Preview for Next Week … and a Thank You

BY Arts Desk  December 19, 2008 at 1:00 PM EDT

I want to thank all of you ‘first responders’ who’ve written here and reached us in other ways with comments on our new Art Beat blog. The positive feedback has been very gratifying and encourages us to go forward with this effort. I apologize for not being able to respond to everyone individually, but please know that we’re reading your comments and pondering your suggestions. Keep them coming!

I also want to take a moment to thank the small but energetic team that’s doing all the real work — especially Tom LeGro, Mike Melia, Vanessa Dennis, Meghann Farnsworth, Molly Finnegan, Katie Kleinman, Zoe Pollock and Zack Seward.

It’s been interesting to me to see the first batch of stories we’ve posted. I’ve been especially happy to learn of several people — Bryan Bell, for example — of whom I knew very little. That’s what I hope will continue for all of us. As I said on the NewsHour that first day, this is a chance to expand our arts coverage, share more stories and speak with more people who help shape our cultural lives.

I’ll try to write every Friday with a preview of what’s to come. Next week, among other things, we begin a “poem of the week” feature and we’ll have a story on stop-motion animation. We’ll also have a conversation I recorded today with film writer David Thomson, a longtime favorite of mine, about his new book, “Have You Seen…?” and some of his favorite new films. And, coming soon, we’ll have a look at the new production of David Mamet’s “Speed-the-Plow” and a conversation with sculptor Andy Goldsworthy.

Thanks again for joining us on Art Beat.