AMOA Museum Campaign, We Have Lift-Off!

Well, Susan and Michael Dell have stepped up to the plate for the new Austin Museum of Art downtown museum. And they think it's your turn to do the same. On Tuesday, when AMOA went public with the capital campaign for its new permanent facility, it announced the jaw-dropping contribution by the Dells -- a cool $7 million -- as a 10% challenge grant. Meaning their gift will be tied to the gifts that you and I and anyone else who wants to see this facility finally built make toward that end. Whatever we give, they'll match 10% of it, up to $7 mil (i.e., 10% of the total AMOA wants to raise for the building and an operations endowment). Makes you want to scrounge in your pocket for a few extra pennies to donate, doesn't it? That's what the capital campaign is counting on.

By the way, if you were under the impression that the campaign was already underway, don't feel bad. It kinda looked that way a few months ago when AMOA announced $13,000,000 in pledges from the Dells and four other couples composed of Dell Computers executives and their wives. Naturally, that's not the kind of news you want to sit on for long, so an announcement was bound to come, but this one came while the museum fund drive was still in Stealth Mode. That's when the entity seeking Big Money in a fund drive tries to get a goodly portion of the money in hand -- half, as in AMOA's case, or sometimes more -- before it hits up the public for contributions. Makes the entity look responsible to the hoi polloi and saves on the psychological wear and tear of a long funding appeal. The only awkward thing about it is that it makes the entity look a little like it's not raising money when everybody knows it is.

Well, that period is behind the museum as of this week. The campaign is in the light of day, gubernatorial spouse Laura Bush is chairing it, Hizzoner Kirk Watson is foursquare behind it, and the museum would be pleased as punch to have you chipping in some bills toward that $30 million left to raise. Call 495-9224 for info.

Embarrassment of Riches

Looking at the arts calendar this week puts me in mind of the line "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" -- and not just becauseVORTEX Repertory Company is staging Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, either. With so many cultural events worth seeing, it feels like the best of times. But since I can't see even half of them, it feels like the worst of times. Ah, well. Just let me urge you to share in this embarrassment of riches, and if you haven't decided how, we'll suggest a couple of ideas... One of the most significant arts stories of the past year was the UT Austin acquisition of the Suida-Manning Collection of art by Old Masters for the Jack S.Blanton Museum of Art. The collection, assembled by art historian William Suida, his daughter Bertina Suida Manning, and her husband Robert Manning, brings some 250 paintings, 400 drawings, and 50 sculptures to the 40 Acres. Austinites get their first glimpse at these astonishing treasures during the big UT Interactive Saturday. (See the Community listings)... Over at the Mary Moody Northen Theatre, an engaging gang of students is serving up a charming cocktail of song, dance, and slapstick in A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine. The young performers seem right in sync with the sensibility of Thirties Hollywood to which the show pays tribute. They're as bright, funny, and show-biz savvy a crew of St. Edward's students as I can recall in the last 15 years. Closes Sunday! Call 448-8484 for info.

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More Articulations
The Harry Ransom Center has acquired all the professional and personal materials of profoundly influential acting teacher Stella Adler

Robert Faires, April 30, 2004

It's the end of an era for the city of Austin's Art in Public Places Program as Martha Peters, administrator of the program for 11 of its 18 years, departs to direct a public art program in Fort Worth.

Robert Faires, July 18, 2003


Visual Art, Performing Art, Theatre, Dance

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