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Quick Takes

April 27, 2012

Memorial held for Helm

Busloads of friends and fans of Levon Helm traveled to his home Thursday to say goodbye to the influential singer and drummer for the Band, who died of cancer last week.

The public memorial was held at the Woodstock, N.Y., barn where Helm held his Saturday night Midnight Ramble concerts in New York's Hudson Valley. His closed casket, on the second floor of the barn, was surrounded by flowers and flanked by his drum kit and a piano.

Hundreds of people filed silently past the coffin, set against a backdrop of a family photo slide show. Nearby, family members greeted visitors.

After a private funeral Friday, Helm will be buried in Woodstock Cemetery next to Rick Danko, the Band's singer and bassist who died in 1999.

—Associated Press

Center for New Theatre gets gift

Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre have received an $18-million gift to permanently endow the university's Center for New Theatre, for development and production of new plays and musicals.

Yale said that the gift is from the Minnesota-based Robina Foundation. The Center for New Theatre is being renamed for the foundation's creator, James Binger, a businessman, theater impresario and philanthropist who died in 2004.

The center was established in 2008 with a $2.85-million grant from Robina and funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and individual donors. The new gift brings Robina's support to $21.8 million.

—Associated Press

NEA grants to PBS shows fall

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded significantly smaller grants to established PBS programs this year.

"Live From Lincoln Center" received no funding under the 2012 Arts in Media grants. Last year it received $100,000.

The Metropolitan Opera received $50,000 for its "Great Performances at the Met" telecasts. That's $100,000 less than last year.

WNET-TV in New York received $50,000 for "American Masters," compared with $400,000 in 2011. Other PBS programs that saw cuts were "The PBS NewsHour" and "Independent Lens."

—Associated Press

Olympic arts events unveiled

A festival of fire at Stonehenge. Acrobatic displays in cathedral naves. String quartets in helicopters.

London Olympic organizers outlined an extravaganza of arts events Thursday to coincide with the 2012 Summer Games, offering a blockbuster program to cheer the nation and celebrate all things arty.

Artists who include Cate Blanchett, Damien Hirst, Wynton Marsalis, Yoko Ono, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Ai Wei Wei are set to take part.

The festival kicks off with Shakespeare and moves on to culture in a variety of forms, including an attempt to create the world's largest Bollywood dance. Artist Richard Wilson will re-create the final scene of the classic British crime film "The Italian Job" by dangling a bus off the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, south of London.

Some 12,000 events will feature 25,000 artists — including representatives of every nation competing in the Summer Olympics, which run July 27 to Aug. 12.

—Associated Press

Pixar film about

Day of the Dead

An upcoming Pixar film will center on Día de los Muertos — the Mexican holiday honoring the dead — the animation studio announced at the CinemaCon convention of theater owners in Las Vegas this week.

Director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson, the team behind "Toy Story 3," will collaborate on the as-yet-untitled movie.

As is often the case with its long-gestating projects, Pixar revealed little else about the Día de los Muertos movie, which will presumably take many visual cues from the spooky holiday's focus on skulls, masks and Mexican marigolds. No release date was announced.

—Rebecca Keegan

Latin Grammys return to Vegas

The 13th annual Latin Grammy Awards are coming back to Las Vegas for the fifth time.

The Latin Recording Academy announced Thursday that the show is set for Nov. 15 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on the Las Vegas Strip. It will air live on Univision.

—Associated Press

H.W. gets the HBO treatment


Bush documentary: In the April 27 Calendar section, a Quick Takes brief about HBO's upcoming documentary on former President George H.W. Bush identified the film's writer-director as Jerry Roth. His name is Jeffrey Roth. —

HBO is producing a documentary on President George H.W. Bush to air two days after his 88th birthday in June.

Titled "41," the film about the 41st president is being written and directed by Jerry Roth, who made "The Wonder of It All" about Apollo moon walkers.

—Associated Press

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