Introducing Our Accidental Critic


Kim Kishbaugh is our newest columnist at Escape Into Life, experiencing the arts as our Accidental Critic, to hearken to the “accidental tourist” in Anne Tyler’s novel The Accidental Tourist, except that while Tyler’s main character is a travel writer who stays home, Kim actually goes out in the world.

She says she is no kind of artist at all, but she is a lover of art in many different forms and especially a lover of the experience of having her eyes opened and her imagination sparked by a transformative encounter with art. That’s what she plans to share here. She travels occasionally, usually with little advance planning or forethought, and only rarely to somewhere you might also be thinking to visit. Yet somehow she often stumbles into magical experiences with the arts. Sometimes these are street performances or public art installations, sometimes well-known galleries or theatre companies, sometimes events staged by high schools or community colleges. They might involve visual arts, music, performance, books, lectures, or just walking into the lobby of a building that turns out to have soaring ceilings, gorgeous mosaics, and wall sconces that she would take home if she could but prefers to leave in place where anyone can enjoy them. Always these experiences inspire her and leave her awestruck, and usually they are more accidental than planned. She’s likely to share something of them on our social media feeds when they happen. Now, she’ll start writing about them occasionally here on the blog. 

Before joining Escape Into Life as our Social Media Editor some time back, Kim spent many, many years writing and editing hard news for a Chicago wire service and other journalism outposts. She’s also a digital communications director—think websites, mobile applications, social media and email newsletters—who has worked with both non-profits and magazine publishers. She blogs occasionally at


Take a look at her first columns at Escape Into Life here:

Kim Kishbaugh on the upcoming opera version of Bel Canto

Kim Kishbaugh on Salman Rushdie

And find out more about any of our writers, editors, and columnists here:


Staff Bios

Dalmatian drawn by Phil Maish


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