[jja-announce] meeting Aug 27, New School (NYC)

howard Mandel jazzmandel at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 18 11:03:18 EDT 2009

Hi JJA members and friends,

For a while I"ve been touting a proposed conference on jazz  
journalism. The JJA has organized an afternoon-long meeting to hash  
out specific plans for this conferencee; it will take place Thursday,  
Aug. 27, from 1 pm to 5 or thereabouts, at the New School jazz  
performance space, fifth floor, 55 W. 13th St. NYC. You are, of  
course, invited, and if you know someone not getting this email who  
might be interested, they're invited too. But please rsvp if you  
intend to come.

I'm attaching a file that excerpts a grant application description of  
the conference -- titled "Jazz Journalism in Transition: Audiences and  
Outlets in the 21st Century" -- so that you can get a handle on what  
we're trying to do, and decide whether or not you're interested and in  
what way. The intention is to gather a large number of arts/music/jazz  
journalists, 150 to 250, for 4 days of workshops, panel discussions,  
plenary sessions and keynote speakers to discuss the way forward for  
those of us who cover jazz and related art forms from the media past  
of staff positions on newspapers and magazines and sustaining  
freelance assignments into the new landscape involving multi-media and  
digital distribution with unclear financial support or business  
models. We're looking for practical advise from the jazz journalists  
(and purveyors of journalism LIKE jazz journalism, including perhaps  
our friends at Rap & Rock Confidential and the Music Critics Assn of  
North America) who are succeeding now through innovative uses of new  

We're looking to demonstrate how jazz journalists are indeed at the  
forefront of meeting the challenges of the present. We want to find  
alternative revenue streams to what we've lost, or if not find them,  
imagine them and begin to create the conditions in which they could  
exist and we could prosper. We want to invite people who are smart and  
far-seeing about how things are changing to share their perspectives  
with us (who seems to you one of those people? Nominate them as  
potential keynoters. Think big; we intend to compensate speakers and  
panelists). We want to reach out to include people just coming into  
arts journalism/jazz journalism as well as veterans; we want to reach  
potential arts journalists who for demographic or geographic reasons  
have felt uninvited to participate. We want energy and we want to  
follow through on proposals that come out of the conference so that  
it's a starting point, not an end in itself. We hope to make the  
conference itself a laboratory for new media practices. We hope it  
will be productive of new ways of thinking and working for all of us.  
We intend to make the conference accessible for people who can't be  
there in person by using the internet's potentials of webcasting and  
interactive long-distance discussion.

This will be a costly conference, and the JJA has already filed  
applications for funding with the NEA (which will stage its Jazz  
Masters induction ceremony and concert in New York two days after the  
conference) and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. We're seeking  
further grants that might be appropriate, and will proceed this fall  
with further fundraising towards making this a great weekend. The APAP  
(Association of Performing Arts Presenters) conference is taking place  
during the same weekend in New York (January 7 - 10) and I'm looking  
into potential synergies with that group. We've currently planned the  
conference to take place at the facilities of Jazz At Lincoln Center.  
We're trying to organize hotel and transporation discounts for  
registrants, and even registration discounts. We will dedicate the JJA  
website JazzJournalists.org to this project as it comes together.

Please take a look at the attached file. It ought to give you some  
concrete sense of what we want to accomplish as well as how we're  
posing the topic. We will probably have 16 to 24 separate sessions at  
the conference, many of them running concurrently though with  
staggered times so that attendees can get to more than one discussion/ 
workshop. We hope to have social time and to hear music in NYC after  
the conference-day ends.

If you come to the New School meeting, expect to brainstorm AND deal  
with the nitty gritty. If you can't come but are interested, please  
send ideas, questions or just notes indicating your interest (as  
specifically as possible please). We haven't been assured of receiving  
the grants we've applied for, but have to plan the conference in  
considerable detail with the idea that we WILL have the budget we  
need. If this thing comes off, it could be quite good for everybody.  
I'm hoping we'll work together towards that goal.

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Howard Mandel
jazzmandel at earthlink.net
phone 212 533 9495
mobile 212 533 4952

see my blog:

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