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Catching up on the arts beat

Alonzo King LINES Scheherazade 1 (credit RJ Muna).jpg

What with the holidays and all, some stuff in my inbox slipped through the cracks. Here’s a digest of tidbits:

NEA HONORS: The Lively Arts Foundation landed a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. It’s one of 162 Challenge America Fast-Track Grants awarded nationwide. From Lively Arts’ press release:

The award is to help support the Foundation’s Discover Dance Outreach presentation of Alonzo King’s LINES BALLET in “Scheherazade” at the William Saroyan Theatre, Friday evening, February 24, and will also help underwrite a contemporary ballet master class for dedicated Central Valley dancers as well as an introductory movement class in the celebrated Alonzo King idiom for interested community members who may be only recreational or casual dancers.

In addition to its internationally-celebrated interpretation of “Scheherazade” the LINES company on Feb. 24 will also perform its popular “Dust and Light;” contemporary ballet choreography to 15 classical melodies of Faith by Archangelo Corelli and Francis Poulenc.


NEW LEADERSHIP FOR ‘NEW WRINKLES’: Fred Bologna and Dede Nibler, longtime members of the creative team for the stalwart senior musical revue “New Wrinkles,” will be leaving the show after this year’s installment, which opens May 25. Bologna has moved to Carmel, though he’ll continue to commute to direct this year’s show. And Nibler plans to move to Hollister to be closer to her son and his family. From a letter they wrote to company members:

We wanted you to know of our changing circumstances early in this season in case you wish to organize a director search. Any candidates wishing to attend rehearsals this year to see what we are doing would be welcome. This is not to say that the new director will recreate what has been in the past, but it may give them some ideas.
Our nine years have been filled with many wonderful experiences and memories. We have made many wonderful friends who, we hope, will remain in our lives. Thank you for your dedication to New Wrinkles. We truly hope that you will carry on the heart and spirit of New Wrinkles.

“New Wrinkles,” held each year at Fresno City College, started in 1988.


HONORS FOR ‘CHET’: I already alluded to this in my list of Top 20 cultural events of 2011, but here are more details: Chuck Erven’s original play “The Ballad of Chet (On the Eve of His Bliss)” has been nominated for the David Mark Cohen award from the Kennedy Center. Erven writes:

The Cohen award is for any new play that was produced by and premiered at a University or College. The award, considered one of the top playwriting awards in the country is sponsored by the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.. Past winners have included Romulus Linney, Mark St. Germain and Ed Emmanuel. I was previously nominated and placed in the top three in 2006 for Canyon Suite. The Ballad of Chet (On the Eve of His Bliss) is now one of fourteen plays in the running for the national award. The final selection will be made in early April.


Pictured: Danette Moser and Nick Haas in the March production of “Chet” at Fresno City College.


NO ‘XANADU’: The StageWorks Fresno production of “Xanadu,” planned for Feb. 3-19, has been scrubbed. The next StageWorks production is “Master Class,” a co-production with Fresno Grand Opera, which will run April 27-29.


STONE BOOK: Masonry artist and contractor Bobby Pierson, who lives with his artist-wife Lucy Hunt-Pierson in a gorgeous home/studio in the hills of O’Neals, is one of eight stone artists featured in the new book “Built With Stone: Eight Contemporary Artisans” by Steven Paul Whitsitt & Jesse Marth.” It’s available through Amazon. Here’s a promotional video for the book:

Responses to "Catching up on the arts beat"

Stephen says:

I filled out a Fast Track Challenge NEA grant proposal once.


MAJOR kudos to Lively Arts for sticking with the slow track challenge of jumping through the voluminous hoops for the NEA grants. I only wish they could have been awarded more – like an extra 5 grand for the person who followed through with the grant writing.