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Dancing Away the LA Times

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A reader sent along a pithy and poignant e-mail with a petition attached last week. The petition is to save one of the many LA Times cuts buyouts, specifically dance critic Lewis Segal, whose last piece was printed today. All the reader wrote was "Why is the LA times abandoning arts?"

USC's Sasha Anawalt broke the news earlier this month on the National Arts Journalism Program's blog. She quotes Segal saying there is a chance that he will still freelance.

Michelle Mierz, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the L.A. Contemporary Dance Company sent around the petition, which also asks people donate money if they can. "We are raising money to buy a full page ad in the L.A. Times declaring a response to recent actions and support for dance staff and coverage at our local newspaper, would you be willing to donate to cover part of the cost of the ad? (we need to raise $8-10K)" The full e-mail text reads:

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BACKGROUND: Lewis Segal, the one full-time staff member covering dance at the L.A. Times, was laid off March 4th and his position is being eliminated at the end of March. There is now no one on staff covering dance in Los Angeles at our major newspaper; and artists, agents, producers, and audiences have gathered with a way to show that our community cannot be ignored.
We believe that Los Angelenos need a commitment from news organizations such as the L.A. Times to support the amazing, fast growing art forms of choreography and dance as seen on the screens and stages of Los Angeles. At a time when dance has never been more popular, we ask you to sign this petition to support the reinstatement and growth of dance staff and coverage at the L.A. Times. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=E0W6R9XACQ7KdRDJO_2bjxFA_3d_3d

Please click and sign the petition linked above, it takes 2 minutes, then forward this email and link to anyone who is a business person, artist, organization leader, or lover of dance in Los Angeles. We are hoping to gather thousands of signatures, then place a full page ad in the L.A. Times in the next two weeks. Let's show the demand for dance coverage in the L.A. Media!!