Tom Strini

Six arts stories for the price of one!

By - Feb 25th, 2011 04:15 pm
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Simon Eichinger and Christal Wagner, sensational in Danceworks’ “Vaudeville!” Danceworks photo by Mark Frohna.

The Danceworks Performance Company has had quite a few hit shows over the years, but Kelly Anderson’s Vaudeville! outshines them all. The second weekend Feb. 25-27, sold out a week in advance. So they added a fourth show at 5 p.m. Saturday, which sold out immediately as word spread via Facebook. Now they’ve added another show, set for 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3. This looks like your last chance. If you want to see this remarkable production, act now.

The Cultural Alliance of Greater Milwaukee is changing its name. That makes perfect sense, because the mission of this organization, led by Christine Harris, has changed. Or you might say that the alliance, formerly dedicated to helping area non-profits in ways that no one seemed to understand, has finally found a mission. The new purpose and direction has risen from the Creativity Works! project, which itself has evolved from vague notions into a clear and, frankly, exciting plan of action. Creativity Works! has surveyed Greater Milwaukee’s economy, both for-profit and non-profit, to see just how much the creative sector contributes. I won’t rehash it now (it’s all here, anyway), but it’s big, and it’s focused on design of all sorts.

Harris and the alliance have dedicated themselves to organizing, expanding and leveraging that sector to make it an even larger driver of economic recovery and growth in the region. A particular part of it will involve connecting non-profit arts, educational institutions and business in ways that profit everyone.

The alliance wants you to help choose the new name and a tagline for it. You can vote for a prospective or suggest your own right here, but again, act now. The deadline is Monday, Feb. 28.

Tom Strini, hard at work bringing TCD readers the most insightful arts journalism.

Karen Deschere, president of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, dropped me a happy note Friday, about the school’s $953 surplus for 2010.

“I know that’s not a lot,” she said, “but after a $285,000 deficit last year, and prior years of deficits, we think it is a pretty big deal.”

Yes it is, and we’re pleased to pass it on.

An anonymous local philanthropist, through that person’s family foundation, has given the Milwaukee Children’s Choir a $100,000 challenge grant. The donor will match all gifts up to that amount through May 13. An endowment would greatly expand the MCC’s reach. Tuition from the parents of its young singers has always been its primary funding source. An endowment would help this non-profit to reach out to children whose families might not be in a financial position to participate. Click here if you want to pitch in.

An especially strong contingent of singers showed up for the Wisconsin District of the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions in October. The judges sent a record seven singers on to the Upper Midwest Regionals, in St. Paul. The big winner was mezzo Renee Rapier, from the Iowa District; she will go on to New York. But the Wisconsin contingent did well. Second place went to WI District Winner baritone Samuel Schultz. Emily Birsan, soprano, also a WI District Winner took third. Encouragement awards went to: Derrell Acon, Nebraska District; Janalyn Bump, North Dakota District (a Wisconsin native and past WI District Encouragement Winner); and soprano Kristin Dawn Schwecke, a WI District Winner.

The Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra has been playing interesting programs and playing them well under Richard Hynson. We’re sorry to hear that the MCO is enduring yet another financial pinch and had to cancel its March 27 concert, its last scheduled concert of the season. The MCO will play, as announced, with the Bel Canto Chorus (which Hynson also directs) on March 13. Those holding tickets for the 27th can use them for the Bel Canto concert, set for 3 p.m. on March 13 at Christ King Parish, 2604 N. Swan Blvd., Wauwatosa. Patrons can also get refunds for their tickets or donate them to the orchestra. Call 414 881-9900.

Categories: Classical, Dance

0 thoughts on “Six arts stories for the price of one!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi –

    Make that March 3–hope you all can come out!

    Elyse Cohn, Danceworks, Inc.

  2. Anonymous says:

    OK, Elyse, I did make that March 3. — Tom

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