Stung by $1.5 million in budget cuts and the layoffs of more than 100 part-time instructors in the last two years, Cal State Northridge's School of the Arts will have a silent fund-raising auction Saturday.
About 200 works of art, including sculptures, oil paintings and photographs donated by students, faculty members and celebrities, will be available for auction. A special section will spotlight the works of such celebrity artists as Henry Mancini, Doc Severinsen, Beverly Garland and Sally Struthers. All of the proceeds will go to the school.
"This initially was a faculty idea," said Philip Handler, dean of the School of the Arts. "They came to me last fall and asked if there was something they could do, and came up with the auction."
Handler said the budget cuts, while not eliminating any classes, have made campus life a bit crowded.
"We've had to enlarge the classes," Handler said. "And students get less individual attention. The cuts have been devastating."
Jo Anne Kennon, the auction's coordinator, said she hopes that the event, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Art and Design Center on campus, will raise $50,000.
Additional items for bidding include classical CDs, and such student services as musicians and clowns who can work private parties. The artwork ranges from 30-foot-high sculptures to small works that can fit on a coffee table.
Tickets for the auction are $20 to $40. For information, call (818) 885-2345.
THE WOODYS: Forget about Oscar and Tony. Here comes Woody, and we don't mean Harrelson.
Animator Walter Lantz, who created "Woody Woodpecker" in 1939, has created an annual prize for the CalArts student who creates the best animated film. The winning student will receive a pewter Woody Woodpecker trophy and $10,000 that will go toward the completion of the animated film in full color. The student will be selected by a faculty committee.
"I've been in this since I was 16," said Lantz, 94, "and I have done very well. I'd like to do something for somebody else."
Lantz has also set up a scholarship in his name that will pay for one year of school--about $13,000--for a student in the character animation program, which now has 165 students.
"Not many people can afford it," Lantz said.
Lantz said he had not visited the school until two months ago, when he was given a private tour by CalArts President Steven D. Lavine.
"I was very impressed," Lantz said.
WASTING LITTLE TIME: Two minutes after wrapping up another routine three-hour shift (9 a.m. to noon) earlier this month, talk-show host Herb Nero of KUTY-AM (1470) in the Antelope Valley was told that the station was changing its format from country to Spanish-language.
Translation: The unemployment line.
Nero took his last paycheck, stopped for a soda and drove to the offices of KAVL-AM (610), which had expressed interest in him a few months ago. He was there by 12:45 p.m., asking for a job.
"I'm 43 years old and talked often on my show about unemployment and, suddenly, I'm part of the statistics," he said.
Not for long. Within a week, KAVL, an oldies station, hired Nero to host a weekday talk show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"Those were the longest five days of my life, but now I'm very happy with this place," said Nero, who said he is getting twice the number of calls from listeners than he did at KUTY. "My anger with KUTY subsided very quickly."
Still, he believes that he should have received more notification of the format change.
"We had built up a good audience there, and I wasn't able to say goodby," said Nero, who had hosted a show at KUTV for four years. Before that, he worked in radio in Palm Springs, Salt Lake City and San Diego.