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.
Due to COVID-19, Beyond James is currently not publishing twice a week; rather, articles are posted whenever possible and relevant.
The values that inform this blog are:
Gratitude: Writers of articles have first-hand experience in the sector, either as practicing artists or arts administrators and recognize and respect the creative process from start to finish. Although we don’t always understand what other artists are trying to accomplish, we are always 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 we 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 there isn’t anything nice to say, we’d rather not say anything at all.
Inclusiveness: Contributors to this blog 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. The relationship between the writer and reader are those of equals in this space. Unless absolutely necessary, articles won’t use jargon.
Independence: No payment is made to publish preview pieces or reviews. Articles from publicists or other news releases are explicitly noted. Editor’s notes declare any potential conflicts of interests that may be real or perceived in an article. 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.