When I accepted the job of assistant editor at the Summit Daily News in 2019, I hoped it would provide me opportunities that would challenge me to improve my journalistic sensibilities and learn new skills.
Like many low-elevation transplants, one of the first things I had to relearn was how to breathe. From there, I learned a great deal about my new role as assistant editor. In the year since moving here from Detroit, I’ve planned magazines, overseen the publication of the daily newspaper, edited stories and led my own small team of very talented people.
Now I get to learn some more.
Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, recent events have necessitated some staffing changes. Jefferson Geiger, our stalwart arts and entertainment editor, who has worked with me over the past year to put together the daily paper, will continue to work in the Summit Daily office but will now be assisting with the production and proofreading of several sister papers in the area.
With his considerable talents now fully engaged in layout and editing, I have been asked to jump off the bench and get to writing. In addition to my other duties, I will also be covering the arts and entertainment scene in Summit County.
While it has been a while since I’ve covered what we call a “beat” as a writer, I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to cover this area in particular. I come from an arts and entertainment background. I have an associates degree in graphic design and a bachelors in fine art while my wife has worked in theater (and theater education) for longer than I’ve known her. We frequently teach each other as we engage in our artistic endeavors. My wife taught me one such lesson on one of our first dates. I tried to grab my coat to leave after seeing the first act of the comedy “Noises Off.” She then had to explain that we had only seen half of the show and that we were at intermission.
We’ve been married seven years now, and she still hasn’t stopped teasing me about that one.
Another reason why I’m excited to take on this new role is the fact that the tourism economy here in Summit County provides ample incentive to foster a thriving arts scene. A county of about 30,000 people might be forgiven for not having a professional theater company, or more than a few galleries, or a community orchestra, or community art classes, or more than one big festival to go to, or even a daily paper to talk about all of those things; but Summit County has all of those and plenty more.
It’s a tantalizing pool for someone like me to have a chance to dive into, and I’m pretty stoked to dive in headfirst.
That said, I have no delusions about how hard it will be to keep my head above water trying to cover a Dillon Reservoir’s worth of events and culture. I have a lot of learning still to do.
I’ve long said that with most things, I prefer to have too much over not enough — the arts and entertainment beat will prove to be a major test of that axiom. Even with the pandemic slowing things down, I know it won’t be much longer before we’ll be flush with a dozen special events each day, along with all of the other great daily activities that are just a part of life up here.
It’s going to be a challenge to make sure I’m shining a fairly representative light across the county, and I’m up for it. I’d definitely appreciate some feedback if you feel like I’ve missed anything. Just give me a call at 970-668-4633 or send an email to [email protected] You can feel free to let me know if I’m doing an OK job, as well. I’d certainly appreciate it.