Life and Music of Lee Morgan (University of Michigan Press, 2008) was the winner of the Jazz Times Readers Poll, “Best in the Industry: Books”.

Natasha Merchant (Dallas Classical Music and Opera blogger) holds a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University and a Master of Music from the University of Southern California, both in Oboe Performance. She has performed with orchestras across the United States and Mexico. Natasha is currently an adjunct faculty member at Brookhaven College in Dallas, Texas. She also performs regularly with the August Wind Quintet.

Catherine A. Mezensky (Baltimore Visual Arts blogger) holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Loyola Collage in Maryland. She has a professional background in Museum Education and English Writing. Currently she writes about lifestyle and culture and works at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has been writing professionally since 2001.

Elle Miller-Cavatore (Houston Visual Art blogger) teaches Art History and Art Appreciation at Lone Star College and Wharton County Junior College. She received her MA at University College of London. Her area of interest lies in representations of race and gender in Nineteenth-century French painting. She has lived on four continents and loves listening to Nina Simone.

Courtney Minor (St. Louis Visual Arts blogger) is a 23 year-old freelance writer and blogger based in St. Louis. She mostly writes about fashion and style, but has an interest in all things related to art, culture, and lifestyle. She is currently the Social Media Coordinator and Blogger for

Tom Mohrman (Seattle Jazz blogger) is a freelance writer living in Seattle, Washington. He grew up playing percussion and absorbing music like a sponge. This abiding interest later led him to become a DJ. Music continues to be a major influence on his life and career as he writes about the Jazz scene in Seattle.

Alex Morales (San Diego Visual Arts blogger) is a recent graduate of U.C. Berkeley; her History of Art degree has helped develop her clear eye for aesthetics. A Southern California native, she’s drawn to both emerging contemporary art and 1970s photography. She appreciates the marriage of art and fashion, and is looking forward to exploring the relationships between the two.

Kevin Forest Moreau (Atlanta Theater blogger) is a longtime freelance writer and editor with a focus on entertainment, the arts and popular culture. Among his credits are the first edition of New Orleans for Dummies, contributing to the inaugural VH1 Rock Honors program, and a stint as Editor in Chief of The Sunday Paper, a weekly newspaper in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tamara Muldoon (Portland, Oregon Visual Arts blogger) is a freelance writer and photographer based in Portland. She writes for websites, magazines and newspapers; her favorite topics include the arts, travel, gardening and food. She has been writing professionally since 1986 and enjoys illustrating her articles and blog posts with her own photography.

Christopher Munden (Philadelphia Theater blogger) is a freelance writer and editor who has worked for many leading Philadelphia cultural institutions and reviewed plays for numerous local publications. He is an avid theatergoer and the editor/publisher of the Philly Fiction book series, collections of short stories written by local writers and set in Philadelphia.

Sasha Navas(bilingual Miami arts blogger) love of the written word has taken her from her hometown of New York City to Europe and Asia until landing in South Florida which she now calls home. She brings to Arts America a passion for the arts and the ability to connect soulfully with her audiences. * Know Art, Know Life *

Nicole Nelson (Chicago Visual Art blogger) is a native of the Chicago area who grew up visiting the city’s museums and developed an insatiable curiosity about the objects she saw there. She has a B.A. in Art History and recently graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Masters in Arts Journalism. She is currently working at Fear No Art Chicago, increasing public awareness of the local art community.

Nick Norton (Los Angeles Classical Music/Opera blogger) is a composer, guitarist, and music journalist living in Los Angeles. He grew up playing in punk bands before studying music formally at UC San Diego and King’s College, London. His music has been performed throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. You can learn more at

Daphne O’Neal (San Francisco Bay Area Dance blogger) is a former freelance theater and dance critic for the Oakland Tribune and Gannett Newspapers, among other publishers. Daphne studied ballet and modern dance for 20 years and classical music for 12. She feels privileged to offer readers ongoing commentary on the San Francisco Bay Area dance scene.

Margaret Price (Atlanta Visual Arts blogger) wrote her first book at the age of 5; while not destined for a Pulitzer, Margaret’s Book of Butterflies laid the groundwork for a writing career. Her work has appeared in several American and Canadian publications, and she holds degrees in Anthropology and Art history from Vanderbilt University. She hopes to become an established writer one day, sans crayons and construction paper.

Dave Conlin Read (Bershires Visual Arts blogger) has been writing about the Arts in the Berkshires since the 1990s and is publisher of, a leading guide for visiting the Berkshires. He operates a web design business in Lenox, MA and formerly taught English and worked in public relations

Meg Reilly (Berkshires Classical Music/Opera blogger) is a classically trained pianist based in Western Massachusetts. She attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, earning her M.M. in collaborative piano while teaching a popular course on the aesthetic experience of live artistic performances. She is now an active performer, director, and teacher throughout the region.

Angela Rivera (San Diego Jazz blogger), a recent graduate of California State University, Long Beach, is a freelance writer in San Diego. She received her BA in Journalism and Chicano/Latino Studies and has been published in a wide variety of publications covering topics from politics to community events. Her hobbies include cooking and traveling.

Lauren Roberts (Los Angeles Visual Arts blogger) is a recent graduate of UCLA, where she earned a degree in art history and English while writing and editing arts coverage for the Daily Bruin. Her artistic passions began with an attempt to copy a Van Gogh at age 9, and she’s been talking about art ever since. She currently resides in West Los Angeles, where she enjoys exploring the city’s museums, landmarks and secrets when she’s not struggling to parallel park. Follow her @LRobz.

Julie Rodriguez (Denver Visual Arts blogger) is a freelance writer and artist from Denver, Colorado. In addition to blogging about art, she writes about the creative process on her website, She is currently studying for a teaching license in special education.

Lauren Sapala (San Francisco Theater blogger) lives in San Francisco, where she has worked for a private detective firm; a social networking website for published authors; and, currently, a consumer comparison website. She volunteers in the San Francisco theater scene and for Me’Di.Ate Art Group, a nonprofit dedicated to sound arts and experimental music.

Jason Schneider (Boston Classical Music blogger) has been a musician since age 5; it is a huge passion in his life. He is a classically-trained pianist, clarinetist, bass player, and composer who recently graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Music and Communications. He works in Boston as a copywriter and plays in Boston-based pop/rock band Jet Black Sunrise.

Molly Schoen (Detroit Visual Arts blogger) works as a freelance writer and as registrar of a private art gallery. While pursuing a Master’s degree in Library & Information Science from Wayne State University, she interned at the Motown Historical Museum, The Detroit Institute of Arts, and The Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Ashley Shelton (New Orleans Visual Arts blogger) is an arts enthusiast born and bred in the hills of Tennessee. When she is not seeking out new creative outlets to satisfy her artistic endeavors, she loves to bake, write, and practice yoga. She holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Tennessee. She is a lover of all art forms, but mostly the art scene and the history of the sacred New Orleans land!

Alan Smason (New Orleans Classical Music/Opera/Jazz blogger) is a former local radio broadcaster and an active writer on the New Orleans musical scene. He was the longtime manager of Smith’s Record Center, known nationally for its collection of classical, opera and musical theater recordings. A member of both the Big Easy Classical and Opera and Big Easy Theatre Committees, he is regularly seen as a contributor to WYES-TV’s weekly “Steppin’ Out” arts review program.

Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz (Santa Fe blogger) is a freelance writer, seasonal nomad, and journey collector. Her next big epic adventure is happening under the Big Top in the high desert, where she will be learning how to twirl around fabric at ungodly heights, and swing gracefully from a trapeze.

Audrey Webb (Austin Theater blogger) has lived, since 2007, in Austin, far away from her (former) home and native land, Canada. Audrey has performed at Toronto’s The Second City and various theaters and stand-up comedy clubs around the country. She was an arts critic for Edmonton’s alternative weekly newspaper, Vue Weekly, and enjoys writing both fiction and non-fiction.

Martin Jones Westlin (San Diego Theater blogger) began his performing career at age 5, playing Captain Hook in a Peter Pan kindergarten sketch — from there, he never looked back. He’s acted, directed, produced and written for and about the theater for (mumble, mumble) years and publishes Words Are Not Enough, a San Diego theater and film website.

Ken Williams (Seattle Classical Music blogger) is a native Ohioan who lived all over the U.S. and in England and Canada before finally settling in the Pacific Northwest. An enthusiastic cellist, orchestral and chamber player, and lover of music of all kinds, one of his favorite activities is ferreting out great music and composers that have inexplicably slipped into the cracks of history. Currently he plays with the Thalia Symphony Orchestra, Hildman Strings, and the San Trio (piano, clarinet and cello).

Kevin Wilt (Detroit Classical Music blogger) is a composer from Ann Arbor, Michigan. His music for the concert hall, film, and television has been performed and broadcast throughout the United States. He received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from Michigan State University and is currently an adjunct professor of music at several local institutions.

William D. Wolff (Los Angeles Jazz blogger) is a jazz and blues guitarist and composer, whose original 7-piece bands have performed throughout Southern California at such venues as The Mint, Catalina and many local colleges. He has performed and recorded with such artists as Charles Lloyd, John Lee Hooker, Steve Cropper and Jack Nitzsche.

Sarah Wyatt (Seattle Theater blogger) is an arts and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in the Associated Press, The Seattle Times, Costco Connection, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Fodor’s, NileGuide, Outdoors, Women’s International Perspective, TravelMuse,, West Seattle Herald, Go For A Ride, Mensa Bulletin, Figure, Capitol Hill Times, Lighthouse Digest, and Recommend.