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Walker Reader

Paul Schmelzer

Paul Schmelzer is a Minneapolis-based writer and editor. 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),, Art in America, Hyperallergic, Huffington Post, Ode Magazine, The Progressive, Raw Vision, and Utne Reader, among others. His interviews with architect Cameron Sinclair, artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, and activist Winona La Duke appear in the book Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook (Royal Society of Arts). As editor of Walker Reader, he conceived of key publishing efforts including Artist Op-Eds, Soundboard, and The Year According To, our series of year-end lists. He was lead organizer and co-emcee of the Walker's 2015 conference Superscript: Arts Journalism and Criticism in a Digital Age.

Former editor of the Minnesota Independent (2008–2011) and managing editor of its Washington-based nonprofit parent, the American Independent News Network (2009–2011), he's the first online reporter in Minnesota to win either a Frank Premack Award for Public Affairs Journalism (2008) or a Society of Professional Journalists Page One Award (2007). He is member of the 2019 cohort of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation's James P. Shannon Leadership Institute.

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.