Moving Experience: An Introduction

Arts district

Art is everywhere. As arts journalists, we hear that a lot. But what does it actually mean?

We spend most of our careers high-tailing it to a hot gallery opening; prowling for an elusive parking space near the theater. We’re not looking for art on the way there: on the sidewalks, in the storefronts, throughout the neighborhoods that wrap around the white fortresses of museums.

But art is, by nature, about place. Artists respond to the communities in which they live and work. Audiences absorb the work that’s most relevant to their experience. So where is the arts journalism that responds appropriately? We want a new form that celebrates the importance of context and the power of place in a way that serves artists, audiences, and publications in a more relevant and valuable way.

For our project as part of the USC Annenberg Getty Arts Journalism Fellowship, Moving Experience, we hoped to discover this different context for which to consider arts and culture. Our methodology was simple. Here in L.A. there is one narrative that seems to dominate our culture: car culture. So we flipped that narrative. For four days, we explored the city on bicycles, on foot, on public transit.

What did we hope to uncover? A new way of working. As arts journalists, how can we get closer to the culture of the city we’re covering? Does the way we access art affect the way in which we see it? And how can we report in a way that better engages the audience we serve?

These are the questions we hoped to answer as we purchased our Metro passes, laced up our most comfortable shoes, and climbed onto the seats of our bikes.

What did we learn? Read on.

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  1. […] that wrap around the white fortresses of museums”. They say that art is about place. For Moving Experience, Engine29 celebrated “the importance of context and the power of place in a way that served […]