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Monday Round-Up and a Farewell


by Jerome Weeks 22 Sep 2008

Author James Crumley The Dallas Center for the Performing Arts gets its third-largest donation, $15 million from Sammons Enterprises, for the outdoor spaces around the Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theater. Some parents and DISD teachers have expressed fears about students seeing images in the PBS arts documentary series, art:21. The first three seasons […]

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Author James Crumley

  • The Dallas Center for the Performing Arts gets its third-largest donation, $15 million from Sammons Enterprises, for the outdoor spaces around the Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theater.
  • Some parents and DISD teachers have expressed fears about students seeing images in the PBS arts documentary series, art:21. The first three seasons of art:21 were given to middle and high school teachers as supplements to a new arts curriculum. Specifically, what has caused concern are photos by Sally Mann of naked children and racially and sexually charged works by Kara Walker — whose exhibition, My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love, is currently at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth through Oct. 19

    The Dallas district’s current curriculum is old, Ms. Sohm said, and mainly focuses on basic elements of art, such as lines, colors and shapes. It also doesn’t allow students to express their feelings through their artwork and no contemporary art is used, she said.

    “What we’re trying to do is put forth a curriculum that mirrors the real world of art,” Ms. Sohm said.

    For high school students, the first six-week semester includes having students observe and examine controversial art, according to a planning guide given to teachers. For sixth-graders, a portion of the lesson focuses on students using artwork to think critically about “crucial and painful issues of past and present societies.”

    Skyline High School parent Robin Brown said parents and students should be given notice before the documentary is shown in class. She said students should have to acknowledge in writing that certain behaviors in the documentary are illegal – citing the work of one artist that includes tagging private property.

    “The notice should also serve as protection to the teacher against legal action for showing what some may view as illicit or pornographic,” Ms. Brown said. She added that the documentary is a great tool but is more appropriate for college students.

  • Texas Ballet Theater dancers are pounding the pavement trying to rally support (and money) for the financially troubled troupe.

    In the parking lot behind them, lines of multicolored flags roped off a small benefit sale featuring used and new items. Shoppers idly perused the clothing, computers, glassware, and artwork, furniture, and other items on display.

    There were tell-tale signs that this was not your average fund-raiser. Items up for sale included an autographed portrait of Elizabeth Taylor and a limited edition “Fantasy Goddess of Asia” Barbie doll with diaphanous gold dress designed and signed by Bob Mackie. Clusters of scuffed pointe shoes, autographed and stuffed with bright pink material, were on sale. Tucked away in a shady corner, a young female ballet dancer in puffy tutu was posing for $20 photos with excited little girls, who’d formed a short line with their parents. … Meanwhile, the score from Delibes’ comic ballet Coppelia swelled vivaciously out of the speakers.

  • The hardest of the hard-boiled crime novelists, James Crumley. has died. The 68-year-old former Texan died at his home in Missoula, Montana. He was perhaps best known for The Last Good Kiss, which introduced his drug-taking, simmeringly violent tough-guy hero, C. W. Sughrue, and was celebrated for its opening line, “When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon.”
    Photo from the NYTimes
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