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Notes on Heart and Mind

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Pauline Kael, I Lost It at the Movies HE MAINSTREAM AMERICAN Cultural Artifact in front of me-to borrow the media-studies terminology of George W.S. Trow, the late New Yorker staff writer and social critic (and my former journalism teacher at Bard College)-is a National Endowment for the Arts announcement, posted on Dec. 21,2007, naming the 25 arts journalists selected for its fourth annual Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater, to be conducted at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication in February. Given their specifically focused imperatives, such training programs for working arts journalists are probably not going to address the more urgent crises in the field-which would involve joining the systematic effort to encourage more favorable conditions for critics who work for news-media organizations that have shirked arts journalism, as well as addressing the grave problems relating to the practice of criticism for the majority of critics (in all disciplines) who don't regularly ply their trade in the Assumed Dominant Mind of the media.

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