Maryland Citizens for the Arts will hold a salute to Gov. William Donald Schaefer and leaders of the General Assembly May 20 at Center Stage in acknowledgment of their support of state arts funding.
Last year, the General Assembly approved a $2.4 million increase in funding for the Maryland State Arts Council. This year, despite the state's financial woes, the governor cut just $125,000 in program funds from the arts council's $7.4 million budget and the House and Senate cut only an additional $200,000 from that. The cuts were far less than the $1.2 million reduction that legislative budget analysts had suggested, and far below the Draconian cuts in arts funding of more than 50 percent being considered by several other states.
Sue Hess, head of the statewide arts lobbying group, said the May 20 event would begin at 6 p.m. and include an hourlong reception and an hour of performances by various arts groups, as well as a presentation to the governor and legislative leaders.
Among those scheduled to perform are the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, the Annapolis Brass Quintet and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Ms. Hess said. An exhibition by the Academy of the Arts in Easton, Maryland Art Place and the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury will be mounted in the lobby, she said.
Though tickets are required, there is no admission charge.
"It's not a fund-raiser," Ms. Hess said. "It's an appreciation. It's intended to show the leadership of the state that we are grateful for what they've done." For information, call 366-2787.
Two short plays focusing on control and cannibalism will be presented at St. John's of Baltimore, St. Paul and 27th streets, beginning Thursday. Albert Innaurato's "The Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie" offers a dark comedic look at a man who overeats to death; Slawomir Mrozek's "Out at Sea" is a political satire about three shipwrecked men forced to select one of their number to serve as supper.
Directed and produced by Mark Redfield, both plays will star Brian P. Chetelat; other cast members include Marc Steiner, Norm Snyder and Bob Tull. The double bill will be performed Thursdays to Saturdays at 8 p.m. through April 20. Tickets are $6. For more information, call 254-0470.
Evening of dance
"Ethnic and Elegant," an evening of dance from several countries held in conjunction with the Walters Art Gallery exhibition "African Improvisations," will be presented Saturday at p.m. at the Walters.
The presentation by the Baltimore Folk Music Society will feature dances of Northern Africa, the South Pacific, the Far East and the Caribbean performed by Maria Broom and Company. Tickets are $10, $8 for Walters and BFMS members, and $5 for children. For information, call 866-4622.