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Kayla Randallhas been City Paper’s City Lights editor since September of 2017, but she’ll assume the role of arts editor just after Memorial Day, when current Arts Editor Matt Cohen departs the paper to pursue an investigative journalism fellowship at Mother Jones.
In her time at City Paper, Randall has curated a delightful section of arts and entertainment listings. A cultural omnivore, Randall’s tastes include everything from fiction readings to exhibits about naked mole rats. She’s also written about a local percussionist who worked on Black Panther, D.C.’s wild coyotes, and two elderly cheetahs in love. She’s contributed regular theater and museum exhibit reviews, as well as a cover story on the Smithsonian’s efforts to reunite thousands of human remains with indigenous communities.
In addition to all this, she’s managed to develop a side beat on pregnancy, childbirth, and maternal care. She started this work with a cover story, “Hard Labor,” and has followed up with further reporting on D.C.’s efforts to form a maternal mortality review committee, and the mood inside a doula workshop in Adams Morgan.
In her free time, Randall likes to re-read Charlotte’s Web, and any books she can get her hands on, obsessively watches basketball and television dramas both foreign and domestic, and attends local arts events, including exhibitions, book talks, and theater productions. She’s originally from New Orleans and came to D.C. for a fellowship at Washingtonian after graduating from Louisiana State University with a concentration in journalism.
Expect an arts section that reflects her diverse and abundant arts and culture interests, plus an occasional story on childbirth for the news section.
City Paper staffers are very sad to see Cohen depart, but we’re also very proud of his accomplishments. He’s produced many powerful stories, bringing his love for the D.C. area and his deep knowledge of music to City Paper readers. (See this podcast episode with Brother Ah, who played music for zoo animals, or this oral history of American Primitive guitar, or this obituary for Andras Fekete.) He’s also written about things like a new era in local D.C. activism and the relationship between police and residents.
On his way out the door, he managed to publish a year’s worth of reporting on the state of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Good luck, Matt. Be well and freelance for us often.
All of this means that the City Lights editor position is now open. Are you an early-career arts journalist looking for a job? Please apply by June 5.