Palmer Design Team Named

Last week, in remarking on the news about Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long's phenomenal $20 million gift toward the renovation of Palmer Auditorium, I inadvertently eclipsed another significant item about the Palmer project heretofore unreported in this column. ARTS Center Stage, the nonprofit at the helm of the auditorium makoever, has selected the fairy godmother design team that will transform the homely Turtle of Auditorium Shores into a dazzling new performing arts center. Fisher Dachs Associates, Inc. is the firm hired for the job, and it comes to the table with experience in creating some of the country's major arts centers this decade, including the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Fort Worth's impressive Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall. Making this news even more exciting for project proponents is the inclusion of Jaffe Holden and Scarbrough on the project team; this firm may be the most expert and respected acoustical engineering company working today.

Bullish on Bull-Jean

Quick congratulations to poet/playwright Sharon Bridgforth and musician Lourdes Perez. They have made the short list of artists eligible to take part in a national arts residency initiative, Artists & Communities: America Creates for the Millennium, sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. The initiative will place artists at 56 host sites across the country during the year 2000 so they can create long-term programming that addresses issues of community significance. About 800 artists applied for the program, and Bridgforth and Perez are among 255 applicants from whom the 56 resident artists will be chosen.

This follows another recent honor for Bridgforth: Her new book the bull-jean stories, a collection of verse dramas about the woman-loving-woman named bull-dog-jean, won the 1998 Lambda Literary Award for Best Small Press Book. The Lambda Literary Awards recognizes excellence in the gay, lesbian, and transgender literary community. the bull-jean stories is available in book form ($12) and on CD ($12.99), read by Bridgforth, with vocals by Sonja Perryman and music by Deacon John.

I-35 Arts Corridor Update

That curious cultural causeway connecting our town with Minneapolis is still in operation. Just last week, it pulled Austin director Katie Pearl and musician SXIP up to the Land of 1,000 Lakes to work with playwright and former Austinite Lisa D'Amour on her new project SLABBER. Commissioned by Intermedia Arts with funds from the Jerome Foundation, SLABBER is a performance installation which explores such dichotomies as dirty/clean and sacred/ profane through the story of a girl who is exiled from her town when people come to believe she is unclean. The title comes from the machine in old soapmaking factories that cut big blocks of soap into slabs. D'Amour had worked with Pearl on the FronteraFest '98 piece Dress Me Blue, Window Me Sky, and so asked her to come direct the new work. Pearl, in turn, invited SXIP along, having been inspired by his performance on the closing night of the Electric Lounge and feeling he was the ideal person to create the piece's soundscape. If you didn't catch SLABBER in Minneapolis last week, don't worry. D'Amour reports that she and Pearl will perform the piece in Austin "sometime in Y2K."

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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, Arts Center Stage, Palmer Auditorium, Fisher Dachs Associates, Jaffe Holden And Scarbrough, Sharon Bridgforth, Lourdes Perez, Mid-atlantic Arts Foundation, The Bull-jean Stories, Sonja Perryman, Deacon John, Lisa D'amour, Katie Pearl, Sxip, Slabber, Intermedia Arts, Jerome Foundation

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