Last call for changes to the city arts funding guidelines, another cool two million for the Long Center, Sally Jacques gets touched by an angel, more Austin artists do New York, and another honor for Conspirare
The Long Center has added another cool million make that two! to its coffers in its steady roll of fundraising in April through June. The biggest chunk came from venerable Texas philanthropic institution the Meadows Foundation, which gave $500,000, while Austin businesses contributed $600,000 in new pledges, among them Applied Materials, WachoviaBank, law firm Winstead Sechrest & Minick P.C., and developer Pete Lamy ($100,000 each), and investment firm RBC Dain Rauscher, law firms Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP and Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody, P.C., and downtown developer T. Stacy & Associates ($50,000 each). The center, with a projected cost of $77 million, now has commitments of $61 million.
Sally Jacques' Whispers of Heaven was touched by an angel during the second week of its run. Suzanne Koneful, who sweated through one of the show's early performances in the unairconditioned warehouse where it was performed, approached Jacques afterward and asked why she didn't get AC donated. The choreographer said she'd tried repeatedly to no avail. Koneful, who scouts for movies, offered to try, and by the next performance, she'd gotten Robert Everett and Central Texas Commercial Air to donate two silent generators that kept the entire space cool cool cool.
It's a good weekend to go to New York if you want to see work by Austin artists. Salvage Vanguard Theater resident playwright Dan Dietz is having his tempOdyssey produced in the second annual Summer Play Festival, showcasing playwrights who haven't been produced much in New York. A thousand writers applied, and Dietz is one of only 16 who made the cut. His show opened Tuesday and runs through July 10 at the Beckett Theater, 410 W. 42nd. Meanwhile, over at P.S. 122, the celebrated performance space, the Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company will be part of the Field's GoTour Road Show, a minifestival featuring 15 independent artists from around the country, on Friday and Saturday. The company will perform "Spin," a quartet set to an original score by Austin composer Tim Kerr.
Another national honor for Conspirare: the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, presented to the Austin vocal ensemble at the national convention of Chorus America in Chicago last month. Previous Hillis award winners a prestigious crew include the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Chanticleer, the Dale Warland Singers, and the Gregg Smith Singers.