Number: Growing the Conversation

One of the most challenging aspects of running a quarterly print journal about the visual arts of the region is deciding what gets covered and when. Due to the limitations of space and the time between publications news worthy events, exhibitions, and issues frequently go unnoticed or are unreported.  With the launch of our improved website, Number: Inc. is breaking new ground in regional visual arts coverage. If I was a techie, I might even refer to this as Number: 2.0.  As our beta version of regional arts journalism and criticism will demonstrate, we are moving beyond a static one-way communication mode and repository for arts news to a dynamic and interactive discourse about the visual arts of the Mid-South.

As an organization, Number: has often attempted to engage our readers and the public at large in a conversation about the visual arts. In the past, efforts have included surveys, public exhibitions, and letters to the editor that coincided with the print publication. The problem with each of these modes of conversing has been the lag in response time.  When Number: One was first published in 1987, the format of a quarterly print publication was a viable and common form of communication. People still wrote letters to the editor and dutifully mailed them in. However, with the rapid changes in technology, people expect news to be more responsive and if you are like me, you avoid any situation that requires a trip to the post office. Number: will continue to publish the quarterly print journal but is adding to the arts conversation by re-imagining our online presence.

The main goal for redesigning our website is to publish unique content about the visual arts in a timely and relevant format. We will feature reviews of current shows that feature regional artists from throughout the region. A second goal is to establish a platform to help artists and arts organizations engage the public. Check out the regional updates, to find out about what is happening and the issues impacting the arts in your area. Use the events page to learn about art and culture activities that are a state away or in your neighborhood.  We’ve linked up to Facebook and Twitter so that you can join, follow, and contribute to the conversation. Through these social media tools, you can let us know about shows in the area, comment on articles (in print or online) or provide an instant review while at an arts event.

Number: Inc is a non-profit working with limited people and financial power, but keeps a high standard when it comes to arts reporting. We are still in the testing phase of this website and need your feedback. Let us know what is working or send suggestions for improvements via the contact page. If you want to get involved consider volunteering, subscribing, or writing. At Number: we are always looking for a new voice to join the conversation and are particularly interested in reviews and regional updates. So save a stamp and instead bookmark this site, friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and join our mailing list.

Jennifer Gonzales is an artist, educator,  and the Chair of the Board of Directors for Number:Inc,