British Get Gilbert Art: Millionaire Arthur Gilbert, a Los Angeles County Museum of Art trustee who recently came to an agreement with LACMA to remove his collection of decorative art objects because the museum was unable to accommodate his need for more space, has given the collection--reportedly valued at $115 million--to Britain in what was billed as "the biggest donation of its kind to the nation," according to Reuters news service. "We're delighted to know that Arthur is continuing to share his wonderful collection with the world; it was always his goal to keep the collection together and we're delighted to know he has achieved that goal," said LACMA board President William A. Mingst on Monday. Gilbert was out of the country and could not be reached for comment Monday.
Diva's Story: Two-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep is in negotiations with New Line Cinema about playing the late opera diva Maria Callas in a film bio adapted from Arianna Huffington's "Maria Callas: The Woman Behind the Legend," sources said Monday. The proposed film would focus on the singer's romantic involvement with Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis. Streep won Academy Awards for best actress for "Sophie's Choice" and best supporting actress for "Kramer vs. Kramer." For Huffington, this would be the second film adaptation of one of her biographies. Merchant Ivory is wrapping up a movie based on her work on Pablo Picasso and starring Anthony Hopkins. . . . On another front, Huffington, wife of former U.S. Rep. and Senate candidate Michael Huffington (R-Santa Barbara) and a syndicated columnist, is participating in a new discussion show on KCRW-FM (89.9). The half-hour "Left, Right & Center" is heard Wednesdays at 2 p.m. with Huffington offering the conservative viewpoint along with moderator Genevieve Wood. Robert Scheer, a frequent contributor to The Times' Op-Ed page "Column Left," takes the liberal position and New Republic editor Matthew Miller is in the middle.
'Invisible' Latinos: Latinos are largely shunned by the major network evening newscasts, according to a survey released Monday at the Chicago convention of the National Assn. of Hispanic Journalists. While Latinos make up nearly 10% of the U.S. population, they receive only 1% of news coverage on ABC, CBS and NBC--and most of that is negative, according to Dr. Rod Carveth of the University of Bridgeport, co-author of the study. Latinos "are seen only occasionally, and then in roles of illegal aliens, welfare recipients, criminals and workers receiving 'undeserved' benefits of affirmative action," said Carveth, who conducted the survey with Diane Alverio. Gilbert Bailon, a Dallas newspaper executive who heads the journalists association, said he believes Latinos will not receive their fair share of coverage until they achieve an equitable level of employment in network newsrooms.
La Jolla Switch: "Yanks & Frogs: Moon Over a Hong Kong Sweat Shop," billed as a comedy extravaganza, will fill the Sept. 20-Oct. 20 slot at La Jolla Playhouse instead of the previously announced "Honeymoon China" from the same Minneapolis-based Theatre de la Jeune Lune. La Jolla Artistic Director Michael Greif said he decided that "Honeymoon China" dealt with issues that already were being explored in two earlier shows during the La Jolla season and he wanted more variety.
Talented Youngsters: Andrew von Oeyen, a 16-year-old pianist from Malibu, has won the Bronislaw Kaper Award for Young Artists, given to junior high and high school musicians living in California. Von Oeyen also receives a $2,500 cash prize. Named for the late composer and longtime L.A. Philharmonic board member, the Kaper Award is given in alternate years to pianists and string players; the 1996 competition was for pianists only. Second and third prize winners are two 17-year-olds, Brenda Jones of Yorba Linda and Ruby Cheng of Santa Ana. Taking the new most promising musician prize in the Kaper competition was Anna Kim, 13, of Fullerton. This prize was established by L.A. Philharmonic Concertmaster Emeritus David Frisina, who was one of the adjudicators in this competition, held May 14.
A Beastie Boys Benefit: The opening day of this weekend's two-day "Tibetan Freedom Concert" in San Francisco is within 3,000 tickets of a sellout, but approximately 12,000 tickets were still available Monday for Sunday's program, an event spokeswoman said. The lineup for the shows, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days at the 50,000-capacity Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park, will be headed Saturday by the Beastie Boys, the Smashing Pumpkins and the Foo Fighters, and Sunday by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fugees and Rage Against the Machine. Proceeds will go to the Milarepa Fund, a nonprofit organization started by the Beastie Boys to raise awareness of human rights abuses in Tibet and China. As part of the campaign, the organization is calling for boycott of goods made in China, said the Beasties' Adam Yauch. Tickets are priced at $28.50 per day--or $50 for both days--plus service charge. They can be purchased by phoning (800) 225-BASS.