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Ticket Giveaway: Cliburn Concerts, Last Day

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Today is the day that you can finally buy tickets to this season’s Cliburn Concerts. (Check out the concert lineup here.) And today is also the last day of our ticket giveaway.

To win these tickets, you’re going to have to have a Twitter account. The first person to tweet “Follow @artandseek” AND e-mail me ([email protected]) your twitter ID so I can read the tweet wins a pair of tickets to the performance of your choice.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Alicia, the winner of the final pair of tickets.

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An Advance in Budgetary Understanding: The Cool New Dallas City Pie Chart

Actually, it’s not just any pie chart.

City governments often seem to be in the business of obfuscating everything as much as possible. Even the ‘citizens’  guides’ they supply (with full-color illustrations!) will be rife with the Requisite Nomenclature Learned from Business Management:   “Performance measure tracking systems, as part of a departmental business plan, have also been developed in an effort to link fund allocations with desired and actual outcomes.” (Translation: We try to track the money with departmental goals in mind.)

But the city of Dallas has created a fascinating, interactive, online pie chart of the proposed 2011 city budget. You can click on any department in the chart, and up pops the basic info: total proposed budget, total staff numbers and percentage change from the previous year’s budget. But you can also choose a city department from a list on the left side (“Housing”) and get a more detailed financial breakdown (“Community Centers,” “Urban Land Bank,” “Senior Services”).

For number crunchers or for anyone with a vested interest in the city’s budget decisions (arts groups? library supporters?), this thing is wickedly clear and easy.

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Art&Seek on Think TV: Katherine Wagner

On this episode of Think TV, Business Council for the Arts CEO Katherine Wager discusses the state of arts philanthropy in North Texas.

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Afternoon Delight: Ambidextrous Drawing Skills

Afternoon Delight is a daily diversion for when you’re back from lunch but not quite ready to get back to work. Check back tomorrow at 1 p.m. for another installment.

For your afternoon edification, we give you this video of a street artist who can draw with two pens at a time. Made us think about how much we could get done with that ability. Stupid left hand.

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Friday Morning Roundup

ALT ART: Alternative arts spaces are filling a void left when more corporate spots squeeze out less established artists. And places like The Gallery at Lander’s Machine Shop and 1919 Hemphill in Fort Worth are becoming increasingly important for creative types who are into art for art’s sake. recently spent some time exploring the Gallery and other similar placed. Preston Jones writes, “Standing just a few feet from an artist and admiring his or her handiwork, or cramming into a room as a band thrashes out its music delivers a charge you can’t get anywhere else. Even the unfinished, often haphazard nature of these spaces reinforces a sense of optimism for brighter days ahead.”

LEADING THE WAY: The September issue of D CEO is actually turning out to be pretty artsy. Yesterday we pointed you to a story about how the DSO’s financial troubles affect the larger business community. And now after further perusal, there’s also a short profile of Business Council for the Arts CEO Katherine Wagner — who’ll be appearing today on Think TV.

HOT HOT HEAT: It sure is hot outside. (“How hot is it…?”) Hot enough that the Amon Carter blog has collected a series of works in the museum’s collection that depict the intensity of the sun. Be sure to take a look now before your eyes melt later today.

A NEW CHAPTER: Recently, we lamented the closing of Legacy Books, one of the few independent bookstores around. But now news has come out that the store is moving to Fairview and reopening as A Real Bookstore. If you want to say goodbye to Legacy Books, you might want to do it today. The Plano store closes tomorrow.

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Layoffs at Star-Telegram

Boy, do I hate stories like this.  Earlier this week came word that The Star-Telegram laid off 15 people. Today I confirmed that Andrew Marton was among those who were let go.  He was a senior arts writer at the paper- there for 11 years.  He won four national awards during his tenure, as well as regional and local prizes.  I admired the work he did on the Texas Ballet Theater’s financial woes.

Haven’t heard of any other arts/entertainment layoffs there, but will add to the list if I do. Jerome, Stephen and I – all formerly-ink-stained – wish the best for Andrew and his colleagues.

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RIP Leon Breeden, UNT Jazz Leader

UNT and jazz lovers around Texas are mourning the death of Leon Breeden today.  Breedon was largely responsible for elevating the One O’Clock Lab Band and the jazz program at UNT to international status, overseeing the group from 1959 to 1981.  A  noted musician himself, he led the band in performances in places like the Montreux International Jazz Festival in and the White House, where the band shared the bill with Stan Getz and Duke Ellington.

Funeral services are scheduled for Monday at 3 p.m. at Denton Bible Church. Breeden was 88 and died Wednesday of natural causes at St. Paul Hospital in Dallas.

More from UNT after the jump:

Read More »

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Ticket Giveaway: Cliburn Concerts, Day 4

Another day, another chance to win a pair of Cliburn Concert tickets before you can buy them on Friday. (Check out the concert lineup here.)

The first person to e-mail me ([email protected]) with the name of the last American to win the gold medal at the Cliburn Competition wins a pair of tickets to the performance of your choice.

Please include your name and hometown.

UPDATE: Contest’s over for today. Congratulations to our winner, Daniel of Dallas. And the answer to our question was Jon Nakamatsu.

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Afternoon Delight: Pat Benatar and The Office

Afternoon Delight is a daily diversion for when you’re back from lunch but not quite ready to get back to work. Check back tomorrow at 1 p.m. for another installment.

For today’s installment of the A.D. (like how we’re already abbreviating after three days of doing this?) we call attention to Pat Benatar’s show tonight at the House of Blues. And sure, we could’ve posted the video to “Love is a Battlefield” or “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” But really – wouldn’t it be more fun to watch Kelly Kapoor sing “We Belong Together” to Ryan on The Office? (at the 2:38 mark) We thought so, too, which is why we posted The Office Musical, above.

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Fort Worth Budget Also Includes Cuts in Cultural Funding

The same week that saw Dallas city manager Mary Suhm propose a 17 percent reduction in arts support for the next fiscal year now hears from the other side of the Metroplex: To help close a $73 million shortfall, the $1.3 billion budget for Fort Worth, proposed by city manager Dale Fisseler, includes a reduction in arts funding to $700,000. It also proposes closing three branch libraries.

The Star-Telegram story that reported this was a little skimpy on details (reduce to $700,000 from what?). The data came straight from the city’s own 2011 budget breakout. But then, you’re welcome to try to quarry the relevant comparison from the city’s 2010 budget. I gave up.

And FTW library supporters are already gearing up to oppose the branch closings.

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