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News briefs on cultural events around Kentucky

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Speed Art Museum Announces $10 Million Gift for Expansion

Avid art enthusiasts Drs. Elizabeth Pahk Cressman and Frederick K. Cressman have pledged $10 million to a planned Speed Art Museum renovation and expansion that will better incorporate the museum into daily University of Louisville life. The gift will build a sculpture garden and piazza along a path that up to 7,000 students use to walk past the museum each day.

“The quiet phase of the capital campaign has been very successful despite the recession, but having a commitment of this magnitude at this stage should remove all doubt that the Speed is moving forward to achieve its vision of increased engagement with University of Louisville and the larger community within a setting of excellence and excitement,” said Todd Lowe, chairman of the Speed’s Board of Governors. “The museum will be completely transformed.”
Groundbreaking is set for summer 2010 with a completion date in 2014.

National Endowment for the Arts Awards Grants to Kentucky Recipients

The National Endowment for the Arts has recently awarded nine grants in the amount of $160,000 to the following Kentucky recipients:

• Actors Theatre Of Louisville Inc., Louisville, $35,000. To support the 34th Humana Festival of New American Plays, an annual showcase of theatrical work featuring American playwrights. Artistic Director Marc Masterson will program and oversee the signature event with accompanying educational and outreach events.

• Appalshop Inc. (Consortium), Whitesburg, $15,000. To support Appalshop at 40 film series. In partnership with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the series will tour 25 U.S. venues.

• Horse Cave Development Corp., Horse Cave, $10,000. To support the development of a Web site and cell phone tour promoting regional cultural organizations and traditions. Participating organizations will include the Kentucky Repertory Theater, Caveland Artists Guild, the Heritage Arts Center and the American Cave Museum.

• Juneteenth Festival Inc., Louisville, $10,000. To support the Annual Juneteenth Jamboree of New Plays, a theatrical exploration of historical and contemporary issues facing African Americans. Contributors will include director Sue Lawless, playwright Samm Art Williams, and St. Louis Black Repertory Co. leaders Ron Himes and Linda Kennedy.

• Kentucky Dance Council Inc. (aka Louisville Ballet), Louisville, $20,000. To support the continuance of the Louisville Ballet’s repertory revitalization project. The company will acquire Stanton Welch’s Madama Butterfly and co-commission Val Caniparoli’s The Seasons with the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

• Paducah Symphony Orchestra Inc., Paducah, $10,000. To support Exhibitions, a series of musical performances that each feature a guest conductor. Related activities will include an exhibit of work by local visual artists and pre-concert discussions.

• Sarabande Books Inc., Louisville, $35,000. To support the publication and promotion of collections of creative nonfiction and poetry. The press will promote its authors online to rural and urban schools and libraries.

• Stephen Foster Drama Association Inc., Bardstown, $10,000. To support the production of Paul Green’s Stephen Foster – The Musical. Performances of the outdoor historical drama will take place on the grounds of the My Old Kentucky Home State Park.

University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Lexington, $15,000. To support a production of George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess. The production team will create a new multi-media approach to set design which will utilize high-definition rear-video projection of pre-production footage shot of the actual cast on location.