Introducing: The Point8 Blog

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Welcome to the Point8 Blog — a joint venture of Creative Loafing and Point8 Forum. It will be a weekly open forum for artists to discuss everything related to the arts. And we use the term “artist” in its broadest sense — as anyone who is involved in, or care about, any kind of creative venture.

Like the Point8 forums, the Pecha Kucha series, and other such “real” activities we have done over the years, we hope to develop this into a virtual venue for the open exchange of ideas, sharing of work, and objective critique. And as always, we hope to remain a grassroots initiative, where the participants decide the topics, as well as the course of the discussions.

We are what you want us to be; however, as we start off, we would also like to differentiate ourselves from what is often considered the norm:

We are not about punditry.

We are not a group of media experts/professional critics passing judgment, deciding what is important, and what is not worth talking about.

We are not about ratings/hits/pageviews.

The ratings driven, cover-what-sells approach of most conventional media has ended up eliminating almost all discussions about arts/culture. We would like to stick to our belief that what really matters cannot be judged by the number of hits or comments on an article, and not let popularity be the main determinant for what we choose to discuss.

We are not about dumbing down.

Whenever the local media covers anything artistic/cultural, the general assumption appears to be that the audience is totally ignorant about the medium, and so the discussion needs to be at the most rudimentary level. That approach also ensures that the level of discussion never rises beyond the basics. We would like to start by respecting the knowledge and intelligence of our audience.

We are not about issues/controversies

Unfortunately, much of the debate about the arts in Charlotte is driven by people who don’t really care about the arts. Politicians/talking heads raise some hot button issue for political purposes, immediately prompting everyone to split into opposing camps. A shouting match ensues, drowning out all possibilities for a real discussion or critique. We are not interested in provoking or perpetuating that kind of a “dialogue”.

The contributors:

To start off, the blog will be led by me, Barbara Schreiber, and Jeff Jackson. Barbara will provide her unique commentary on the goings on in the visual art scene, and Jeff will keep us updated about the movie/music/literature scenes, drawing attentions to events/issues not covered or discussed otherwise. We hope to grow the team as we go forward.

Our thanks to Carlton Hargro and the CL team for giving us the opportunity, and moreover, for being infinitely patient while we got our act together.

And as always, our thanks to you — the creative individuals of Charlotte and this region — who helped build and sustain Point8. Make this blog yours. It is time artists led the discussion about arts in this town. Help us make it happen — by joining the conversation, by contributing and commenting.

— Manoj P Kesavan

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