Culture Flash!

The skinny on selecting public art, Cookie leads Dance/ USA, Conspirare goes worldwide, and a UT playwright's scholarly honors

Ever wonder how artists for public art projects are selected? The Austin Art in Public Places program is offering a "behind the scenes" look at the process this week in the second of its summer artists' workshops. The sessions feature a mock selection panel evaluating proposals for improvements to Brush Square, the park between Neches and Trinity at East Fourth. Participants' proposals will receive feedback from a selection panel that includes Art in Public Places panel members. The workshop is free and open to the public. "Mock" Proposal Team Activity: Transforming Brush Square will take place Wednesday, July 18, 6-9pm, and Saturday, July 21, 9am-noon, at the Hilton Hotel, 500 E. Fourth. (Meet in the west lobby.) For more information, call 974-9308 or visit

Ballet Austin Executive Director Cookie Ruiz has been named chair of the board of trustees for Dance/USA, the national service organization for professional dance with members drawn from more than 400 ballet, modern, ethnic, jazz, and tap companies; dance service and presenting organizations; individuals; and other organizations nationwide. In addition to presiding over the 40-member board of trustees, Ruiz will represent the dance industry on the combined national advocacy board of opera, dance, symphony, and theatre. During her two-year stint, she intends to concentrate on a national branding initiative for dance and building the national funding capacity dedicated to dance. She is also working on a national task force on dancer health and a national model for dancer career transition. For more information, visit

This time next year, Conspirare will be heading to Copenhagen as the only American choir to take part in the eighth World Symposium on Choral Music. Just 24 choral ensembles have been invited to perform in the symposium, which is expected to draw more than 5,000 participants to the Danish capital for some 200 concerts and 60 workshops and seminar sessions over eight days. The Grammy-nominated company of voices aims to make the most of its time overseas, doing a concert tour of Scandinavia before the symposium and possibly recording a new CD in Copenhagen after. For more information, visit

Congratulations to UT graduate student Sarah Myers on being selected the 2007 Winifred Ward Scholar, a national honor that recognizes an outstanding graduate-level student in the field of child drama/theatre. Myers, who earned a master's at UT in Playwriting and Drama & Theatre for Youth and is currently a doctorate candidate in Performance as Public Practice, is the author of The Realm, a play she developed from a series of workshops with students at St. Stephen's Episcopal School, and she is currently working with Grrl Action, an autobiographical writing and performance workshop for teenage girls hosted by Rude Mechanicals. The award will be presented at the 2007 American Alliance for Theatre & Education Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, July 31-Aug. 5.

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Art in Public Places, Cookie Ruiz, Conspirare, Sarah Myers, Dance / USA

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