ARTS FUNDING UPDATE Both good news and bad were delivered June 11 when Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced the lifting of a moratorium on grants to the state’s arts and cultural organizations. The freeze withheld $7.5 million in previously promised funds included in the current fiscal year’s budget.
“We are relieved to see the moratorium come to an end,” said Neeta Delaney, president and CEO of ArtServe Michigan. “Although it was a burden arts organizations should not have been made to bear in the first place, the lifting of the moratorium holds the promise that these organizations may now begin to recover.”
But with the good news also came the bad. In order to balance the state budget, legislators slashed the amount owed by nearly half, $3.6 million.
“Even before these cuts, our state had fallen from its high water mark of fourth in the nation in per capita funding for the arts in 2001 to 35th in 2007,” explained Delaney. “This latest round of cuts will find us in a race for last place in the nation.”
TWO LESBIANS, A DIVORCEE AND A SANSKRIT SCHOLAR WALK INTO A BAR… “No, really,” says Jeff Croff of “Love Person,” Icarus Falling’s last show of the 2006/07 season.
“This a neat twist on the Cyrano story in which Vic, a two-time loser at the marriage game, falls for a Sanskrit scholar, Ram, hanging out at his cousin’s bar. They exchange email addresses and the scholar heads back East to work on translating Sanskrit love poems. Vic desperately wants to write him, but she is afraid she’ll come off a little trashy and low brow for an educated guy from an Ivy League school. So Vic enlists the aid of her sister’s partner, Maggie, to help write the emails. Everything is going along really well until Vic’s sister gets upset with what she believes is the deception the two women are carrying out.”
What’s unique about this workshop production is this: The show includes both Sanskrit and American Sign Language. “The author, Aditi Brennan Kapil, has incorporated a running translation which translates the sign for the hearing audience, while also translating the spoken word for those that are hearing impaired and translating the Sanskrit for the majority of us,” Croff said.
“Love Person” opens this Friday at the Black Child & Family Institute, 835 W. Genesee, Lansing. Performances are at 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday through July 7. For tickets or reservations, call 517-290-4375.
YOU DIDN’T HEAR THIS FROM ME, BUT… There’s some mighty fine acting going on in The Abreact’s first production at the Zeitgeist. It’s five actors performing 10 monologues by Eric Bogosian, and Mike Eshaq will knock your socks off.
See this week’s Theater Events for details.