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The fall season in New York avant-garde circles only really begins with the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave festival -- so get ready, it begins tomorrow night, Oct. 4, with the premiere of Philip Glass's Symphony No. 5.

Other highlights include:
  • War of the Worlds -- the SITI Company's production based on the life and oeuvre of Orson Welles as a media manipulator, Oct. 4-8.
  • Lucinda Childs Dance Company -- the famed Minimalist celebrates her company's silver anniversary with Parcours, six new and reconstructed works from the past 25 years, Oct. 11, 13, 14 & 15.
  • A techno-Big Band tribute to Jimi Hendrix -- Madeski Martin & Wood team up with the Gil Evans Orchestra for "A Magic Science: Celebrating Jimi Hendrix" under the direction of Miles Evans and Vernon Reid, Oct 20 & 21.
  • Uttar-Priyadarshi (The Final Beatitude) -- the first U.S. performance by Ratan Thiyam and his Chorus Repertory Theater from Manipur, India, performing the epic story of Ashoka, the 2nd-century BC warlord who promulgated Buddhism throughout South Asia, Oct. 25, 27 & 28.
  • A Dream Play -- the U.S. premiere of director/designer Robert Wilson's first staging of an August Strindberg work, Nov. 28-Dec. 2.
  • Bang on a Can All Stars -- 103 vocalists and instrumentalists from 12 countries in eight solid hours of music, Dec. 12.
For ticket prices, showtimes and more info, go to

Kimbell Art Museum board president Kay Fortson and her husband, vice-president Ben Fortson, will no longer be compensated for their work at the museum. The announcement comes after the Fortsons raised the ire of art-world observers when the local FW Weekly and other sources revealed that the pair had been paid $1.5 million in 1998 -- purportedly for services rendered since 1996, though such charitable work is generally regarded as voluntary. "This is a philosophical debate about whether private foundations or museums should or should not compensate officers for their services, and we do not to wish to endanger the well-deserved reputation of the Kimbell Art Museum by continuing the debate," said Mrs. Fortson.

Blame it on Cupid -- the price-fixing disclosures currently plaguing Sotheby's and Christie's may have been revealed due to animosity between ex-CEO Christopher Davidge and owner François Pinault over a love affair, reports Paul Tharp in the New York Post. According to unnamed sources, the CEO supposedly turned over evidence of price-fixing to the feds when he sensed his relationship with Arita Jhaveri, one of Christie's experts on Indian artworks, would be used against him after he opposed Pinault's plans to turn the London headquarters into an office building and boutique mall. Davidge was granted immunity by agreeing to testify, and also has received a $10.2 million severance from the auction house, according to the story. Jhaveri continued to work for Christie's until quietly leaving last month; she and Davidge are now reportedly engaged.

The Guggenheim Museum is set to open its controversial Giorgio Armani retrospective, Oct. 20, 2000-Jan. 17, 2001. The exhibition, organized by senior curator of contemporary art Germano Celant and Harold Koda, the Metropolitan Museum's curator-in-charge at the Costume Institute, encompasses 25 years of the Italian clothes designer's work and features approximately 400 garments, original sketches, photographs and video presentations in an installation designed by theater director Robert Wilson. But the elegant clothes are not the motive for the raised eyebrows: the show has drawn criticism due to a $5 million donation to the museum from Armani -- secret until revealed in the press -- with a promised $10 million more to come over the next three years.

The University of Oklahoma has received a gift of 33 French Impressionist artworks as the bequest of philanthropist Clara Witzenhoffer. The collection includes paintings and works on paper by Degas, Gauguin, Monet, Renoir and van Gogh. The $50-million gift, one of the largest of its kind to a public university, also includes a collection of 17th- and 18th-century decorative arts, including period furniture and porcelain. It goes on view at the university's museum, Nov. 14, 2000-Jan. 14, 2001, and will be permanently housed in an addition to the museum designed by Hugh Nevell Jacobsen.

The Altoids Curiously Strong Mints company is donating its three-year-old collection to the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. Between 20 and 25 works by emerging visual artists are acquired annually by the candy company; the New Museum donation includes 70 works by artists such as Laylah Ali, Nina Bovasso, Jessica Craig-Martin, E.V. Day, Steve DeFrank and Kristin Lucas. The collection has been assembled by a selection committee including such art world luminaries as Valerie Cassel, Dave Hickey and Collier Schorr.

The Philadelphia Museum is reopening its galleries of modern and contemporary art on Oct. 6 after seven months of comprehensive renovations. The overhaul, supervised by Richard Gluckman, includes the refurbishment of wall and floor surfaces and new furnishings intended to retain the spare character of the museum's landmark 1928 building interior. The occasion is being celebrated with a day of free admission on Oct. 8.

The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts has teamed up with the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a joint project allowing the center's students to work with objects and organize exhibitions from the Met's collections. Students will receive hands-on museum collection experience working in conjunction with a Metropolitan Museum curator and the shows will be presented at the Bard gallery on 86th St. on a biennial basis. The first exhibition of French 18th-century silver is scheduled for 2003.

Former Guggenheim curator of special exhibitions Julia Brown has been named director of the American Federation of Arts, effective Nov. 1. Brown replaces Serena Rattazzi, who is retiring after holding the position at the nonprofit art museum service organization for ten years.

The National Endowment for the Arts has announced the second annual installment of "New Public Works," its pilot program of grants for design competitions of a national scope. Ten grants of up to $50,000 each will be awarded to competitions focusing on landscape design, including architecture, planning, graphic and industrial design. Interested organizations must send a letter of interest by Jan. 11, 2001, from which a limited number of candidates will be drawn to submit formal applications in April. For more information, check out the NEA site, or call (202) 682-5400.

-- compiled by Giovanni Garcia-Fenech
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