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 Helleris leaving behind will be filled by the only person who can rival Scott inhis deep knowledge of the local arts scene (and surpass it when it comes tothe world of dance), Rebecca Ostriker. In Rebecca, we have assuredly foundsomeone who will passionately and enthusiastically carry on the Globe'sdeep and rich commitment to covering the arts.Rebecca has served as Assistant Arts Editor since 2005, working closelywith Scott, and running the show in his absence. She has supervised theGlobe’s coverage of theater, visual arts, dance, and comedy, and at onepoint classical music. She is as passionate about the arts, and I mean allthe arts, as anyone I've met and has played a critical role in some of ourdepartment's biggest highlights moments in recent years. She editedcriticism by Mark Feeney that won a 2008 Pulitzer Prize and by SebastianSmee that was a 2009 Pulitzer finalist. She was a key editor of the Globe’s2006 special section on the new ICA, she spearheaded an early drive toimprove the Globe’s multimedia arts coverage on Boston.com, and she led aneditorial initiative to bring the Sunday TV Week coverage into the new Gsection 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 onmusic, television, and dance. Her first job at the Globe was on the Sportscopy desk, where she quickly acquired an affection for the Red Sox and ataste for blazing-fast deadlines. Before coming to the Globe, she was themanaging editor and acting editor in chief of New Age Journal (now Body &Soul). She graduated from Harvard with a bachelor's degree in English andAmerican literature.When I said that Rebecca is passionate about all the arts, I meant it. Shewas classically trained as a musician and studied dance for years, but shealso played in in a rock band called The Burrs, singing and playing bass.(Their biggest claim to fame? Winning Musician magazine’s "Best UnsignedBand" contest). Sadly, there are no YouTube clips to send along as evidenceof this.Rebecca lives with her husband, Ian MacKinnon, near Central Square. Overhere in this corner of the newsroom, we really have only one concern aboutthe demands of her new job: Whether she'll be able to keep tending thepeaches and blackberries in her garden for consumption by and bringingbowls 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 theseat she is vacating as assistant arts editor.Doug
*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.