Sunday, July 15, 2012

Don Harrison: Who is He?



My standard bio doesn't say everything that needs to be said  -- it doesn't tell the reader what a fantastic ping pong player I am, or dwell on my obsessive love for the Boston Celtics... and it includes nothing about my famously bushy eyebrows or the many bands I've been in over the years (Draw the Kitten, Mood Lions, Utility Dog, Oui Doggey, etc.).

It also doesn't say much about my extracurricular activies (after-dinner speaking, public access TV production, emcee-ing, consulting, books and scripts I'm pitching, radio projects in the works, etc.) but it does give folks a small taste of what I'm all about.

Please enjoy... especially if you are a potential client or employer who needs someone on the team with serious organizational skills, an eye for quality and a proven track record:


Don Harrison is a freelance writer and editor, and the former arts and culture editor of Style Weekly, Richmond's award-winning newsmagazine.

At Style, Don oversaw the team that provides weekly arts, culture, dining and calendar content to the magazine as well as original content to StyleWeekly.com. In addition to planning special issues devoted to the region's music and arts scene, Don contributed news articles and feature stories, including cover pieces on radio mainstay Tony Booth, Virginia ghost hunters, local government watchdogs, the James River's thriving bald eagle population and the legacy of the legendary gospel group, the Harmonizing Four.

During Don's tenure at Style, the magazine's print readership increased, its online web traffic more than doubled, and Don picked up nearly a dozen individual and collaborative Virginia Press Association awards for news, editorial and feature writing. Under his editorial watch, various arts and culture writers (from longtime Style theater critic Dave Timberline to newcomer Dale Brumfield) also won first-time VPA awards.

Before he joined Style Weekly, Don served as contributing editor of the bimonthly Virginia Living magazine and was associate editor of the award-winning 64 Magazine. The founder of two regional arts and music publications, Catharsis Monthly and Grip, Don has contributed to a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, including Parade, Goldmine, Richmond Magazine, The Virginian-Pilot, AOL-Digital Cities, The Daily Press, C-Ville Weekly, Daily Progress and Hampton Roads Monthly. He also co-founded SaveRichmond.com, a blog that received the Laurence E. Richardson Freedom of Information Award from the Virginia Coalition for Open Government.

Over the years, Don has produced numerous various artist CDs and compilations of regional music. In 2009, he completed a two-year project as one of the chief researchers and writers for "Virginia Rocks! The History of Rockabilly in the Commonwealth;" a two-CD set and museum exhibit produced in conjunction with the Blue Ridge Institute at Ferrum College. "Virginia Rocks!" was the first-ever survey of Virginia's early rock 'n' roll history. The exhibit, which had a successful three year run at various cultural institutions around the region, was partially funded with a grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Parts of the exhibit are now housed in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame's permanent collection.

A product of Virginia Commonwealth University, and in particular its student newspaper, the Commonwealth Times, Don has been a Richmond representative to the Virginia Commission for the Arts' Central Virginia advisory council and served on the Arts Council of Richmond's Arts and Culture Funding Consortium. He's also a longtime member of the programming committee for the popular Richmond Folk Festival. In April 2012, he curated Style Weekly's Shadrock Music Festival, a day-long concert filled with local, regional and national music on Brown's Island.

Don has co-hosted “Radio Wowsville,” a music program on WTJU 91.1 / wtju.net in Charlottesville, for 17 years. He lives in Richmond with his wife Tina, an associate editor at Richmond Magazine, and their 10-year-old daughter Olivia.

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