Fall Arts 2006

Choose Me

Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell, Dave Navarro, even David Hasselhoff: Everyone's judging talent these days, whether or not they're qualified to do so, and America is seemingly obsessed with watching them do it. It's not for nothing that a revival of A Chorus Line is in the works; the spectacle of a row of performers waiting to learn their fate is now the linchpin of pop entertainment.

But what of the choices being made closer to home? When it comes to deciding what will fill the galleries of the Tampa Museum of Art, for instance, who makes the final call, and how? Those actors you see on area stages: Who picked them, and why? Does the Florida Orchestra have anything in common with a reggae jam band when it comes to selecting a new musician? And when the editors of the Tampa Review get together, how do they choose from hundreds of submissions to decide the shape of the literary journal's next issue?

We set out to answer those questions in this edition of our Fall Arts Issue. And, as usual, we've had our arts writers make some choices of their own: The biannual "What to Watch For" feature is a selective guide to the coming season in theater, art, music, film and dance. Also in this issue, we revisit the young artists under 25 we spotlighted in previous issues: As it happens, many of them are living up their promise and then some.

Choice has always been central to art-making. Decisions about what to leave in and what to leave out determine the final shape of short stories and sculptures, Shakespeare tragedies and Hollywood blockbusters. And none of it lasts too long unless someone in the public chooses to support it.

We hope this year's Fall Arts Issue helps you make some choices of your own.

— David Warner

Fall Arts 2006: Choose Me

What to Watch For