Culture Flash!

New curatorial directions, a new drama getting around, and a new way for theatre to change lives

• Belated congratulations to Louis Grachos on being named executive director for AMOA-Arthouse. The organization announced on June 14 that the Albright-Knox Art Gallery director was its choice to lead the merged museums into a new era. Grachos' curatorial eye, innovative approach to outreach, and community focus were highlighted in the press release, and he's expected to reinvigorate the programming and presentation of art at AMOA-Arthouse's Jones Center site and Laguna Gloria grounds, and to commission new work. Grachos was in town this week to meet the locals, but he doesn't move down from Buffalo, N.Y., until the fall, starting part-time on Nov. 1 and beginning full-time on January 1, 2013.

• In other curatorial news, Jessica S. McDonald has been appointed the Harry Ransom Center's curator of photography. Currently the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's curator of photography, McDonald has also worked with the Visual Studies Workshop and George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film and was awarded an Ansel Adams Research Fellowship from the Center for Creative Photography last year. She joins the Ransom Center staff in September.

Austin Theatre Project received a $103,600 grant from Impact Austin to fund its New Stages Youth Theatre Ensemble, a new program that connects teens who have been released from the juvenile detention system with professional artists to create meaningful and personal performances for the community through which the teens reflect on their lives, choices, and opportunities for change.

Allan Baker's 10-minute play "...last and always" is making the rounds of the nation's 10-minute play festivals. After a production by NativeAliens Theatre Collective for New York City's Pride Festival in 2009, the short was staged at Turtle Shell Productions' 8 Minute Madness Playwright's Festival in 2011 and the Blue Slipper Theatre's inaugural 10-minute play festival in Livingston, Mont., in May, and is currently running in Buffalo United Artists' Takes 10: GLBT Short Plays festival in Buffalo, N.Y.

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Austin arts news, AMOA-Arthouse, Louis Grachos, Harry Ransom Center, Jessica McDonald, Theatre Action Project, Allan Baker

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