Letter to the Editor: Clicking photographer causes consternation

To whom it may concern:
My name is Brandon Ponzo and I’m the President of the Arts Management Association (AMA). I’m writing to express my concerns about the article, “Love means everything for dance showcase” in the 10/22/14 edition of The Rider News.
I’d like to thank you on behalf of the organization for covering “Stages of Love.” We appreciate the time and effort put in by the reporter and photographers. However, AMA cannot help but be frustrated and dismayed by the way in which the story was handled. We were notified by a representative of the paper that a reporter and a photographer would be attending our technical rehearsal on Thursday, Oct. 16. Only a photographer attended that rehearsal. When asked if she was aware if the reporter was attending, the photographer answered that she was not.
On Saturday, Oct. 18, our evening performance was disrupted by the shutter sound of an unknown (at the time) and unannounced photographer who had not asked permission to take photos. There is a reason we ask that photographers attend our dress rehearsals, and that is simply that the shutter sound of cameras can be extremely distracting, not only for our performers, but also for our attendees. A number of our audience members approached me personally asking, essentially, “What gives?” I later found out that the photographer was actually representing The Rider News. Up to this point, we had reached our final performance without any word about or from a reporter.
Later that evening, a couple of choreographers and the production’s director and AMA Vice President Ashley Alvarez received an email from a reporter asking questions like, “Which dance was the most fun to choreograph?” This made it evident that the reporter had not seen the performance or even picked up a program, as the production was a combination of works by multiple choreographers and so no one would have that answer. There were also several factual errors in the article, which we have submitted to the appropriate editors to be corrected.
Obviously, AMA greatly appreciates the coverage The Rider News has given us as we branch out into new and exciting forms of arts programming on campus, but in the future, we would appreciate a more open and thorough line of communication.

-Brandon Ponzo
President, Arts Management Association


Printed in the 11/05/14 issue.

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