The hiring of Adam Rathe as editor of arts section of New York Press, may be more than just another changing of the guard, but a boon for the New York arts scene at large. With his roots in DIY culture, Adam sees his post as more than just a job, but as responsibility to nurture his scene.
"One thing I really care about is keeping it hyper-local, making sure that kids in New York get exposed for doing interesting stuff."
Of course, people will always complain about arts and culture in New York. They’ll use words like "jaded," stating issues like, "lack of cohesiveness," but Adam isn’t really buying it.
"I think people always say that nightlife is dead, but I think it really just fakes it’s own death once in awhile. There’s always stuff going on, it might be further out than you feel comfortable going, or somewhere you don’t want to be with kids who don’t understand you, but there’s always stuff going on."
Rathe’s faith is refreshing and hopefully represents a shift in modern media. The idea that major media outlets are hiring the people that used to spend their evenings in high school slaving over copy machines at Kinko’s making zines, is encouraging. It’s another example of the incredible impact DIY is having on mainstream culture. In a perfect world, the media exists because someone cares enough to keep record, to inform and comment on what’s going on.
"When I was in high school I put out a zine and I think everything I’ve done is informed by zine culture and this need to tell everyone how excited you are about the stuff that matters to you, and about the stuff that happens in your scene. I don’t care about what’s happening outside of NY because this is my scene. That’s a lot more interesting to me than what the cast of Glee is doing."
Ideally the editor of the arts section of a major paper should be the kind of person that can’t get enough, be it literature, theater art or music. Like an athlete training for a marathon, he must prepare himself to spend each day reading, watching and listening. Rathe goes out at least six nights a week and gets up at six thirty each morning. He is that ideal candidate, dedicated and insatiable, with just enough punk rock attitude to stay positive.
"It’s such a rarity that people actually care here, that when they do it has the potential to make this great impact."