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The rock star Madonna has bought the 12th-story penthouse in the New Museum building at 583 Broadway, according to the New York Observer. The raw, 8,550-square-foot space, which cost an estimated $6 million-$7 million, has roof access, two fireplaces and windows all around. The move makes Madonna neighbor to Stephanie Seymour, who has a pied-a-terre with husband Peter Brant an the top floor of the SoHo Guggenheim building down the block.

"Feathers for Bird, Flowers for Billie," an art exhibition celebrating the birthdays of Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday, opens at the Tribes Gallery (285 E. Third St., between Avenues C & D) in New York's East Village today, Aug. 21. The show features an installation, The House of Blue Lights, by David Hammons, Gerald Jackson and Lorenzo Pace, a version of a work that also appeared in Bern in May. The show is held in conjunction with the Charlie Parker Birthday Festival in Tompkins Square Park on Sun., Aug. 24.

The Italian Culture Ministry has launched a 70-billion Lire ($39 million) renovation and expansion of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. A new annex -- architect as yet unselected -- will add 90 galleries to the existing 30, boosting exhibition space from 7,000 to 30,000 square meters. Completion is scheduled for the year 2000.

The AH-THA-THI-KI Museum, the first institution dedicated to the history and culture of the Seminole Indians, opens on Florida's Big Cypress Seminole Reservation near Fort Lauderdale on Aug. 23, 1997. The $12-million facility, which houses artifacts as well as dioramas, is located on a 60-acre site complete with nature trails and a model Seminole Village.

While we were on vacation (that is, a month ago), L.A. photographer Catherine Opie was awarded the first Emerging Artist Award sponsored by the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Citibank Private Bank. The award includes a show at MOCA downtown, Oct. 5, 1997-Jan. 4, 1998, plus a cash award that goes in part for the purchase of a work for MOCA's collection.

An economic-impact study by the Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division shows that the arts, culture and entertainment industries account for $1.27 billion in economic activity. "A healthy arts climate makes good business sense," says cultural affairs head Maria Luisa de Herrera. Other highlights: more than 460 arts organizations in the city provide some 26,000 jobs; art galleries and dealers record an annual attendance of one million; arts businesses paid local taxes and license fees of over $1 million in fiscal `94-'95.

Robert Rauschenberg will design a major public sculpture for the Seattle Symphony's new concert hall, thanks to funding by longtime Seattle arts patrons Virginia and Bagley Wright. A retrospective of work by the 72-year-old Pop artist opens on Sept. 19 at the Guggenheim in New York, filling both the uptown Wright building and the museum's SoHo outpost, including a new third-floor gallery.

Former Corcoran School of Art dean Bruce Yenawine, 47, died on Aug. 18 of injuries suffered in an auto accident on Aug. 8 near Midway, Ky. Since 1993 he had been the director of the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, Conn.

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