Posts written in March 2009

Austin artists, know your candidates

Paramount Theater Ceiling

As reported already by many other local sources, the Paramount theater will host our latest and greatest mayoral and city council candidates for a public forum to discuss their positions on art and culture in Austin. The event is this Wednesday (April 1), at 7p.m. With politicos slashing budgets left and right to stem the economic crisis (or at least give that appearance) arts funding often gets kicked to the curb, despite the considerable income the creative community generates for the city and state. Robert Faires of the Austin Chronicle says it best:

“But when money gets tight, if anything gets cut faster than library hours, it’s arts and culture. And part of the reason is we don’t show up. Let’s not make that mistake this time. A packed Paramount would send a pretty powerful message to City Hall.”

Might be worth getting to know the folks who are lining up to be Austin’s next mayor (I’ve included their Twitter @name where applicable as it’s hopefully a good way to have a conversation with them directly or at least with their campaign):

and city council candidates:

That about sums up what I know of the candidates. I’m a bit of a local politics neophyte, so can anyone elaborate for me on what to be looking out for at the forum this Wednesday? For the candidates that already have a local or state-wide history, what do we know about their support for the arts?

(photo via shadowstorm)

adamnorwood.com

adamnorwood.com 2009

Freshened up my personal blog and portfolio site for 2009. While similar to the transitional look and content that you’ve seen for the past couple of years, this theme has been hand re-written from scratch and features many advancements over the old style. The entire site is better integrated through WordPress than ever before using features newly available in WP 2.7.1 (gravatars, per-post styles, threaded comments, etc), a handful of customized plugins, subtle jQuery enhancements, and Subversion to tie it all together on the backend. I’ve also moved to a new domain after about ten years of being at asnorwood.com. All of the old links should still point to the right place (or get you pretty close), but let me know if you find something missing.

The bulk of the improvements are behind-the-scenes, but I can at least say that the following changes make my life easier and me happier:

  • Uploading new portfolio work is much more straightforward.
    No more need for a separate gallery plugin!
  • The category and link organization is more sensible! Tags, too!
  • Better error-handling — hopefully you won’t end up 404 Not Found, but you at
    least have a sporting chance of getting unstuck now!
  • The search engine optimization (I hate that term) seems to be working
    already, too. Thanks, Google!
  • The search form pulls up better, more accurate results!

All of this tech stuff is secondary, of course, and I’m still trying to decide how best to balance the blog entries between my different interests. Maybe I’ll eventually split off into two or more distinct sites to keep things from rambling together. I’d also like to figure out a better way to incorporate the side-channel links (currently I’m using del.icio.us) and scrap-collecting elements (I love Tumblr for gathering quotes and other detritus, but not sure how best to tie that content in with my main site). Being nearly the fifteenth anniversary of my first website, you’d think I’d have this all figured out by now!

What do you think? What would you change?

Mixed Bag

mixedbag.marshariti.com

Another fairly straightforward WordPress theme built from the ground up. This time it’s for Marsha Riti’s secondary blog, MIXED BAG, which collects her project instructions, recipes, and Craigslist finds from around Austin (are you obsessed with midcentury modern furniture and weird old junk, too?).

Hold on to your hats

adamnorwood.com launched

Hey kids! I’ve relaunched my site, moving it to its new official home at adamnorwood.com (goodbye, asnorwood.com). It’s got a new, hopefully better design, a stronger WordPress backend (the bells and whistles have all been polished), and I’ve got a slew of new content coming down the pike (I know, the last real post on here was from…last July? Uh-oh). I’m launching it into the yawning chasm that is SXSW2009, so maybe everyone will be too distracted to notice any temporary glitches or missing bits. For you faithful who are reading this in a feed reader, I thank you and ask your forgiveness for the horribly jumbled updated feed that probably greeted you this morning!

Things to look forward to:

  • More posts on art from someone who’s trying to figure it all out, with more of a focus on the local (Austin, Texas) art scene
  • Posts on design and technology, including some lessons learned while building up my WordPress chops
  • More signal, less noise

As always, I’d love to hear any criticisms, complaints, questions, comments, or commiserations. Leave me your good words!