Cultivating Respect for the Arts
Kurt Andersen, host of Studio 360 on NPR, is a journalist and the author of the novels Hey Day, Turn of the Century, The Real Thing, and his latest non-fiction book Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History. He has written and produced prime-time network television programs and pilots for NBC and ABC, and co-authored Loose Lips, an off-Broadway theatrical revue that had long runs in New York and Los Angeles. He is a regular columnist for New York Magazine, and contributes frequently to Vanity Fair. He is also a founder of Very Short List.
Andersen began his career in journalism at NBC's Today program and at Time, where he was an award-winning writer on politics and criminal justice and for eight years the magazine's architecture and design critic. Returning to Time in 1993 as editor-at-large, he wrote a weekly column on culture. And from 1996 through 1999 he was a staff writer and columnist for The New Yorker. He was a co-founder of Inside.com, editorial director of Colors magazine, and editor-in-chief of both New York and Spy magazines, the latter of which he also co-founded.
From 2004 through 2008 he wrote a column called "The Imperial City" for New York (one of which is included in The Best American Magazine Writing 2008). In 2008 Forbes. com named him one of The 25 Most Influential Liberals in the U.S. Media. Anderson graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, and is a member of the boards of trustees of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Pratt Institute, and is currently Visionary in Residence at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He lives with his family in New York City.
Kurt Andersen: "I think with Studio 360, it’s very odd to me that there’s no other program like it; a general show about art and culture on radio and television that deals with everything from the Simpsons, to a Bill Viola work of art, to opera, to any bands; that sort of cultural panorama. That there is nothing else like that in America except what we’re doing is amazing to me, because you go to Europe and there are five shows like that only in the Netherlands. So I hope that, in small ways, it’s having an impact in terms of suggesting that there’s a kind of a cultural conversation to have that isn’t limited to one little niche in the culture, but regards the whole culture as a panorama with dots that can be connected among them.
Recorded on: July 5, 2007
Kurt Andersen discusses culture in America. He sees his radio program Studio 360 filling a gap in American media.
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