For those of you who missed this week’s Charleston City Paper, you didn’t miss much.  That is so sad  for me to say, as I look forward to the paper each Wednesday.  I enjoy John Stoehr’s daily blog,  plus many of their writers’ articles, and I am often fascinated with their point of view.   The City Paper has been CBT’s  lifeline to the college and young professional market as it is an  excellent source for arts groups to get the word out to many readers who do not pick up the daily paper.   

For the market of young professionals and college goer,  The Fall Arts Preview has been the most comprehensive and important of all issues for the Arts each year.  The preview becomes the catalyst for theatergoers to jump on the bandwagon to consider season tickets, purchase single performances, and and plan their arts fundraisers calendar.    As in the past years, this issue  outlines the multitudes of offering the Lowcountry has to offer with live performances . 

 Well not this year.  CBT’s Administrative Director,   Kyle Barnette’s  has written a succinct focused letter to the editors of the City Paper  and I want to share it with you. I have to add there is been a heated thread all day from many members of the arts community.   I hope after reading Kyle’s catalytic  outcry- you too will jump on the bandwagon.   The City Paper needs to hear from you.

Please read it below.

I wanted to wait and see the content and coverage of your “Fall Arts Preview” before I decided upon advertising opportunities with The City Paper for our season.After seeing the main article about the lack of professional opportunities for artists in the Charleston area, I found it surprising not to even mention or credit the three largest employers of artists in the city (CBT, Charleston Stage and Charleston Symphony) who are working hard daily to create a “mecca” where actors, dancers and musicians can work and live as artists in this community. What sort of impression does that give your readers when they are lead to think there are little to no opportunities for professional work, when that is simply not true?



Additionally, after seeing the teaser line on the cover “What dance means to the dancer” I would have assumed an article in the ARTS ISSUE would have at least mentioned the largest professional dance company in the city much less the state. Shockingly to all of us here at CBT that did not occur either.




After viewing this issue, I do not feel it is in our best interest to advertise with The City Paper. This kind of arts coverage is contradictory to what you relayed as your goal for the paper in our meeting, which was to be an all encompassing arts publication. Exploring the lack or professional arts opportunities in this city while failing to acknowledge the three largest arts employers did not serve to bolster your local arts community at all, one that depends on your paper regularly to represent them to the masses.  I think while your intentions in the issue may have been one thing, it ended up as a missed opportunity and a disservice to the many arts groups in town hungry for coverage and publicity of their upcoming seasons. I can’t speak for the other groups in town, but I know we feel very let down by this issue.

 Had your “Arts Issue” been a true preview of the upcoming arts season and celebrated what wonderful professional companies we do have, I would be much more inclined to advertise with your magazine. Sadly, City Paper chose a more austere and pessimistic approach, instead downplaying the multitudes of positives in the arts community while at the same time not even covering most of the arts groups’ upcoming seasons. While that may have been an interesting article later in the year, it certainly seemed ill-timed and certainly irrelevant for an issue that should have celebrated & previewed the arts in the city.

This was a huge missed opportunity for not only the arts groups in town, but for the art loving community to get a chance to become excited about the upcoming arts season and have a reference to hold on to when deciding upon entertainment options for the coming arts season .It would have been nice to see all the theatres in town’s upcoming season in the annual Arts Preview Issue.

As a fan of City Paper I hate to even write this, but I am quite disappointed in the way this issue was handled. In our meeting you referred to this issue several times as the “Fall Arts Preview Issue”. Where was Charleston Stage, Village Playhouse, Chas. Symphony, Art Forms & Theatre Concepts, Footlight Players, Actor’s Theatre of SC, College of Charleston? While I don’t speak for these groups I do know they were barely mentioned or not at all. Don’t they have entire seasons coming up? Their websites certainly indicate they do. I’m sure the community would have  loved to have known about them all in the Fall Arts Preview.

Perhaps we can look forward to that in an upcoming issue.


 Kyle Barnette

Again I offer up the aphorism “a rising tide floats all boats”  that associates with the idea that improvements in the general will benefit all participants.  I am so cheerless  that  Charleston City Paper fell so below their normal creative standard .   Now we will have to come up to a new mark, generate new interest and operate in an accepting and generous manner…Come back on Board – City Paper we need you.  But until then– my blog fans could you flood CIty Papers mailboxs with comments.  ?  Thanks!!!!!


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