Thursday, April 24, 2003
ARTS BUDGET CUTS... Monterey City Manager Fred Meurer wants to cut about $200,000 from arts funding to solve the city's $3.7 million budget gap. Among proposals under consideration as we go to press are reductions in staff, hours and programs at the Monterey Museum of Art; cutting the city's contribution to First Night by 20 percent; eliminating the city's cultural coordinator position; and eliminating all cultural arts grants. The Cultural Arts Commission is trying to find money for some of those programs "elsewhere in the budget," but things are looking grim. The cuts will affect other cities, too--the Pacific Grove Arts Center gets an annual grant from the city of Monterey, and not, interestingly, from Pacific Grove.
OPERA WOMAN...Barbara Smythe, longtime host of the now-defunct "Opera Show" on public radio station KAZU, is yet another local radio luminary who has made the leap to KUSP (FM 88.9). She's now co-host with Jim Emdy of "Monday Night at the Opera," a Monday evening show (7-9:30pm) that features guests, interviews, and "as many full-length operas as we can fit," Smythe says. KUSP's opera show has shifted around a lot, from Tuesday morning to weekday evenings, then Sunday afternoon for a couple weeks, before settling into its current spot about six weeks ago. In contrast to the old KAZU show, "Monday Night at the Opera" won't air concerts from the Met, as the Met only permits live broadcasts, "but we're doing the best we can," Smythe says.
HEMP'S ROW...The second edition of Michael Hemp's Cannery Row: The History of John Steinbeck's Old Ocean View Avenue, which came out in January, is doing "very well," Hemp reports, and it's truly a gorgeous little book. Hemp spent six months cleaning up and scanning 178 historic photographs of the Row using a new random-dot, IT technology called stochastic printing, and the results are amazingly clear, crisp images of local history. Check it out at local bookstores.
BUSY SIGNAL...It's hard enough to get tickets to MPC theater productions, what with the box office only open Wednesday through Saturday afternoons. Then for three weeks, their lines were down entirely. One line was restored a week ago, but it only receives calls--no out-going calls are possible, even to 911 or campus security, which concerns box office staff greatly. What's the deal, MPC?