Hello Savannah Morning News arts and culture readers.
My name is Zach Dennis and I joined the arts and culture editor in January; I have also edited Do Savannah for the past three and a half years and continue to do so.
I decided to hold off on any formal message to the readers of this section until I had been entrenched in the role for a few months. For me, it’s important to show your mission through actions over time, rather than making statements at the beginning, and it’s an effort to avoid the syndrome of the US president and try to collect a lot of promises in the first 100 days.
Art Scene: Savannah can promote public art and engage with the community by painting some dogs
That’s entertainment!: Historic Savannah Theater celebrates 20 years under current regime
Creative Playground: Collage is a community that redefines accessibility and culture
With more than 100 days behind me, I feel like the section’s mission has become a little clearer to readers through our reporting and columns: The Savannah Morning News’ arts and culture team aims to cover and provide tools for cultural and entertainment issues. community through solutions-based reporting and conversation-starting opinion pieces.
We sit on a plateau of progress, with tourism demands and major companies like Hyundai planting roots in the region. While there are many other factors associated with Savannah’s rise in the national consciousness, it also presents the community with opportunities for how we want to use these developments to create a better cultural scene around us.
So far, I think this episode carries the torch for these kinds of questions and answers in the city.
Recent arts and culture writing: For diver Bill Eberlein, finding the teeth of the planet’s largest predator is a passion.
Meanwhile, art columnist Rob Hessler has taken a more solution-journalistic approach in The Art Scene column, with his recent “Pedestrian deaths remain a problem in Savannah. Can creative intersections help?” Through social media channels and not only in cafes or bars, but also in front of the leaders of the city and region, they strive to ignite a public discourse in order to implement the proposals he makes.
We also continue to provide coverage of new and emerging or local staples, artists crafting new shows and experiences in the town or region. Rob also wrote about three artists working in Savannah who may very soon become household names, while Josephine Johnson reported on local and regional black artists who participated in Sulfur Studios’ recent Juneteenth exhibit.
We’ve also increased our food and dining coverage with Martina Yvette and N.W. Gabbey along with new monthly stories by Martha Giddens Nesbit and Steven Alford. Lately, N.W. Gabbey profiles the new bakery in Thompson Savannah, while Martina Yvette takes a look at three recently opened restaurants that locals should have on their radar.
Can creative crosswalks help?: Pedestrian fatalities remain a problem in Savannah.
Dine Savannah: Feel like you’re luxuriating in Paris with a bite of this bakery’s new baguette
We continue to feature local voices like Polly Powers Stramm and Ben Goggins to hear what people are doing to improve their community, such as an article about neighbors coming together to save Polly’s dog.
In music, we remain the deepest and most locally focused coverage in town. Christopher Berinato writes nuanced interviews with old and new bands in the area; If you haven’t read it yet, check out his chats with “The Ultimate Bar Bad” aka The Intercoastal Playboys along with his interview with a Pink Peugeot crew.
We’ve also covered the Savannah Music Festival, Undergo Fest, Savannah Stopover and we’ll have a nice package with the upcoming Savannah Jazzfest.
For subscribers: Does Savannah have an ‘entertainment district’? If not, what about Broughton Street?
Bill Dawers is also a longtime columnist who continues to spark conversations around the entertainment scene, such as whether Savannah should and should have an entertainment district.
All of this means we’re laying a foundation for strong coverage of arts and culture in Savannah, and I hope that’s evident every week starting in January.
As more and more people choose Savannah as a place to make their home, it presents an opportunity to find more creative minds who will help grow the city’s already strong cultural scene. Not only at the community level, but in recent years, the larger arts organizations in town have also found people in Savannah who are community-minded and eager to use their platform to create accessible art.
Not only that, but more spaces like the soon-to-come Savannah Repertory Theater on Broughton Street, along with other venues being developed along the way, show that Savannah could see a diversity of scenes it hasn’t seen in a long time.
Other arts and culture news: Savannah doesn’t have a movie theater, but it’s not for lack of trying.
Also: Savannah Repertory Theater opens in new Broughton Street performance space
As it happens, my goal as editor of that section is to highlight that and uplift our locals as much as anyone else.
My door is always open, please contact me at email@example.com or 912-239-7706. Let me know what we’re missing, what we can do better, and what other ways we can continue to elevate Savannah’s creativity.
Zach Dennis is the arts and culture editor and Do Savannah weekly alternative publication editor for the Savannah Morning News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-239-7706.