Each time a show opened at the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, Alexandra Berneis would send an email. As the theater's executive director, Berneis had a strong relationship with Jen McKee, the local critic at The Ann Arbor News. It was a symbiotic one: invitation, access, coverage, repeat.
Then one day in January 2016, she didn’t get an email back. The critic and other colleagues lost their jobs. Mainstream arts coverage in Ann Arbor was gone.
Michigan communities have been experiencing this with increasing frequency over several years. As the internet changed how people got their news, media entities shifted and consolidated, and arts communities across the state are feeling the loss.