David Ferry Awarded Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize
The $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize was awarded by the Poetry Foundation to David Ferry last week. The 87-year-old writer is well known both as a poet and a translator; he is a professor emeritus at Wellesley College, and continues to teach at Boston University and Suffolk University. Ferry is currently at work on a new translation of Virgil’s Aeneid. His forthcoming book of poetry, Bewilderment, is due out in the fall. He will receive the prize at the Arts Club of Chicago on May 11.
- Read about David Ferry’s award at the Poetry Foundation’s Web site.
- Listen to David Ferry read his poem “Soul” aloud on Slate Magazine’s Web site.
Philadelphia Orchestra Under Review For Bankruptcy
The board of the Philadelphia Orchestra has voted to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It’s a divisive decision; a committee representing the orchestra musicians said that executives were exaggerating the group’s financial straits, and that filing for bankruptcy would hurt donations. Nevertheless, as the orchestra continues to perform and rehearse, bankruptcy court judges are reviewing the case. The difference between what the Philadelphia Orchestra makes and what it pays to operate is $13 million. It has enough cash to pay two months’ worth of bills; in the mean time, it is engaging in emergency fundraising.
- Visit the Philadelphia Orchestra online and read its statement about the reorganization that is taking place.
Seattle Theater Cancels Remainder Of Season, Lays Off Staff
As the Philadelphia Orchestra has shown, the recession has not been good to arts organizations. The board of the Intiman Theater in Seattle voted last week to cancel the rest of the 2011 season and lay off the theater’s staff. The theater is launching an emergency fundraising campaign; it must raise $100,000 by September.
- Read about the theater’s economic situation at its Web site.
12th Annual Coachella Music Festival
The news is not all bad for arts organizations: on Friday last week the Indo, CA music festival Coachella kicked off its 12th annual weekend. The festival was entirely sold out, in less than a week after tickets went on sale in January. Crowds of, on average, 75,000 people gathered to watch a diverse and extensive number of groups, from the Black Keys to Kanye West to Animal Collective. For the first time, this year the festival was streamed live via Web cast on its Web site, and a collaboration between Vice magazine and the technology company Intel, called The Creators Project, unveiled a series of large-scale, multimedia art installations involving sound and light.