We Have an Issue: Hats Off to a Maestro

Farewell to Arts Editor Robert Faires

Strand of Oaks (Photo by John Anderson)

In this week's issue, Arts Editor Robert Faires issues "Last Bow of an Accidental Critic," his farewell after nearly 30 years helming our Arts coverage. He deserves a standing ovation.

If you've followed Robert's work in the paper, then you already know the authority and artistry he's brought to the job; that work has earned him all kinds of awards and accolades, including induction into the prestigious Texas Institute of Letters in 2019. If you're a member of the arts community, then you might know the distinct pleasure of being championed by Robert the critic, or Robert the co-founder of the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. Robert's an active member of that community himself; if you've had the opportunity to see him perform on Austin stages, then you know what a charismatic performer he is, too.

Fewer of us – a very lucky few – know what it's like to work alongside Robert. In an office full of crazy, Robert's been a calming presence, and he's the dapper exception to our grubby ranks. (The man can truly wear a hat.) When a roomful of editors get creatively stuck, so often he's the guy who's gotten us to the a-ha! place. He writes the best headlines, and he can even supply his own art for his stories (see his feature this week for proof of his illustrative powers). In short, he's irreplaceable.

As Robert points out in his piece, he's the first and only Arts editor the Chronicle's ever had, and we're going to keep it that way. Sometime in October, we'll be debuting a new Culture section that combines our Arts and Screens coverage, expands our online footprint, and features more of the general culture coverage we've run in our (now-retired) "Naked City" section. Current Screens Editor Richard Whittaker will be overseeing and defining this ambitious new Culture section. The Arts editor hat – the one Robert has worn so well – that's his for life.

Online This Week

Whisper Network author Chandler Baker

Booking the Book Writers: Texas Book Festival announced nearly 200 authors participating in its hybrid festival, a nine-day event launching Oct. 23; the expanded lineup includes Chandler Baker (Whisper Network), Ann Cleeves (Vera and Shetland series), Tamron Hall (As the Wicked Watch), and Nathan Harris (The Sweetness of Water).

Cleared for Takeoff: Austin Public Health has approved ACL Festival's COVID healthy & safety protocols, which require attendees to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of entering the fest.

Last Week in Live Music: Photographer David Brendan Hall picks his favorite images from last week's shows, including Eric Clapton, Leon Bridges, Glass Animals, and Sabrina Ellis.

Eric Burton in "Devexity"

Sci-fi Noir: Black Pumas singer Eric Burton talks about his starring role in Luke Lidell's trippy short film "Devexity."

Austin Restaurant Weeks: Find out which 50+ restaurants, bars, and breweries are participating in the 10-day event, which features reasonably priced prix fixe menus to raise funds for Central Texas Food Bank.

We Have an Issue: Hats Off to a Maestro

The Austin Chronicle Show on KOOP 91.7FM

This week, News Editor Mike Clark-Madison discusses redistricting and Screens Editor Richard Whittaker recommends films at Fantastic Fest.

Tune in Fridays, 6pm, to KOOP Community Radio. Past episodes at austinchronicle.com/av.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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