Arts Blogger Challenge: Any Logic in Numbers?

Please vote in the 2012 Great Arts Blogger Challenge! 2nd Round Voting closes Thursday April 5. Critical Rant needs your vote to help promote North Texas performance art at a national level. Below is a  summation of the 16 finalist challengers, listed by number of votes accrued.

Why do some blog contestant entries have 500+ votes and others not even 100? It’s hard to know. Based on bios and readily available info, here’s a Cliff Notes style breakdown of the 16 finalists as of 8pm on April 4, 2012. What a fascinating, diverse, devoted  bunch of gabby folks! I feel so honored to find myself included here.

Operation Opera (550 votes) This is a corporate blog, part of Opera Virginia’s promotional and development outreach. Paid or volunteer? Company has a working budget of $5.4 million with 32 mainstage performances in three markets reaching nearly 50,000 attendees. A ready-made mailing list to hustle votes from! Wow….

classical beaver (325 votes) A refreshingly accessible, first person independent blog-space with 53 followers and a well-orchestrated (pun intended) use of social media, “unabashedly devoted to the Oregon Symphony”.

Trying to Remain Opera-tional (190 Votes) By an unaffiliated classical singer with a well-thumbed international passport, this blog comes from the heart and has received coverage from major mainstream media, including Los Angeles Times, the Daily Beast, NPR. Billed “the life of an opera singer equals comedy”, it’s dynamite reading and a lively insider perspective.

Neo Antennae (163 Votes) Independent blogger in Albuquerque NM. “I write on subjects ranging from current events, to CD reviews, to essays about music and the world.” A sixteen-year-old “Writer. Pianist. Casual composer. Listener.” 20 blog members, very creative, fresh and appealing.

Seated Ovation (143 Votes) Open and analytical, independent blogger studying to be a musicologist in Chapel Hill, NC. “I have lived in New York, Berlin, and now Chapel Hill, and utilize my blog as a way of investigating the classical music scene from both a critical and scholarly viewpoint” Brainy stuff here, clear as a bell.

Speed of Life (130 Votes) This sophisticated, multi-talented visual artist, lecturer, cultural commentator and advocate has a gorgeous website: His independent blog (since 2004) explores “the intersections between the arts and society” with amazing insight and respect for a wide range of cultural perspectives; flickr page, often updated with new paintings and work in progress: A true Renaissance art & culture site.

The Glass (105 Votes) A clean, focused online independent Connecticut based music and culture advocacy blog “for giving people an opportunity to see the musical arts through both my words and the words of the artists themselves.”

Proust Eats a Sandwich (102 Votes) This articulate and charming independent musician/critic/lecturer/advocate and sandwich-lover’s blog “grew out of participating in the “NEA Arts Journalism Institute at Columbia University in 2010. Proust was created to direct my focus on the performing arts in Kansas City, my philosophy of criticism, and my love of sandwiches. I also write for The Kansas City Star and for, an online performing arts journal. In addition, I work at the Music/Media Library at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.”

Likely Impossibilities (94 Votes) An incognito “deep throat” insider, this ostensibly female blogger “holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in music and works in education” and enjoys remaining anonymous. Her blog, with respectable accolades and endorsements, yet shrouded in mystery, is a first class sideline clearly penned by someone with major professional and academic immersion in the stupendous world of opera.

ArtBLT (91 Votes) Bi-blogging! Two sisters’ blog “dedicated to art in all forms: music, film, dance, literature, fashion, and oh yes, food!” “Two Darling ArtBelles” in Birmingham, Alabama, with all the warmth of southern hospitality. “Where art is a way of life.” Contemporary, stylish, gutsy and fun.

Musical Perceptions (86 Votes) Independent blogger in Indiana since 2004, where he teaches music theory at DePauw University. A “music professor, father of five, and triathlete. I study timbre, popular music, improvisation, and pedagogy, and perform on the trumpet and cornetto. “ Another intimate, erudite, exquisite insider perspective.

Also Sprach FraKathustra (82 Votes) This internationally distinguished pianist and composer “with an interest in the intersection of music and culture” has taught at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan since 1999. His blog has 385 followers. His website ( is comprehensive, diverse and informative. “He is a composer and jazz pianist whose work includes music for solo piano, voice and piano, orchestra, brass quintet, percussion, brass choir, mixed chamber ensembles, carillon, strings, and two concertos”. His compositions have been featured on NPR, and he is a well-respected author of multiple texts on jazz improvisation. Never stuffy or effete, his posts are honest and respectful of artists and all art forms, exhibit a dry wit and open, collegial communication style.

Cultural Tourism DC (79 Votes) Blog as kaleidoscopic bricolage! “An independent coalition of more than 230 culture, heritage, and community-based member organizations. Cultural Tourism DC and its members develop, deliver, and celebrate experiences that are authentic to Washington.” With twelve blog categories, staff of six plus a 20+ member board of directors and nine comprehensive programs relating to the arts and culture of Washington DC, these folks stay busy expanding minds and inspiring creativity in our nation’s capitol. They also produce six publications in pdf format, including an annual report for Cultural Tourism in DC. The head spins. Time off must not register in their vocabulary.

Critical Rant (62 Votes) Independent theatre criticism and regional stage advocacy blog for North Texas by an NEA/ Annenberg fellow in theatre criticism with a lifelong background in and devotion to, all things performance art. Dallas based.

DMV Classical (50 Votes) Independent blog from Silver Spring, MD, by a former Washington Post classical concert review stringer gone rogue, billed as “Classical music in the chocolate city and its vanilla suburbs”.

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