The four-day meeting, May 25-28, is a collaboration between the Jazz Journalists Association, American Theatre Critics Association, Dance Critics Association, International Association of Art Critics/USA, and Music Critics Association of America, as well as the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication.
Among other issues, topics under discussion will include the shrinking space given to arts coverage in mainstream publications.
"Critics don't just give thumbs up/thumbs down opinions," said Michael Barnes, former chairman of the American Theatre Critics Association, in a statement. "At their best, critics lend perspective on human issues, create context for understanding our culture and our times. It is crucial that critics reclaim their roles as vital cultural observers and we invite the Los Angeles arts community to join us in this process."
The conference will include panel discussions, performances, and symposia, as well as a writing workshop led by Village Voice writer and editor Elizabeth Zimmer. New York Times critic Margo Jefferson, Los Angeles Times automobile critic Dan Neil, and Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts‹all winners of the Pulitzer Prize‹will participate in a panel titled "Criticism at the Crossroads."