The Austin Chronicle

Culture Flash!

By Robert Faires, June 20, 2008, Arts

• Giving must be so deeply ingrained in Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long that the philanthropist couple can't receive something without giving something back. On Friday, June 6, at the Austin Museum of Art's Art Ball XII gala, the recent Austin Arts Hall of Fame inductees were being given the Clara Driscoll Arts Award – named for the patroness who donated her home, Laguna Gloria, to the people of Texas for use as a museum – when the Longs promptly announced a surprise $1 million gift to AMOA for its proposed permanent Downtown museum.

• Is the sixth co-PAD anything like the fifth Beatle? You'd have to ask the Rude Mechanicals, who have added a new co-producing artistic director for the first time since the theatre collective was founded 13 years ago. The lucky guy is Thomas Graves, a company member for four years who will be familiar to Rudes fans from his work in The Method Gun, Have You Ever Been Assassinated?, and Decameron Day 7: Revenge. The recent Master of Fine Arts grad of the Performance as Public Practice program in the UT Department of Theatre & Dance now joins founders Madge Darlington, Lana Lesley, Kirk Lynn, Shawn Sides, and Sarah Richardson in the "low-pay, high-stress job" of planning, guiding, and implementing artistic projects and producing Rude Mechs shows.

Stephen Mills premiered his latest work last weekend, but it was far from home. The Ballet Austin artistic director was at Jacob's Pillow, the storied dance festival in the Berkshires, where he was the only choreographer invited to create and present a new work for the gala opening of its 76th season. Mills' Argelina, set to music by Radio Tarifa, featured 11 men and 11 women, drawn from such notable companies as Boston Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Julio Bocca Ballet Argentino, Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet, among others. Also on the bill June 14 were Garth Fagan Dance, Keigwin + Company, and, in a rare solo appearance, Bill T. Jones.

Vincent Kitch, Cultural Arts Program manager for the city of Austin, has been elected to the executive committee for the United States Urban Arts Federation, an alliance of the directors of arts agencies in the nation's 60 largest cities. Federation members meet twice a year in conjunction with events for Americans for the Arts, a national nonprofit that promotes the arts in America, to discuss urban arts policy and funding.

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