We’ve lost so many good people from the arts and culture sector over the pandemic but the news of Terry Teachout’s passing is especially sad.
I was fortunate enough to begin communicating with Terry in the early 2000’s and our email exchanges were always thought provoking. You just knew it was going to be an interesting day when a message from Terry about something you wrote arrived in your inbox.
While he was a juggernaut of traditional media culture journalists, it was delightful to see him join Twitter. The truncated medium didn’t dilute his impact and if anything, offered a much more satisfying insight into his wit and personality.
I can’t think of anyone who better exemplified what it is to be a thoughtful disrupter when it came to the business end of the arts and culture sector. He was an early adopter of the blogging format and didn’t look down on those of us from outside the traditional arts journalist path who started using the medium in the early 2000s. He not only encouraged my own writing early on but extended a generous open invitation to reach out with questions and feedback.
Over the years, his writing served as the launching pad for dozens of articles here at Adaptistration and I found his willingness to cast a hungry eye toward entire herds of sacred cows inspiring.
Even when I didn’t agree with one of his positions, he never once took it as a personal attack and routinely engaged in thoughtful exchanges on the topic. In an age where even marginal disagreements inspire viscous enmity, this temperament will be sorely missed.
There is so much one could write about Terry and it’s heartening to see so many wonderful tributes. While written words can feel so empty at a time like this, it would be unforgivable not to mention that crossing Terry’s path left me a better professional and person. His presence and contributions will be deeply missed.