Why Can’t Artist Bios Be Better?


By: Sarah Marczynski

In: Catch All

Concert season is here and with it, program creation season!  My organization, the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera is a mid-level organization that produces about 30 concerts with programs each year, usually featuring a guest artist and their bio.

Right at the start of our concert season, on September 17, 2015, NPR’s Deceptive Cadence blog posted an article called “Why Can’t Artist Bios Be Better?” by Anastasia Tsioulcas.  If you, like me, have read artist bios, you have probably uttered those words many times as you re-write the bio so it’s not white font on a grey background SMH.

Tsioulcas quotes a commentary by the Independent‘s arts editor, David Lister, where he recently read a “mine of useless information” in one artist’s bio.  Pretty much a listing of her performances and recordings.  She goes on to talk about the bio as a part of an artist’s brand and encourages artists to consider why, as audience members, we should listen to you.

Fellow ArtsHacker, Samantha Teter, has an excellent post called Bio-Writing 101 that is great for artists and administrators alike.  I revised my own social media bio (yes, you need one) after reading her post.  The Fabulous Holly Mulcahy of the blog NeoClassical also has two great posts about boring bios and the sins of a boring bio. Take a look!

Why Can't Artist Bios Be Better

Photo of author
Sarah Marczynski
Sarah joined the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera in 2010 working with the Marketing and Development staffs and quickly became interested in community engagement and education. She holds a Master’s of Public Administration focusing in Nonprofit Arts Management from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where her capstone and other work under Dr. Christopher Horne examined attendance patterns in high-art cultural institutions and network relationships between local arts agencies and cultural partners. She also holds a Bachelor’s of Vocal Music Education from UTC, where she studied under Dr. Kevin Ford and Ron Ulen. Sarah has been active in the Chattanooga arts community, serving as the founding chair of the Chattanooga Young Artistic Network (CYAN), graduating from the Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute, and working with the Chattanooga Boys Choir, the Choral Arts Society, the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Chattanooga Bach Choir. Outside of the arts world, Sarah pretends to be an excellent cook (but she's broken 2 ovens), reads Jane Austen novels, and watches way too much House of Cards.
Author Archive

Leave a Comment