The Blanton Museum of Art gets a cool million for its new building, Austin Museum of Art gets a new director of development to raise money for its new building, and a whole lotta Austin Artists get nominations for the 2001-02 Critics Table Awards.
A Million for the Blanton
The folks at the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art have a reason to be happy this week -- actually, a million reasons. The UT-Austin institution, which is building a new facility on the southern edge of campus, just received two gifts of $500,000 each toward completion of its Education, Visitor Services, and Administration Building -- one of them from museum namesake Jack Blanton. The Houston businessman and philanthropist had the museum named for him when Houston Endowment Inc., a foundation for which he was the longtime chair, contributed $12 million to the building campaign in his honor. His gift, along with that of an anonymous donor, kick off the capital campaign for the museum's 35,000-square-foot building housing its educational and social spaces and administrative offices. The building will stand on one side of a plaza from the facility's other unit, the 100,000-square-foot Gallery Building, which will house the more than 14,000 works of art in the Blanton's permanent collection, plus galleries for temporary exhibitions, a print and drawing study center, and storage and collection care areas. To date, the Blanton, which is scheduled to open in 2005 at the intersection of Martin Luther King and Congress, has raised $58.5 million in private and public support in funding for the construction of the Gallery Building; $24 million are still needed to complete the Education Building. For more information, call 232-1988.
AMOA Hires Devo Director
Speaking of art museums and money, the Austin Museum of Art has just hired someone to help it in that regard. Marilla B. King is the new director of development for AMOA, which is still fighting to raise the funds to build its new facility downtown at Fourth and Guadalupe. King is an Austin native whose background couples 15 years in banking administration -- most recently, as vice-president and manager of the Private Banking Center of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank -- with two decades in community advocacy with such organizations as the Junior League of Austin and the Austin Child Guidance Center. For more information, call 495-9224.
Critix Table Breakdown
The full list of nominations for this year's Austin Critics Table Awards can be found in this issue, and it's a whopper. More than 100 different productions, exhibitions, and concerts are recognized, for a grand total of -- gro-o-o-oan -- 336 nominations. Pore over them at your leisure, but here's a quick breakdown of the leading nominees. Top honors go to the Rude Mechs' productions of El Paraiso (13 nominations) and Big Love (12), the State Theater Company's premiere of The Dinosaur Within (10), the Zachary Scott Theatre Center's musicals Jelly's Last Jam and Hedwig and the Angry Inch (10 and 8 nominations, respectively), Salvage Vanguard Theater's dramas Tilt Angel (9) and Fugitive Pieces (8), and Austin Lyric Opera's production of A Streetcar Named Desire (8). Leading the companies in total number of nominations is Zach with 40, followed by the State with 30, the Rudes with 25, Salvage with 17, Austin Musical Theatre and Austin Lyric Opera with 16 each, and Ballet Austin with 15. The Critics Table members cordially invite all artists, technicians, patrons, and other lovers of the arts, to the city's loosest awards ceremony on Monday, June 3.