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Paul Schmelzer

Paul Schmelzer is a Minneapolis-based writer and editor. From 1998 to 2007, he was associate director of marketing at the Walker, and from 2011 to 2020, he was editor of Walker Reader.

Focused on the intersection of art, media, and social change, he's written for publications including Adbusters (where he was associate editor from 2003 to 2005), Artforum.com, Art in America, Hyperallergic, Huffington Post, The Progressive, Raw Vision, and Utne Reader, among others. His interviews with Cameron Sinclair, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Winona La Duke appear in the book Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook (Royal Society of Arts). As founding editor of Walker Reader, he conceived of key publishing efforts including Artist Op-Eds, Soundboard, and The Year According To. He was lead organizer and co-emcee of the 2015 Walker conference Superscript: Arts Journalism and Criticism in a Digital Age.

Former editor of the Minnesota Independent (2008–2011) and managing editor of its DC-based nonprofit parent, the American Independent News Network (2009–2011), he's the first online journalist in state history to win either a Frank Premack Award for Public Affairs Journalism (2008) or a Society of Professional Journalists Page One Award (2007). He was a member of the 2019 cohort of the Wilder Foundation's James P. Shannon Leadership Institute and, with writer/curator Nicole J. Caruth, won a 2019 arts writers grant from Creative Capital and the Andy Warhol Foundation. With Caruth, he runs The Ostracon.

In his spare time, he's been known to ask celebrities, from Yoko Ono and Noam Chomsky to Rep. John Lewis and Kim Gordon, to sign his autograph.