Results tagged “Magic Theatre” from ARTicles

On this eve of one of the most significant US presidential inaugurations in history, music producer Quincy Jones is asking President-elect Barack Obama to appoint a Secretary of the Arts.  While many other countries have Ministers of Art, the United States has never created the position.  In fact, according to, Jones says that the U.S. and Germany are the only countries who do not have a culture minister. 

Jones has started a petition, which has so far garnered over 150,000 signatures.  You can sign it here.


Jones may want to check out some new talent to help promote his cause, like six-year-old Lil Yani.  His new rap video, "Obama Made Me Proud," is becoming a hit on YouTube.  With lyrics written by his great-grandmother, the San Pablo boy salutes the president-elect, saying "There were tears/ Love and pride/ I could see them/ In my Granny's eyes/ As she looked at me/ Looked at me to say/ Boy you could grow up/ To be president some day."

To update my last blog entry "The Hits Just Keep On Coming," San Francisco's Magic Theatre will stay open, having held a successful donation drive that raised over $455,000.  That's some uplifting news in this pessimistic time for the arts. 

Let's hope for more.  Perhaps all those artists performing at his inauguration will inspire Obama to act upon Jones' recommendation.  When can we expect the new Department of the Arts, Mr. President? 
January 19, 2009 6:07 PM |
Theatre in the Bay Area took another hit this week, as the renowned Magic Theatre announced it is on the verge of closing.

This follows the closure of American Musical Theatre of San Jose earlier this month.  Shakespeare Santa Cruz also threatened to close in December, but managed to stay open after a successful drive to raise $300,000.

The Magic says it needs to raise $350,000 by January 9 to continue its 43rd season.  The staff there is now working without pay, and managing director David Jobin has left.  Artistic director Loretta Greco told the San Francisco Chronicle that the company has a $600,000 accumulated debt, some of which "we didn't realize we had." 

In its 42 years, the Magic has nurtured the work of four Pulitzer Prize winners, including Sam Shepard and Nilo Cruz, as well as local actors and marquis stars like Sean Penn and Ed Harris.  If the second largest theatre in San Francisco were to shutter its doors, it would be devastating for the arts community and the 200 artists it employs annually.   

That includes yours truly, whose next acting contract is at the Magic.  Luckily, it looks like this west coast premiere of Tough Titty will occur.  Written by the late actor/playwright Oni Faida Lampley, Tough Titty is a smart, funny inspiring play that chronicles a woman's battle with breast cancer.  

Now we can only hope that the Magic will be able to continue presenting the rest of its season and the groundbreaking new work for which it's become known. 

It's a desperate time for the arts, as manifested in the Facebook group "One Percent for the Arts Campaign!"  The group is asking people to sign a petition to ask Congress to assign a mere 1% of the federal stimulus package to the arts.  The group's tagline is "because artists and writers are also part of the economy," a fact people seem to have forgotten. 

One can only hope they start remembering.  Here's to 2009!

To help save the Magic Theatre, donate here.
December 31, 2008 12:00 AM |


Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


    ARTicles ARTicles is a project of 
    the National Arts Journalism Program, an association of some 500 journalists in the United States. Our group blog is a place for arts and cultural journalists to share ideas and information, to celebrate what we do, and to make the case for its continuing value.

    ARTicles Bloggers Meet our bloggers: Sasha Anawalt, MJ Andersen, Alicia Anstead, Laura Bleiberg, Larry Blumenfeld, Jeanne Carstensen, Robert Christgau, Laura Collins-Hughes, Thomas Conner, Lily Tung Crystal, Richard Goldstein, Patti Hartigan, Glenn Kenny, Wendy Lesser, Ruth Lopez, Nancy Malitz, Douglas McLennan, Tom Moon, Abe Peck, Peter Plagens, John Rockwell, Werner Trieschmann, Lesley Valdes and Douglas Wolk. more

    NAJP NAJP is America's largest organization dedicated to the advancement of arts and cultural journalism. The NAJP has produced research, publications and discussions and works to bring together journalists, artists, news executives, cultural organization administrators, funders and others concerned with arts and culture in America today. more

    Join NAJP Join America's largest organization of arts journalists. Here's how more

see all archives



Recent Comments