Sarah Kaufman and Rebekah Kirkman
A CIRCA Catalyst Event
The Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts presents Sara L. Kaufman is the Pulitzer Prize-winning Chief Dance Critic and Senior Arts Writer of The Washington Post, and Rebekah Kirkman, Managing Editor of BmoreArt, who will discuss their work.
Sara L. Kaufman is the Pulitzer Prize-winning Chief Dance Critic and Senior Arts Writer of The Washington Post, where she has covered fine arts, contemporary culture, entertainment, and the intersection of arts and sciences since 1993. Her nonfiction book “The Art of Grace: On Moving Well Through Life” won a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award and was a Washington Post Notable Book of 2015. Her work also appears in the anthology “Balanchine: Celebrating a Life in Dance.” Ms. Kaufman recently received the Criticism and Culture of Ballet Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Ballet Festival of Miami. She was the 2018 McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton University and a visiting lecturer in the Humanities Council. She serves on the National Critics Institute faculty at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and trains and mentors young writers through various programs. A former French-American Foundation Journalism Fellow, she has taught and lectured around the country on journalism, criticism and the arts.
She’ll speak about how she has defined her role as a dance critic over the 25 years that she has worked at The Washington Post. Kaufman will outline the core principles by which she operates, and how her job has evolved over time and what other types of arts journalism she produces. She’ll also discuss generally how the arts team at the Washington Post operates and what kinds of stories her editors are looking for—and she will look forward to answering questions.
Rebekah Kirkman is the Managing Editor of BmoreArt. Originally from Florida, she moved to Baltimore in 2010 to study painting at MICA. From 2014 to 2017, she worked at the Baltimore City Paper as the visual arts editor, fact-checking coordinator, and intern manager. She writes arts criticism, essays, news, and profiles with an interest in various social/political concerns surrounding art and artists. Her freelance writing has appeared in the Baltimore Beat, Baltimore Fishbowl, Johns Hopkins Magazine, The Outline, and elsewhere.
In this talk, she will discuss the necessity of local arts journalism, particularly within the precarious media landscape, and in a city that’s often marginalized in the art world (i.e. it’s not DC or NYC or LA).Kirkman is interested in the role that arts journalism takes within an art scene/ecosystem, how critics and editors report/record/historicize/bear witness to cultural events as they are happening and why. She has strong feelings about some people’s perceptions of this work as fluffy and inconsequential—that the arts are just fun but have no real-world stakes or use/meaning—and will talk about why criticality within reporting and reviewing is essential.