Sasha Anawalt, director
Sasha Anawalt is founding director of USC Annenberg Arts Journalism Programs, including the Masters degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) program, a partnership with the five arts schools at USC. She also directs the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program, a fellowship program focused on creating new dynamic systems and tools for journalism with Douglas McLennan. They produced Engine29.org, a “pop-up” news lab in 2012 and are currently designing Engine30 in collaboration with media partners, designers and developers. Anawalt wrote the best-selling cultural biography, “The Joffrey Ballet: Robert Joffrey and the Making of an American Dance Company.” A PBS documentary about the Joffrey Ballet that is based on her book will be released in January 2013. She recently co-produced, The Underground: From the Street to the Stage, a full-evening dance show choreographed by legendary krumpers, Lil ‘C and Miss Prissy. Anawalt was chief dance critic for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner for six years, for two years at the LA Weekly and for nearly a decade at KCRW, National Public Radio.
Douglas McLennan, Engine30 project architect
Douglas McLennan is the founder and editor of ArtsJournal.com, the leading aggregator of arts journalism on the Internet. Prior to starting ArtsJournal, McLennan was arts columnist and music critic for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. A former concert pianist, he has a master's degree in music from the Juilliard School in New York. He has written on the arts for numerous publications, including as music critic for Salon, and for Newsweek, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the London Evening Standard. McLennan has been a music critic for National Public Radio's “All Things Considered.” He was head of the board of the National Arts Journalism Program (NAJP) at Columbia University until last summer. He is a recipient of several awards for arts criticism and reporting, including a NAJP fellowship at Columbia University and a Deems Taylor/ASCAP Award for music journalism.
Edward Lifson, associate director
Edward Lifson has written on culture and architecture for many years as a bureau chief, foreign correspondent, and war correspondent for National Public Radio. His work has appeared on the BBC, CNN and CBC; he has written for Nylon, Metropolis, Dwell, Edition29 on the iPad, A + U, Architect, The Architect’s Newspaper, and other media. Lifson created and hosted a popular public radio program on culture called Hello Beautiful! His work has received journalism's highest honors, including Columbia- duPont, Peabody, and Edward R. Murrow awards. He currently edits the USC Architecture journal Dispatch, and is co-producing a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded website called One Nation, Under Construction. Lifson studied at the University of Paris, Boston Architectural Center and spent two years as a Fellow at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. He earned an MA in Journalism as an Annenberg Fellow at USC and was a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow. He works in China with USC Architecture’s American Academy in China. Lifson lived for years in each of the following: Paris, Berlin, Florence, London and New Orleans; he hails from Chicago.
Arianna Sikorski, program coordinator
Arianna Sikorski is program coordinator for the Arts Journalism Programs at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, which includes the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program and the Master’s degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) program. She coordinated the NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Theater and Musical Theater at USC Annenberg for five years and was business manager for its pop-up newsroom Engine28.com in June 2011. She also was an associate producer and the stage manager for A National Summit on Arts Journalism in October 2009. She previously worked for Sutton, Barth and Vennari Talent Agency as voice over scheduler, responsible for over 200 clients and held the position of production coordinator for the USC Thornton School of Music for four years working on over 500 concerts annually with guest artists such as Randy Newman, Bobby McFerrin and Yo-Yo Ma. Arianna is a graduate of the University of Southern California and Idyllwild Arts Academy as well as an alumni of the Institute for Shipboard Education’s Semester at Sea program and a citizen diplomat for the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles.
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