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Andrew Patner is a native Chicagoan and a lifelong observer of the arts in this city. A former editor and staff writer of Chicago magazine and staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, he was an arts critic and program host and producer for WBEZ-FM, Chicago's NPR affiliate, for eight years. A regular contributor of arts criticism (classical music, opera, theatre, dance, visual art, books, and film) to the Chicago Sun-Times since 1991, he is now heard as critic and interviewer on WFMT Fine Arts Radio.
Educated at the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, his writing appears in Art & Antiques (where he is a contributing editor), The Art Newspaper (London), The New Yorker, German GEO, the Jewish Forward, the New Art Examiner, Die Opernwelt, The Christian Science Monitor, High Performance, and other publications. He is the author of I.F. Stone: A Portrait (Pantheon, 1988, Anchor paperback, 1990) and editor of Alternative Futures: Challenging Designs for Arts Philanthropy (Grantmakers in the Arts, 1995). He is a winner of the Peter Lisagor Award for his coverage of race and politics on the eve of Harold Washington's election as Chicago's first black mayor.
He was director of "Democratic Vistas: Towards a New American Arts Policy," a series of programs and discussions at Columbia College Chicago, sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He is a frequent lecturer and teacher both in Chicago and in Eastern Europe. He is an active member of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, The Cliff Dwellers, and the Arts Club of Chicago, where he serves as co-chair of the Interarts Council.
Visual arts areas of interest: Modern and contemporary art, European painting and sculpture, world cultures, photography, art history, architecture, arts education, interdisciplinary work, politics and policy.