WireTap and Arts Fellowship Success

December 30, 2009

Dear Friends and Readers,

As stated by Kristina in her post today, WireTap in its current incarnation is coming to an end. I've really enjoyed and have been enriched by my three years of work with Kristina, Jamilah and all of our excellent contributors. You've made me laugh, think and have inspired action.

My tenure with WireTap began three years ago after spending the previous two years studying education at SF State. Prior to that I had edited and written for music magazines. WireTap provided me with a forum to mentor young writers, edit and work with some exceptional reporters and explore arts activism.

With that in mind, this year WireTap began our very first Arts and Culture Writing Fellowship (supported by the Nathan Cummings Foundation and The Nation Institute) and introduced our readers as well as other outlets to two incredible young voices: Zoneil Maharaj and Geoffrey Dobbins. Whether they were talking about punk, hip-hop, visual arts or film, Dobbins and Maharaj offered fresh, progressive takes on culture that didn't shy from asking tough questions.

I'm happy to say that both in their blog posts for WireTap and work placed in other publications, these two young writers succeeded on every level and improved the art and craft of reporting. Indeed, in my estimation, Maharaj's "Deepblak Recordings" story for the East Bay Express and Dobbin's "Scribble Jam" piece for Urb (see links for both below) were two of the best music features I've read anywhere this year. Here are some links:

Zoneil's work:

Blue Scholars in XLR8R

Deepblak Recordings in East Bay Express

Geoffrey's work:

Scribble Jam in Urb

Eprhyme in Zeek

I'd also like to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and sacrifice of my two co-workers, Founder/Publisher Kristina Rizga and Editor Jamilah King. These two women were not only great friends and colleagues but led the WireTap community through panel discussions and workshops, Blog-A-Thons and investigative articles. I truly couldn't have asked for better folks to work with. I'll miss our small cubicle discussions, white-board editorial planning sessions and Cuban veggie lunches.

Finally, it is with great respect that I thank you, the WireTap readers. Your comments, suggestions, submissions and enthusiasm over the years have been much appreciated. As a new decade dawns and the publishing industry evolves, I hope our paths cross again.

Yours in solidarity,
Tomas A. Palermo, Managing Editor

Tomas Palermo is the Managing Editor of WireTap.





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