Tom Strini
Haggerty, Skylight, Film Festival, Lynden, Next Act

Good news

By - Jan 13th, 2011 04:00 am
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Frank Paulin’s “Man in a Donut Shop, New Orleans, Louisiana,” 1951. Courtesy of the Bruce Silverstein Gallery.

We’re so accustomed to recession gloom and doom, but it’s not all bad out there. So enjoy these five nice things (six including this link).

Marquette University’s Haggerty Museum of Art has received 135 artworks valued at $1 million from three separate parties.

Marquette alums Michael (Arts, class of 1963) and Mary Tatalovich (Arts ‘64) are donating 80 pieces, including works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. The Tataloviches have collected modern and contemporary American prints since shortly after they married in 1965. In 1997, the couple retired after teaching for 30 years in Milwaukee Public Schools. The Haggerty, the first public venue to exhibit pieces of the Tatalovich collection in 1997 and 1998, is planning a large show from the Tatalovich collection for the summer of 2012.

The Bruce Silverstein Gallery, of New York, is donating 30 images by street photographer Frank Paulin, from his Out of the Limelight series, also the title of a well-received book of photographs. An anonymous Los Angeles donor is contributing another 25 photos, many of them depicting Wisconsin, to the museum.

According to museum director Wally Mason, the Haggerty has never before received three gifts of this magnitude in a single year.

Milwaukee Film has announced $400,000 in renewed support for its Milwaukee Film Festival from Allan H. (Bud) and Suzanne L. Selig. Their gift will extend over three years, with $100,000 in 2011 and $150,000 in both 2012 and 2013. The Selig family became one of the festival’s first major supporters in 2008, with a $100,000 donations each for the 2009 and 2010 festivals.

MIFF recognized the Seligs by naming Selig Audience Award, given each year to the overall audience favorite films in the feature and short film categories, in their honor. The 2010 winners were the critically acclaimed Waiting for ‘Superman’ (feature; dir. Davis Guggenheim) and the exceedingly hilarious Drunk History: Tesla & Edison (short; dir. Jeremy Konner).

2011 Festival Dates Announced: The third annual Milwaukee Film Festival is set for Sept. 22 – Oct. 2. Venues and ticket information will be announced in early spring. The 2010 festival’s total film screening attendance of over 30,000 was a 50% increase from the 2009 festival.

Milwaukee Film people update: Bill Haberman is the new board chair for Milwaukee Film, taking over from Chris Abele, who held the position for the first two years of the organization. Haberman is a partner at Michael Best & Friedrich, LLC and President of the Richard & Ethel Herzfeld Foundation, the largest funder of Milwaukee Film to date.

Angela Catalano is Milwaukee Film’s first Executive Assistant/Membership Coordinator, a new position on Milwaukee Film staff. She served as Hospitality Coordinator for the 2009 and 2010 festivals and is currently finishing her M.A. in Media, Cinema and Digital Studies at UW-Milwaukee.

Bill Theisen, artistic director of the Skylight Opera Theatre.

The Skylight Opera Theatre and artistic director Bill Theisen have signed on for two more seasons. Theisen says that 2012-13 will be his ninth and last as the Skylight’s AD.

Though his tenure has been very successful artistically, it coincided with difficult and sometimes controversial times at Milwaukee’s beloved English-language opera house. In the summer of 2009, Theisen was summarily fired as the company tried to deal with a financial crisis. Colin Cabot and other donors intervened, Amy Jensen eventually replaced Eric Dillner as managing director, and Theisen was restored as artistic director.

But he was restored at half-pay and, at least in theory, as a half-time employee. His final contract restores his full-time status and pay, and the current board has publicly committed to keeping the job as a full-time position in the future. (According to tax records for the 2007 fiscal year, the job paid $71,936.)

The Skylight’s board has already announced formation of a search committee to secure a successor in time for the 2013-14 season. Theisen will be difficult to replace; few know both opera and musical theater as he does, not to mention his prowess as both an actor and a director. But two additional seasons with Theisen at the helm gives the company plenty of time to find the right person and make a smooth transition.

This arrangement is a winner all the way around.

They would love to watch you skate.

The Lynden Sculpture Garden is a winter garden, too. A Light Up the Garden lantern walk across the grounds at sunset (about 4:42 p.m.) is set for Sunday, Jan. 16, until 6 p.m., with hot cider and cookies to follow. On Sunday, Jan. 23 — ice skating! Harry Bradley and his friends and family skated on the beautiful pond back when the estate was their country getaway, and now you can, too. Noon to 5 p.m. You have to bring your own skates, but the Lynden will supply the hot beverages.

A Pop art show is on view indoors, too. The Lynden Sculpture Garden is at 2145 W. Brown Deer Road. Look for the barn and the long wooden fence. Ticket info here.

Next Act Theatre has surpassed its $950,000 fundraising goal for creating a new performance and office facility in the Fifth Ward. The Journey Home capital campaign project received generous support from board and former board members, patrons, artists, local foundations and corporations.

Fundraising professional Jean Gurney organized and helped to execute The Journey Home Campaign. The company raised nearly a million dollars in roughly one year, despite the stagnant economic climate. Fundraising efforts received a significant boost from David and Julia Uihlein, who challenged Next Act patrons to donate and pledge $850,000 by Dec. 31st. Upon meeting this challenge the Uihlein’s gave the final $100,000 to finish the campaign. A specialized patron appeal was organized, encouraging each household to donate an average of $250 to the cause. More than 300 separate gifts averaged about $360 and totaled more than $110,000. Other significant support came from The Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Bradley Foundation, Steigleder Foundation, Briggs & Stratton Corporation Foundation, Bucyrus Foundation, Inbusch Foundation, Peck Foundation, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek Foundation, Four-Four Foundation, as well as many family foundations. Corporate matching also played a significant role, doubling many individual donations and totaling $23,050.

Last spring, Next Act lost its long-time home at the Off-Broadway Theatre, 342 N. Water St., when that space was redeveloped for commercial use. The company, led by producing director David Cecsarini and managing director Charles Kakuk, is staging its current season at the 10th Street Theater, in the “Red Church” at 10th and Wisconsin, by arrangement with In Tandem Theater, which is in residence there.

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