News about The Houston Critic
September 3, 2014
Welcome to the 2014-2015 season of Houston events! We have several new ‘interns’ and some more experienced folks coming back. If we’re going to cover every event in Houston, we need more critics, photographers and videographers/editors. We really need help getting the African-American and Hispanic-American as well as the Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Greek and other communities involved. I’m trying to decide about the necessity for bi or multilingual pages. I spent most of the summer trying to get the ‘large event’ part of The Houston Critic up and running. So, with our new writers, interviewers, videographers and photographers we will have a robust arts criticism section.
We have a food and a Houston Community issues section being worked on, including a Houston Crime page to give the public instant crime statistics for all of Houston. BIG stuff if we get it going.
Right now, no one is being paid as there is no income. I am putting up a preview or two as a part of coverage agreements but think that previews might be a way to monetize the site. I’ve offered an EXTREMELY generous 75% in perpetuity share to advertising sales people if we go with advertising. We may go after corporate sponsors instead of advertising. Any ideas on the subject or help will be appreciated.
As to the critical reviews of the more expected part of Houston culture I hope that you, as critics, budding experts, interns will be looking for your own events of interest to cover. That means you have to keep VERY close touch with me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we don’t approach groups multiple times. Once I give you credentials, you will be authorized to generate your own reviews after prior notice and consultation with me.
We publicize that we will put up timely reviews, in other words, usually that night, which are characterized by our critics’ growing expertise in the areas they cover. This is not to be a wiki or google-repost review site. We want what YOU saw and experienced, even if you’re a student critic. Your voice is valuable in helping get audiences the type of events that inspire them and for producers to hear your honest reactions. We want to be known for honesty, integrity, and fairness.
Some of you will ask to be assigned to one organization, like The Houston Grand Opera, because you are an expert in opera or are so interested in it that you will take this opportunity to become an expert. Establishing critics who cover certain organizations or types of events will be good for highlighting growing expertise of the critic, but, more importantly, the audience will get used to how that critic thinks and writes.
Please check out the live performance section http://thehoustoncritic.com/reviews/ to see the organizations with whom we already have press/criticism relationships. If one or more of those organizations seems like one you’d be interested in covering for the whole season, please let me know.
If a particular show one of those organizations is presenting is of interest to you, please let me know.
August 9, 2014
We’re gearing up for the 2014-2015 season with the commitment to cover EVERY major cultural event from EVERY part of Houston, Texas. If it’s Greek or Spanish or Vietnamese or Russian or Chinese, or Japanese or just plain American whatever we need folks to cover and write critical reviews. By Critical we mean constructive criticism that has to aim of making cultural events in Houston better so that more visitors will be attracted to our city for our cultural events as well as the many other reasons folks might be attracted to the city.
We are going to do our first full season of reviews with INTERNS only. No one is being paid, not staff, not accountants, nobody until we find a way to monetize the site in a way that is fair, ethical, and honest. We’re working on that, but need folks who are experts who want to write criticism in their field or are students/budding experts who want the excuse to research criticism and their field and gain experience.
We need theater critics, we need music critics, we need relief dance critics, we need spanish culture critics, we need afro culture critics. We really want to encompass EVERYTHING that’s going on in Houston.
We send you to events or, once you become official and credentialed, you might develop your own events to cover. We don’t cover parking, but most of the time there is parking from the producing agency or at the venue or downtown for free. We provide the press credentials and you email us photos, videos (if it’s that type of event) and, especially, you send us TIMELY reviews. It is our obligation to get the reviews up before the next performance which is usually the next day.
Previews might be the area where we can monetize the site, but we will consider previews from our interns for events they are about to cover and as part of the agreement from producint agencies.
We are in the process of putting together FOOD AND RESTAURANT criticism and HOUSTON CRIME coverage. If these fall into your areas of interest or expertise, please let us know.
May 5, 2014 — It is our commitment to cover every major event in Houston as a service to our the community and producing agencies. Our timely reviews help you decide which of the many offerings you wish to attend. Our honest, constructive criticism gives the producing agencies insight about why or why not the event is well attended. We also leave all the reviews on our site as a reference archive into the past wonders of Houston Culture.
Experienced Critics, Student and Budding Critics Needed!
We believe Criticism does good, that it is good for everyone. Not just reviews, which say what happened without opinion or critical input, we have critical reviews from experts, budding experts, amateurs, and students. We are establishing reoccuring criticism from writers Houston will get to know. We also believe that honest feedback from students of all ages, even community members who are normally unlikely to attend cultural and other events, is important for the improvement and appreciation of life in Houston.
Make this your Go To site for information about Houston!
Come back and check us out as the site develops.
You can contact us by voice or message at 713-314-7104 or
A big “Thank-you” from The Staff of The Houston Critic
We’re finally getting up and running online!!!
March 28, 2014 — What makes us different from Yelp or the standard press? We have a commitment to criticism and speed of report as a benefit to the community and the producing organization. We do restaurant and business criticism but our main focus is on the arts. We develop or are helped by experts in the subjects of their criticism whose critical opinions and proclivities you, our readers, get to know and we get our reviews on the site, if possible, before the next performance or event. We do interviews with owners, operators, artists, and other professionals to inform the criticism we write and to give our readers context so that they can, more easily, form their own critical opinions. We LOVE good constructive criticism and will be using volunteers, for the most part, until we develop a financial structure that isn’t based on advertising from the reviewed parties.
We believe that good, truthful, level-headed, knowledgeable, criticism is essential to progress. We believe that criticism makes things better. So, we don’t just ‘review’. We try to give a sense of what we think will make it better.
If you are an expert who wants to be like Hazlitt was for Shakespeare, here in Houston, to make Houston a better place to live, please contact us about becoming a critic with us.
If you’re a student who wants to deepen your knowledge of your field of study and are willing to establish an ongoing presence on our site, so that you become trusted by the public, also, please contact us.
If you have a business or restaurant or arts organization or event you want reviewed, please send us an email at email@example.com
Another impetus for The Houston Critic, is to get the youth of our city to events and to receive real, honest feedback from them about how the events effected them, how they would make it better, what they responded to and what left them cold. To this purpose, we send young folks to cultural and other events as “Youth Critics”. The sense of empowerment from honestly reporting their perspective gives them new ways to see the arts and culture. We even encourage the young at heart to participate, going to places and happenings they might not ordinarily attend.
So, our first critical review is of the Houston Symphony’s presentation of
“100 Years of Broadway” March 28, 2014.
We’re doing something a bit backwards, building a large site to encompass many things that are really under the general umbrella of The Stewart School. Instead of The Stewart School Site being nestled inside The Houston Critic site, it should be the other way around, the Houston Critic being a part of The Stewart School