Anonymous yet personal, this Blog chronicles
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Lament for the Globe Calendar Section

For as long as I can remember, Thursday was Boston Globe "Calendar Day." With my morning coffee in hand, I would dive into the paper and pull out the "Calendar Section" to read and analyse the concert listings for the coming week. My schedule would often revolve around attending one or more of the obscure events listed in those pages. It was a great service to the community. Non-profit organizations, colleges, and grass-roots arts groups could submit their listings for free and get the word out about their event or lecture. Event listings were concise, informative, and carefully broken down into sub-categories. You could easily navigate the section to find the lecture, art, drama, music, or family event of your choosing.

This all ended today when the NY Times Publishing Company (parent of the Boston Globe) revamped its Arts insert section in the name of progress. The Calendar was replaced with "g" - a bland and generic Style, Arts, Things-to-do, TV, Comics, and Puzzles section. It has more color photos and commercial advertising than its predecessor, and it does list a few select mainstream concerts and events that the editor has recommended. But the Globe's increasingly scant coverage of arts events with reviews and articles now seems to be relegated to this small area of the paper.

Starting today, I have no idea how small arts groups will get the word out about their up-coming events. New Music ensembles in particular will be hard hit by this change since they live day-to-day and just can't afford to purchase advertising. While event listings still may be found online at, it is not the same as seeing it in news print. The negative impact on fringe arts organizations who are already struggling is going to be severe.

Perhaps it is just a sign of the times, but I will sorely miss the utility and value provided by the old Boston Globe Calendar section.

The rest is just noise.