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The Dallas Morning News and KERA launch Arts Access journalism partnership

four women sit on stage during a panel discussion
Christopher Wynn
/
The Dallas Morning News
Ilknur Ozgur, Ofelia Faz-Garza and Jess Garland listen to a question asked by Arts Access reporter Elizabeth Myong during a panel discussion in September at the Dallas Museum of Art. The Dallas Morning News and KERA hosted 'Making the Scene' as part of its new arts journalism partnership, Arts Access.

The new partnership is designed to expand coverage of arts, music and culture in North Texas ‘through the lens of equity and access.’

The Dallas Morning News and KERA announced Monday the formal launch of their new shared endeavor Arts Access, “a first-of-its-kind journalism partnership” designed to expand “arts, music and culture coverage in North Texas, through the lens of equity and access.”

In making the announcement, both companies vowed to create and share reporting on the arts “across multiple platforms, including print, digital, radio, podcasts and video.” The content, they say, will be free and accessible to anyone who wants it. It is supported by philanthropic funding.

“Reporting from the partnership will have a sharpened focus,” reads a joint release, “on diverse arts communities and organizations and invite new and diverse audiences to engage with arts and culture events. Additionally, the two organizations will produce and host several community events throughout the year.”

Anne Bothwell, KERA’s vice president of arts, noted that “North Texas is special for many reasons, but chief among them is our arts and culture communities. To preserve and expand what makes our region so unique, it’s critical we amplify the stories of our local artists and arts institutions. KERA and The News are united in this commitment, and we couldn’t be more honored to enter into this partnership with them.”

Katrice Hardy, executive editor of The News, also praised the partnership, saying:

“We are so fortunate to live in a community that values and appreciates the arts, which is an integral component of any thriving region. As such, we see this partnership as another way to expose all communities to the rich and diverse and unique talents we have throughout North Texas.

“Arts Access through the support of so many generous donors aims to connect us all more closely to one another. It aims to expose us all more routinely to each another’s cultures. I can’t wait to finally launch this effort in partnership with KERA which for years as part of its mission has underscored the importance of covering the arts through its journalism.”

Arts Access is the latest in what executives at the nonprofit KERA call their “commitment to collaborative partnerships.” In addition to being a founding member and leading station of The Texas Newsroom, a statewide reporting hub, KERA recently launched a collaboration with the nonprofit digital publication Fort Worth Report, in efforts to broaden its reporting in Tarrant County.

Nico Leone, the president and CEO of KERA, said the station is “really proud to embrace collaboration as the future of local journalism. We recognize that when we work with our media peers, not against, we can share local knowledge, resources and platforms. And that means deeper and more accessible reporting for the people of North Texas.”

Grant Moise, publisher and president of The News, called the partnership, “a reflection of the type of innovation that is happening throughout the arts community in North Texas. We chose to partner with KERA,” he said, “because our organizations share a passion and genuine interest in our arts community that is beginning to recover from the pandemic. We are grateful to the generosity of our launch partners.”

At The News, Arts Access follows the launch of the paper’s Education Lab, a similar undertaking which debuted in fall 2020. In the words of News executives, the Education Lab is aimed at “not only expanding our coverage of the most pressing issues in education but also deepening the conversations we have with students, parents and educators.”

Both the Education Lab and Arts Access focus on public service journalism and are funded by donors.

The Arts Access team, the partners say, will include a coordinating editor and two reporters. Already, the partners have hired one reporter and produced dozens of stories, many of which examine how the pandemic has affected cultural life in North Texas.

As part of Arts Access, KERA and The News hosted a panel discussion on Sept. 17 at the Dallas Museum of Art titled, “Arts Access: Making the Scene.”

The panel featured leaders in the arts, who explored “how their respective works and organizations have enriched North Texas communities with accessible experiences.”

The next event takes place Nov. 8 at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Titled “The Burden of Breaking Through: Power Structures and Paths to Progress,” it runs from 1:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. and is part of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s annual Women in Classical Music Symposium.

Moderated by Elizabeth Myong, Arts Access reporter and producer with KERA News, its panelists will also include vocalist Katherine Goforth; Sarah Ioannides, conductor and music director of Symphony Tacoma and artistic director of Cascade Conducting; and Angélica Negrón, the composer-in-residence with the Dallas Symphony.

Find more stories from Arts Access.