I ran into Dottie Ashley today at the open house of the Dock Street Theatre. She looked well and even a bit relieved. She was laid off earlier this year after a long, long time as The Post and Courier‘s chief arts writer. She said she was on assignment for the paper, doing “whatever I want to do,” she said. That’s good. I’d imagine that means covering a lot of theater and dance. And of course writing about the Spoleto Festival USA, a 33-year-old event she’s championed from the beginning, first as a reporter for The State in Columbia and then as ombudsman for the arts, so to speak, at the P&C. Also spotted at the opening ceremony on Broad Street was Jeffrey Day, the former arts reporter for The State. Day was also laid off. In response, he did what a lot of out-of-work journalists have done all over the country — he started a blog. His is called Carolina Culture. It’s good to see old friends of the arts out and about again. The more voices we have out there in this big, bad media world, the better. -JS