Freelance writer Ruth Lopez explains why every artist and arts organization needs a good written narrative, and how an invitation to tea might be the best way to build a relationship.

“Those of us who have chosen to cover the arts are doing it because we care. We are interested, we want to know…. That ability to be receptive and open might fluctuate given the demands of that person’s work schedule that week. But it doesn’t mean they don’t want to see what you’re doing or know about it.”

Ruth Lopez is a Chicago-based arts journalist and grant writer. Lopez was born in Long Island, New York, but at age twelve she moved with her family to Michigan. After graduating high school she worked in a newspaper library; intending to be a poet, she realized she might be able to make a living as a journalist instead. Lopez studied Humanities at Wayne State University and photography and writing at Columbia College Chicago before earning a Bachelor’s in Humanities/Art History from Goddard College. She holds a certificate in Grantwriting from Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, and in 1998-1999 she served as a Pew fellow in the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University. As a critic, Lopez initially focused on books, working as Book Review Editor at The Santa Fe New Mexican for seven years. From 2005-2008 she was the Art & Design Editor for Time Out Chicago. As a contributing writer, Lopez has worked for such publications as ARTnews, Chicago magazine, Chicago Tribune, Fiber Arts, Interior Design, The Art Newspaper, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. She has served as an advisor to the Literary Program of the Lannan Foundation, a Board Member of The International Contemporary Ensemble, and a Board Member of The Neighborhood Writing Alliance. Lopez also operates a culture blog, Dear Miss Valland: Writing to Rose.

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