Ken Glickman reflects on covering the Lansing arts scene for the past 40 years

As the Wharton Center celebrates its 40th anniversary season, it reminds me how closely my arts and music writing history at the Lansing State Journal is linked to the opening of that great Performing arts center.

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

Hughes, always the exuberant and positive Observer of the world, said, “Sure. Wharton Center is opening in September, and we don’t have anybody to cover them. You’re hired!”

I was shocked and surprised. I had approached the LSJ a few years earlier, but that editor pronounced my writing far too high brow for Lansing audiences.

What I didn’t understand when Hughes hired me so quickly was that I would be a freelance writer. I would be paid by the article without any long-term contract in place. This translated to the reality that any time, if Hughes or the LSJ in general, didn’t like my writing, all they had to do was stop calling me.

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