Actually, most of them are already here. The first National Critics Conference begins today at the Omni hotel downtown and runs through Saturday. More than four hundred arts writers, critics, editors and scholars are expected to attend. It's a collective event of five critics' organizations:
American Theatre Critics Association
Dance Critics Association
International Association of Art Critics/USA
Music Critics Association of North America
Jazz Journalists Association
From the PR blurbage: "Speakers include producer Norman Lear, noted arts patron Eli Broad, Pulitzer Prize winners Margo Jefferson and Dan Neil, Andras Szanto, Director of National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University, Geoffrey Cowan, Dean of USC Annenberg School for Communication, and many more. A Kamikaze Writing Workshop, led by noted critic Elizabeth Zimmer, will help critics hone journalistic skills."