Ostriker named new Globe arts editor--updated!

I don't know much about Rebecca Ostriker, who's been tapped to replace Scott Heller as the Globe's arts editor. (Heller recently decided to decamp* for the New York Times.) But the memo announcing Ostriker's appointment offers reason for optimism--starting with the fact that Ostriker, who'd been Heller's second in command, helped edit the coverage that won critic Mark Feeney a 2008 Pulitzer.

Here's the memo in full, sent by features editor Doug Most earlier today.


I am very pleased and excited to announce that the large shoes Scott Heller
is leaving behind will be filled by the only person who can rival Scott in
his deep knowledge of the local arts scene (and surpass it when it comes to
the world of dance), Rebecca Ostriker. In Rebecca, we have assuredly found
someone who will passionately and enthusiastically carry on the Globe's
deep and rich commitment to covering the arts.

Rebecca has served as Assistant Arts Editor since 2005, working closely
with Scott, and running the show in his absence. She has supervised the
Globe’s coverage of theater, visual arts, dance, and comedy, and at one
point classical music.  She is as passionate about the arts, and I mean all
the arts, as anyone I've met and has played a critical role in some of our
department's biggest highlights moments in recent years. She edited
criticism by Mark Feeney that won a 2008 Pulitzer Prize and by Sebastian
Smee that was a 2009 Pulitzer finalist. She was a key editor of the Globe’s
2006 special section on the new ICA, she spearheaded an early drive to
improve the Globe’s multimedia arts coverage on, and she led an
editorial initiative to bring the Sunday TV Week coverage into the new G
section in 2008.

Previously, she was a Living/Arts copy editor and wrote the Globe’s Sunday
"Local Action" film column as well as features, profiles, and reviews on
music, television, and dance. Her first job at the Globe was on the Sports
copy desk, where she quickly acquired an affection for the Red Sox and a
taste for blazing-fast deadlines. Before coming to the Globe, she was the
managing editor and acting editor in chief of New Age Journal (now Body &
Soul).  She graduated from Harvard with a bachelor's degree in English and
American literature.

When I said that Rebecca is passionate about all the arts, I meant it. She
was classically trained as a musician and studied dance for years, but she
also played in in a rock band called The Burrs, singing and playing bass.
(Their biggest claim to fame? Winning Musician magazine’s "Best Unsigned
Band" contest). Sadly, there are no YouTube clips to send along as evidence
of this.

Rebecca lives with her husband, Ian MacKinnon, near Central Square. Over
here in this corner of the newsroom, we really have only one concern about
the demands of her new job: Whether she'll be able to keep tending the
peaches and blackberries in her garden for consumption by and bringing
bowls of them to her hungry colleagues. She promises to not neglect us.
Please wish her well, and yes, this does mean we are looking to fill the
seat she is vacating as assistant arts editor.


*NOTE: I originally wrote that Heller had decamped for the New York Times; his last day is Friday. Also, I've been told that Ostriker wasn't Mark Feeney's primary editor on his Pulitzer-winning material. 


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