On May 17, the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, a national organization made up of alternative news outlets, announced finalists for their annual awards in 27 categories. Among those, Triad City Beat is a finalist for two awards: arts criticism and beat reporting, both by Managing Editor Sayaka Matsuoka.

In the arts criticism category, Matsuoka’s piece “Throughline: Exhibits at SECCA and Reynolda tell nuanced story of Black-American experience” wove together two separate art exhibits that were on display in the spring of 2023 to talk about the intricacies and continuity of racism and the Black experience in America.

Matsuoka, who graduated from UNCG with a degree in art history, said that she’s “excited” to be a finalist for this award, which comes with a cash prize of $500 for the winner.

“As a former art history major, I’ve always loved looking at, contemplating and contextualizing art,” Matsuoka said. “And when I saw these two exhibits in tandem, it was clear to me that writing about them together made more sense than reviewing them separately. In doing so, I think there was a greater, broader, more nuanced story of history to be told.”

Matsuoka was a finalist in this same category in 2020 for her piece about the Frida Kahlo mural in Greensboro that caused controversy.

The second award is in the category of beat reporting. Matsuoka is also a finalist in this category for her coverage of police misconduct in the Triad.

Among the submitted pieces included Matsuoka’s reporting on the Greensboro Police Department’s firing of officers who were charged with sex crimes and ongoing watchdog reporting about police shootings.

The finalists of two other awards categories — investigative reporting and political column — have yet to be announced by the association. TCB has submitted work in both of these categories.

The winners of these awards will be announced during the association’s 2024 conference which takes place this year in Charleston from July 10-12.

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