Ken Glickman looks back on coverage of Lansing’s art scene over the past 40 years

As the Wharton Center turns 40e anniversary, it reminds me how much my history of art and music writing at the Lansing State Journal is tied to the opening of this great performing arts center.

It was July 1982 when I approached Mike Hughes, entertainment editor at LSJ, to see if I could try writing music reviews for the paper.

Hughes, always the exuberant and positive observer of the world, said: “Of course. The Wharton Center opens in September, and we don’t have anyone to cover them. You are engaged!”

I was shocked and surprised. I had approached LSJ a few years earlier, but that editor said my writing was way too brainy for Lansing audiences.

What I didn’t realize when Hughes hired me so quickly was that I would be a freelance writer. I would be paid by the item with no long term contract in place. This translated into the reality that at any time, if Hughes or LSJ in general didn’t like my writing, all they had to do was stop calling me.

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