John Moore, former Denver Post Theater Critic, joins DCPA

John Moore. Photo by Brian Landis Folkins

John Moore. Photo by Brian Landis Folkins

The cat has vacated the bag: I am going back to work — for pay! Alexandra Griesmer, P.R. and Promotions Manager for the Denver Center Theatre Company, made the announcement this morning:

“John Moore, former theater critic of The Denver Post and founder of www.CultureWest.org, has been named to The Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ newly created position of Associate Director of Content Strategy. In this role, Moore will create and distribute relevant and valuable content to engage and retain customers and develop a positive, insightful experience for theater patrons.”

I can’t believe my good fortune to be joining the Denver Center. After immersing myself in all the happenings at the Denver Performing Arts Complex since 2001, advancing and reviewing nearly every show performed there, it feels like coming home.

I will share a few more thoughts about this forward-thinking arrangement at the end of this blog. But first, here’s the content of the release:

August 15, 2013
Contact: Alexandra Griesmer
303.446.4835 | agriesmer@dcpa.org

JOHN MOORE — FORMER DENVER POST THEATER CRITIC — NAMED ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF CONTENT STRATEGY OF THE DENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

DENVER, CO — John Moore, former theatre critic of The Denver Post and founder of CultureWest.org, has been named to The Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ newly created position of Associate Director of Content Strategy. In this role, Moore will create and distribute relevant and valuable content to engage and retain customers and develop a positive, insightful experience for theatre patrons.

“John will be key to reaching new audiences,” said Denver Center Chairman Daniel L. Ritchie. “He is respected in the Colorado theatre community and, indeed, nationally. We are pleased to welcome him into the DCPA family.”

Moore joins The Denver Center after a 28-year career in the newspaper industry. After working in various capacities at publications in Colorado, New York, Texas and North Carolina, he served as The Denver Post theatre critic and editor for 12 years providing him with an intimate knowledge of The Denver Center’s two theatrical divisions — the Tony Award-winning Denver Center Theatre Company and the Broadway touring presenter Denver Center Attractions.

While theatre critic at The Post, Moore wrote more than 3,000 theatre reviews, feature stories, columns and breaking news stories. As new technology evolved, he clearly saw the opportunities available to mainstream media. He conceived and implemented an online portal that soon served as a model for other markets around the country. This online coverage evolved to include video podcasts, script samples, photo galleries and an ancillary site devoted solely to coverage of high school theater.

Considered a strong advocate for Colorado’s local theater scene, Moore has received numerous awards and commendations including:
• Journalistic Excellence in the Arts Award (Colorado Theatre Guild, 2012)
• Best Performance by a Theater Advocate Award (Westword, 2012)
• One of 12 most influential theatre critics in the US (American Theatre magazine, 2011)
• First place in Arts & Entertainment Criticism (Society of Professional Journalists, 2007)
• More than 20 awards from other organizations including Colorado Press Association, Denver Press Club, Society of Black Journalists, PHAMALy and Alliance of Community Theatres

Not one to be content sitting in the audience, Moore has become an active participant in Colorado’s art scene. He founded and ran The Denver Post Underground Music Showcase, an annual celebration of local music that has grown into a four-day, 325-band indie-rock festival, which just completed its 13th year. After leaving The Denver Post, Moore founded CultureWest.org, a new website devoted to covering arts and culture throughout Colorado. Moore also recently founded the Denver Actors Fund, a new non-profit that will provide emergency situational relief when members of the local theatre community find themselves in sudden medical need. The “Tap-Shoe Initiative” is one program the Fund has launched to engage the support of actors and audiences. Theaters are asked to place a tap shoe in the green room and lobby into which company members and patrons can place a donation.

Moore’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Inside Arts Magazine, The Denver Post, The Raleigh News and Observer, The Dallas Times Herald and The National Sports Daily among many other leading publications, Moore can take his considerable knowledge of theatre and his extensive familiarity with the DCPA to develop content that continues to help shape and inform the community’s perception of theatre.

Moore is a graduate of the University of Colorado and Denver’s Regis Jesuit High School.

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Here are a few thoughts I have on the new job:

*The continuing diminution of the traditional media is making it more difficult for arts organizations to get their stories told to widespread audiences. I think that by a hiring an arts journalist, the Denver Center is taking a bold and proactive step to ensure that the great stories taking place every day will continue to be told in credible, enlightening and innovative ways. It’s a forward-thinking move that I think may be emulated by other large arts organizations in the years to come.

*Since 2001, I have cultivated a relationship with the same readership of The Denver Post who largely make up the Denver Center’s audience base. I think that my practiced and passionate eye will allow me to tell informed, credible stories that are steeped in the proud history of the organization. Good, credible storytelling that engages audiences starts a conversation, and engenders a kind of loyalty that will remain long after the actors take their final bows.

*I intend to engage our audiences in a daily dialogue, using multiple multimedia platforms that will allow our guests to feel both more informed and more connected to the Center — and in more urgent and satisfying ways — than ever before.