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Arts News You Can Use: Dallas Music Loses A Titan, TACA Slashes Grants & So Much More


by Hady Mawajdeh 22 Jan 2018

In this week’s roundup of arts news North Texas loses a titan in classical music, TACA slashes it’s funding and local artists explore modern life through a classic form of filmmaking.

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Happy Monday! Thanks for checking out Art&Seek’s weekly look back at the biggest and most important stories in the North Texas arts scene.

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A Titan of Classical Music Passes

Our roundup begins on a sad note – Anshel Brusilow, former DSO conductor and head of orchestra programs at UNT and SMU, has died.

Brusilow was music prodigy. At age 11, he was a student at the  Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and studied under the world-famous violinist Efrem Zimbalist. By 16 years-old, Brusilow was accepted as a conducting student by renowned conductor Pierre Monteux.

Anshel Brusilow, holding the violin bow, talks with Eugene Ormandy (left, with arm in front of face) and Dmitri Shostakovich (right) at a recording session in the early 1960s. Photo: Via UNT, but courtesy of Anshel Brusilow.

Anshel Brusilow, holding the violin bow, talks with Eugene Ormandy (left, with arm in front of face) and Dmitri Shostakovich (right) at a recording session in the early 1960s.
Photo: Via UNT, but courtesy of Anshel Brusilow.

Brusilow talked about his career with The Strad in 2012 and spoke about his time with all the big American orchestras, including the Chicago and San Francisco symphonies, the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Timeline of Brusilow's career via The Strad.

Timeline of Brusilow’s career via The Strad.

And according to “The Dallas Morning News,” Brusilow came to Dallas in the late 1960s. His tenure at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra was brief, but Brusilow launched the orchestra’s first pops concerts and he led the orchestra on a tour of Central and South America. In the 1970s, Brusilow discovered a passion for teaching and went on to develop orchestra programs at UNT and SMU.

Here’s what he had to say about his time in North Texas in his 2015 biography, “Shoot the Conductor”: “Dallas was good to me in the end, a hospitable city for my family to live in, and a place where I could make a musical contribution that still bears fruit.”

Exploring ‘Life On 16mm’

Brusilow wasn’t the only appreciator of Dallas and it’s supportive community. Visual artists Sarah Reyes and Daniel Driensky are native North Texas and they think there’s something special about Big D. They argue that it’s all about perspective, “When you’re somewhere foreign and you’re seeing things for the first time, you become so infatuated and instantly enamored with places. And I just don’t understand why you shouldn’t be able to have the same perspective in your own home, in your own city,” says Reyes.

In the latest edition of Art&Seek’s Artist Spotlight series, we learn how Reyes and Driensky embrace life in Dallas and how they’re using 16mm film to to explore the extraordinary in ordinary happenings.

Arts Funding From TACA Is Slashed By Nearly 50%

“We used it all up,” says Wolford McCue, the president and executive director of TACA. McCue was speaking with the Dallas Morning News’ Michael Granberry about why his organization will not have the same  $1.3 million it’s had in previous years to dole out as grants for arts groups.

TACA – a nonprofit that has funded arts groups in North Texas for 50 years – is relied upon by many organizations for money that’s used to put on special programming and for general operating expenses.

McCue says there are two main reasons that TACA will be short this year. First, they’re changing the ways that they gather money for grants – they’re no longer relying upon their generational contributors. And second, they’ve used all of the money from their ‘rainy-day-fund.”

Folks like Dallas’ director of the Office of Cultural Affairs Jennifer Scripps and Joanna St. Angelo, executive director of the Sammons Center for the Arts say large arts groups probably won’t feel the effects of the decrease in grants from TACA. Instead, they say small and midsized groups are the one’s who will really feel the loss.

Other Stories You Ought To Read

Did we mention all the hidden surprises in store for you? #sweettoothhotel

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Stuff You Should Give A Listen To

  • “Lover Is a Day” — Cuco (KXT 91.7)
NPR’s 2018 Slingshot Artists

NPR’s 2018 Slingshot Artists

Things You Ought To Look At

David Aylsworth’s, “Small Amount of Onamatopeia”

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#michellerawlings (2018)

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