The Hamilton Arts Community has grown immeasurably over the past decade. New companies and artists have emerged with engaging, passionate and quality works to share; yet outside of a few targeted opportunities each year, it can be difficult to learn about their work.
At the same time, writing about art (and numerous other topics) has been frequently co-opted into PR, and it can be difficult for artists or organizations to build new audiences when having to compete with a larger machine.
Beyond James is an independent blog that provides critical reviews of and written work about live performing arts in the Hamilton area year-round. It aims to produce timely reviews and update as often as possible to provide real-time engagement with produced art. Beyond James recognizes that great art isn’t confined to one space or one street in Hamilton: it’s everywhere.
The values that inform this blog are:
Gratitude: I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by talented performers throughout my life, and although I don’t always understand what they are trying to accomplish, I am thankful that they are willing to share their work.
Respect: It takes courage to share art with others, particularly those that you don’t know, and I respect that. Reviews and articles are posted with the utmost respect for artists and organizations, which may include criticism of elements of the work. However, if I can’t say something nice, I’d rather not say anything at all.
Inclusiveness: I truly believe that art is for all, and that art should push boundaries to ensure we’re reaching people who may feel marginalized or excluded. I also believe that the relationship between the writer and reader are those of equals. Unless absolutely necessary, I won’t use jargon.
Independence: No payment is made to publish preview pieces or reviews and articles from publicists or those being paid to produce aren’t published. In short, this blog aims to be influence-free, and if a benefit is received (such as free tickets) that could sway the perception of independence – it’ll be explicitly noted.