The Front Row, Tuesday, 12/01/2009

The economy is in the doldrums, and that means that many arts organizations around the country are struggling: ticket sales are down, contributions from individuals are lagging and corporations and foundations are cutting back on their charitable giving.ξSurveying the looming crisis around the country, the executives of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D. C., have launched a nationwide initiative, whereby Kennedy Center administrators and other arts managers around the country provide free planning, fund-raising, budgeting and marketing assistance and mentoring to groups that ask for help.ξMichael H. Kaiser, the President of the Kennedy Center, is on a year-long tour of cities across the country, holding seminars in which he introduces the program to interested arts groups.ξHe talks about the program, Arts in Crisis,ξwith Bob Stevenson. Listen Download

Choreographer-dancer Sara Draper is the Artistic Director of Dancepatheatre. Dancer-singer Ra’_l Orlando Edwards is the Artistic Director of Houston's Foundation for Modern Music.ξTheir two organizations jointly present Letters You Wrote, a program of contemporary dance and improvised music inspired by personal letters written by Americans during the years 1945 to 1965, some of which will be read by actor, Mossie Burcham.ξThere's one show this Friday night atξ8:00PM at The Artery, the outdoor performance space and artists' studio at the corner of Jackson and Prospect Streets in the Museum District.ξTickets will be available at the gate. Edwards and Draper talk about the performance with St. John Flynn. Listen Download

The Center for Irish Studies Cultural Outreach Forum of the University of Saint Thomas presents A Celtic Christmas with Danny O'Flaherty and Friends, this Sunday afternoon atξ2:00PM in Jones Hall on the UST campus in Houston's Montrose District.ξTickets will be available at the door.ξO'Flaherty previews his concert in a performance session hosted by Bob Stevenson. Listen Download

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