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In The Limelight For March 17, 2011: National Arts News

Here's a look at what's in the limelight for the week of March 14, 2011 in national arts news.

In Disaster's Aftermath, Carnegie Hall Pays Tribute To Japan

It is one of those coincidences that seems almost too perfect to be an accident: At Carnegie Hall this week begins a 40-event festival, JapanNYC, even as that country has been hit by a series of earthquakes and tsunami. Despite serious disruptions to travel out of Japan, as of this weekend all of the festival's events will take place as scheduled, the New York Times reported. Events will include a performance of dance with set design by the sculptor Isamu Noguchi, performances by the violinist Midori, the Kodo Drummers, and the NHK Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo.


This year's South-By-Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, sports more acts than ever before. For the first time, the festival began on a Tuesday (last week) to accommodate all of the shows. In a year when recorded music sales are suffering declines in the double-digits, the more than 14,000 registered visitors are a light at the end of what has often seemed like a nearly silent tunnel. Perhaps part of what has made South-By-Southwest more packed with material than ever is the fact that it is going multimedia; the festival now includes not just musical acts and parties, but film screenings, dance and theater performances, talks, exhibits and a trade show.

Controversial Author To Publish Book Via Fine Arts Gallery

The author of the controversial, partly fabricated memoir A Million Little Pieces, James Frey, will release his newest novel via a nontraditional route: The Gagosian Gallery in New York, which shows fine art, has never published a book before, but plans to release just eleven thousand copies of the book on Good Friday of this year. It's an apt release date for a novel called The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, which follows the life of a modern Christlike character, who happens to be a heavy drinker who lives in the Bronx. The book, which features artwork by highly renowned artists like Ed Ruscha, Terry Richardson and Dan Colen, will also be available as an e-book through more traditional retailers.

Public Art Employs Mardi Gras Revelers As Collaborators

Visitors to New Orleans for Mardi Gras this past weekend might have noticed an unusual façade on one side of one of the many abandoned houses in the Nola neighborhood. Painted in black chalkboard paint with white stenciled letters and lines, the Before I Die blackboard is an art installation by the artist and urban planner Candy Chang. At its top left corner are the words "Before I die…" and below, lines of the same phrase, slightly edited, with a line for passersby to finish the sentence: "Before I die, I want to ____________." Bowls of chalk sit on the ground before the piece; when all of the eighty blanks have been filled, Chang takes a picture of the piece and posts it on her bloc. Interest in the installation has been expressed by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, whose current exhibition Art in the Streets, which showcases 50 of what they're calling "the most dynamic artists from the [national] graffiti and street art community," will travel to the Brooklyn Museum at the end of the month.

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