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Archive for October, 2009

New NEA chairman traveling country

NEA Chairman Landesman Will Travel Country Taking Pulse of Arts in Communities

By Kenneth Jones
21 Oct 2009

Rocco Landesman

Rocco Landesman

National Endowment for the Arts chairman Rocco Landesman delivered a keynote address Oct. 21 to close the 2009 national “Grantmakers in the Arts Conference: Navigating the Art of Change” in Brooklyn.

Landesman, a commercial producer new to the public job since his summer appointment, announced that he will spend the next six months “learning and highlighting the ways that art works in neighborhoods and towns across America.” His national tour will begin on Nov. 6 with a visit to Peoria, IL, at the invitation of Kathy Chitwood, executive director of the Eastlight Theatre, and Suzette Boulais, executive director of Arts Partners of Central Illinois.

Landesman said in an earlier public remark that he didn’t know if Peoria had a live theatre, a statement that drew criticism — and an invitation from artists in Illinois.

The …

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New art works for the High’s collection

Here’s a rundown of recent acquisitions by the High Museum of Art:

ATLANTA, October 22, 2009 – The High Museum of Art has recently acquired more than 300 works of art for its African, American, decorative arts and design, European, folk, photography and modern and contemporary collections. Highlights include significant gifts to the modern and contemporary, American, and European art departments. The High also purchased 53 works by Peter Sekaer for its photography department, creating the nation’s most comprehensive holding of works by this artist in a visual arts institution.

“The heart of any museum is its permanent collection,” said David Brenneman, the High’s Director of Collections and Exhibitions. “We are thankful for the continued support and funding for new acquisitions, allowing the Museum to build significant holdings of great art across all departments. We look forward to introducing our public to these new works soon.”

African Art

The …

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And you wonder why ticket prices are so high?

Check out the prop manager’s salary, story courtesy of the Chronicle of Philanthropy….
In the Arts: Big Paydays for Carnegie Hall Crew, and More

Stagehands make more money than any other staff members at Carnegie Hall, save its executive director, according to Bloomberg.

The prop manager at the New York venue earned $530,044 in salary and benefits for the year ending June 2008, and the other four full-time members of the stage crew averaged $430,543, thanks in part to the clout of their strong union, the news organization said. The artistic and executive director Clive Gillinson was paid $946,581 in the same period.

In other arts news, British museums are reporting higher visitor numbers but are cutting staff amid financial struggles, Third Sector Online reports.

And the Pennsylvania Ballet, which has suffered frequent fiscal troubles in past years, opens its new season this week on a relatively firm footing, having cut back on spending but retaining its full roster of …

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Dad’s Garage Theatre Hires Kevin Gillese as Artistic Director

Dad’s Garage Theatre Company has hired a new artistic director. Here’s the announcement, released today:

Dad’s Garage is thrilled to announce the appointment of its new artistic director – Kevin Gillese! Gillese comes from our Canadian sister thearer – the critically acclaimed Rapid Fire Theatre in Edmonton, AL, Canada – where he currently serves as artistic director. His background includes improvisation, theater and video work and his core strengths include ensemble growth and development, collaborative creation and the production of new and original work across multiple disciplines.
“In addition to Kevin’s talent and intellect, he’s a whole lot of fun to be around,” said Managing Director, Lena Carstens. “In a time when we are presenting all new and original work, we’ll benefit from having fresh perspective from someone who’s already in the Dad’s family…even if he has been a distant cousin north of the border.”
Gillese plans to focus on strengthening …

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‘Mozart’s Magic Flute’ kicks off Atlanta Ballet’s 80th season

Nadia Mara and Christian Clark in "The Magic Flute"

Nadia Mara and Christian Clark in "The Magic Flute"

Dance review

“Mozart’s Magic Flute by” the Atlanta Ballet
8 p.m. Oct. 23-24. $20-$120. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. 404-892-3303,

By Cynthia Perry

Dance involves risk-taking — pushing limits, extending the body, traveling through space. On Thursday evening, the Atlanta Ballet’s production of Mark Godden’s “The Magic Flute” charged across the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre stage as Godden’s exhilarating, expansive movement style blended with the brilliance of Mozart’s music.
Guest artist Jeff Holland Cook conducted the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra along with a company of noted vocal soloists and the Georgia movement style and its music in the pushing of limits — vocally, from the pit, and physically, onstage.
But it’s important not to overreach. Godden’s second full-length ballet, “The Magic Flute” premiered with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet …

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‘The Sty of the Blind Pig’ at True Colors

Margo Moorer in "The Sty of the Blind Pig"

Margo Moorer in "The Sty of the Blind Pig"

Theater review
“The Sty of the Blind Pig”

8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays. Through Nov. 1. $20-$35. True Colors Theatre, Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road, Atlanta. 1-877-725-8849,

Grade: B

By Wendell Brock

Weedy Warren is a Southern transplant living in a Chicago apartment building before the civil rights era. She cloaks her troubles in the hats and dresses of her church-going life and never misses a chance to berate her spinster daughter, Alberta, about the bad habits of liquor, pills and taking up with strange men.
This is the world of Philip Hayes Dean’s “The Sty of the Blind Pig,” a 1971 play that presaged the dramas of August Wilson and looks at mother-daughter relationships with a bleakly horrific vision akin to that of Martin McDonagh and Flannery O’Connor.
By turns a rollicking domestic comedy and a mysterious, devastating tragedy about the high costs of …

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‘Woman in Black’ at Theatre in the Square

David Milford (left) and Gil Brady in "The Woman in Black."

David Milford (left) and Gil Brady in "The Woman in Black."

Theater review
“The Woman in Black”

8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; 2:30 and 7 p.m. Sundays. Through Nov. 1. $22-$33. Theatre in the Square, 11 Whitlock Ave., Marietta. 770-422-8369,
Grade: B
Bottom line: A stylishly appointed retelling of an oft-produced thriller.

By Bert Osborne
Think about it in movie terms. The first time you experience Janet Leigh’s scary shower scene in “Psycho,” for example, that’s one thing. The second or 10th time you see it, the general thrill may not be gone, but the element of surprise sure is. That original shock value can never be replicated.
Basically, a twist ending only works once. But as “The Sixth Sense” proved, sometimes there are benefits to repeat viewings of a piece. Even with the mystery solved, you could appreciate some of the narrative and stylistic hints and clues you missed before.
At first flush, Stephen Mallatratt’s supernatural …

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