Dallas — You love us. You really love us.
Now we want you to tell us why you love us.
In the coming days, TheaterJones will launch a crowdfunding campaign that will allow us to continue and expand our exhaustive coverage of North Texas performing arts through reviews, interviews, features and searchable listings for all things theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy.
It’s no secret that it takes money to continue canvassing the scene, producing thoughtful reviews, timely news, deep-read interviews and compelling feature stories, with a paid cadre of knowledgeable critics and gifted writers and photographers. Our goal is to develop more writers and keep arts journalism alive. We do all this on a dynamic digital platform that will become even more awesome as we launch a new site and other products in 2016.
Here’s where you come in: We want you to tell us what TheaterJones means to you, and why engaging arts journalism is vital to a thriving arts scene. Your task is to create a short video and submit it before Feb. 1, 2016. We will use some of our favorite videos on social media as part of our campaign, and the creators of our favorite video will receive six months of free advertising on the website for your arts organization, business or project.
It’s an especially crucial time for arts journalism in North Texas. Since the rapid disintegration of traditional print media in the past eight years, good arts journalism has become harder to find. In 2016 the situation gets more dire as major publications like D Magazine and Dallas Observer are cutting back on performing arts reviews—or axing them altogether.
Since 2009, TheaterJones has been dedicated to covering the entire performing arts scene in Dallas, Fort Worth and all North Texas—from McKinney to Granbury, from Denton to DeSoto. We’re committed to writing about arts organizations representing all budget sizes, ages, and a growing range of stylistic and racial diversity. Even among the mainstream media organizations that still cover the arts (such as the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram), only TheaterJones has given as much thought to provocative upstart theater companies and individual artists as we do to established theaters with massive budgets. Only TheaterJones covers the whole spectrum of chamber and choral music groups along with the big opera companies and orchestras. We care about the shoestring-budget dance groups as much as the larger ballet institutions.
Why? Because it’s all imperative to a dynamic, thriving arts scene. You can’t be part of the national arts conversation without dialogue happening on a local level. TheaterJones is an integral voice in that discussion.
Just look at our 2015 Year in Review: We challenge you to find a more thorough chronicle of the outstanding work done in North Texas last year than what we gave you from our respected critics in theater, classical music, dance and comedy. Collectively, they see more than 500 performances and events each year.
You’ll hear more about this when the official crowdfunding campaign launches. But for now, let’s get to some the details of the video competition.
First rule: Be creative! Shooting a video selfie of you rhapsodizing about TheaterJones is fine, but we’re hoping for videos that are as imaginative as the work we see from you all year long. We expect nothing less from the brilliant, clever members of this community.
The bullet points:
• The video should be between 15 and 45 seconds long
• You can submit it in any standard video format (.mp4, .mov, etc.)
• Email it via Dropbox or another file hosting service to Mark Lowry at firstname.lastname@example.org
• By submitting the video, you give TheaterJones permission to use it any way we choose on social media and the website
• The deadline to submit is 11:55 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31
• We may start using some of the videos on social media before the submission deadline
• The videos will be judged by a special panel covering the range of performing arts disciplines that we cover on the website
• The winner will receive six months of free advertising on TheaterJones.com for his or her arts organization or business (a restaurant, law firm, etc.), including independent and entrepreneurial projects and endeavors
• Please note that if you or your arts organization submits a video, it will not affect if or how your group is covered on the website
• TheaterJones staffers and contributors and their family members are ineligible to participate
Now get to filming!
And remember, another way you can help is by advertising on the site, where your business or organization will reach a diverse audience of arts patrons and lovers. To inquire about advertising, contact Bren Rapp, Director of Sales and Marketing, at email@example.com. And to those who have been advertising: thank you!