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We are very pleased to announce Kelly Bennett has been promoted to the job of arts editor and will be leading voiceofsandiego.org’s effort to cover San Diego’s culture with the quality and depth that we bring to all of our areas of focus.

We believe that the arts are a critical part of San Diego’s quality of life. Our vision is to cover the personalities, the institutions and the region’s pursuit of the new and the bold in visual, musical and theatrical efforts.

Bennett, a talented violinist who plays with the band Joel P West and the Tree Ring, is well-positioned for the challenge.

“I’ve long been eager to see VOSD tell more stories about the inventive and fascinating artists, musicians, performers and cultural institutions who are our neighbors in San Diego County,” Bennett said.

Bennett is well known for leading two high-profile, high-impact investigative projects that continue to reverberate today: A Staggering Swindle and Out of Reach. For the last four years, she has been writing about what it takes to make it in San Diego, from the housing and job markets to the overall local economy. She has authored the long-running People at Work series, created a strong community around the Survival in San Diego blog and become a regular television and radio guest.

We will soon be opening a new position for an experienced investigative reporter to fill the staff position left by Bennett’s promotion. This reporter will work on longer-term projects with an eye toward public institutions and assist beat reporters with enterprise and investigative work.

“I’m thrilled to begin fleshing out this new piece of our identity, and it’s all the more sweet because I get to keep working alongside the stellar investigators, storytellers and truth-seekers whose work has inspired me for the last four years,” Bennett said.

Adrian Florido will also pick up the popular Survival in San Diego blog. Bennett and Florido’s beats naturally overlapped in many ways, and while the Survival blog will remain, you will likely see a slight shift toward neighborhood stories and away from housing market data and analysis. But Rich Toscano will continue with his excellent housing and economic data crunching.

We are incredibly proud of our coverage of the housing market and local economy since we began it in 2005. And we aren’t dropping our coverage altogether. However, conditions have changed mightily since we first began covering it five years ago and we feel we have a great opportunity to move into new areas and reinforce our existing strengths.

Expect more to come on our effort to cover arts and expand into this new area with our characteristic focus on quality. We will soon have a launch date and more details to follow. Thank you all for your continued support.

Please send your ideas for the arts initiative to Bennett at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org. And if you have thoughts on where we should direct the attentions of a new investigative reporter, share them with Andrew Donohue at andrew.donohue@voiceosandiego.org.

— ANDREW DONOHUE and SCOTT LEWIS

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