News & notes: Sam Adams, NEA, Allen Nause, Tacoma Art Museum

Allen Nause (the elfin chap in the center) and the Pakistani cast of "The Odd Couple"

As a summer weekend beckons, still, the arts news bubbles on. Some recent developments that caught our attention.

Today’s report is dominated by a political decision: Mayor Sam Adams has announced that he won’t run for re-election as mayor in 2012, and though that’s “politics” not “art,” it has potential ramifications for the arts going forward. That’s because Adams’ support for the arts during his term has has been stalwart. He has figured out many ways to support the arts during his term: Holding the line on the city’s contribution to the Regional Arts & Culture council during the economic downturn and supporting a tax levy that would stabilize arts funding at a much higher level were the big ones, and there were a multitude of smaller ones.  We will be watching to see how the arts fit into the plans of the candidates to replace him, so much more later.

While we are on politics, the U.S. House of Representatives defeated an amendment that would have trimmed another $10.6 million from the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts. The entire Oregon delegation voted against the amendment.

Allen Nause spent his summer in Pakistan spreading American theater practices and staging Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” which seems an oddly appropriate programming decision somehow. Now, Artists Repertory Theatre’s artistic director is back with tales to tell. He’ll speak at noon on Aug. 16 to the World Affairs Council on the importance of cultural diplomacy and what he learned from his experience. And he’ll talk more specifically about his directing experience for ART at 7 p.m. Aug. 22.

The Tacoma Art Museum has issued a call for entries to its 10th Northwest Biennial. The deadline for entries is Aug. 31.  The exhibition of accepted work opens Jan. 21, and it has become a crucial event for those attempting to come to grips with developments in the arts in the Northwest.

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