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Swift donates $4 million

Quick Takes

May 18, 2012

Swift donates $4 million

Taylor Swift, the country superstar who became a professional songwriter at 14 and released her first album at 16, is kicking in $4 million toward the creation of a new education center that will bear her name at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, part of the museum's $75-million expansion.

The Taylor Swift Educational Center will increase the museum's educational facilities seven-fold, officials said in announcing her pledge Thursday.

It is being designed to include three classrooms and a children's exhibition gallery. The museum's capital campaign has raised $56.8 million. The expansion is scheduled to be completed early in 2014.

—Randy Lewis

3 of Wiggles quartet to retire

Three members of the children's music quartet the Wiggles will be hanging up their colorful outfits and leaving the Australian band this year, with the Blue Wiggle the lone original member left dancing.

Jeff Fatt (Purple Wiggle), Murray Cook (Red Wiggle) and Greg Page (Yellow Wiggle) will leave after the group wraps up a "Celebration Tour" that begins this month and ends in Australia in December, the band said in a statement Thursday.

The trio will no longer perform but will take on backstage, creative roles. They want to spend more time with their families, Cook said.

Three replacements have already been chosen to join Anthony Field (Blue Wiggle), who helped found the group in 1991.

Since then, the group has earned worldwide renown with dozens of pop-influenced children's albums, concert tours and a television show featuring singing, jumping, dancing and skits.

—Associated Press

Literary prize finalists named

A Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Malcolm X and a bestseller about Catherine the Great are among the finalists for a new literary prize.

The American Library Assn. and the Carnegie Corp. of New York announced the nominees for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction on Thursday. Winners receive $5,000 each. Finalists get $1,500.

Finalists for fiction are Anne Enright's "The Forgotten Waltz," Russell Banks' "Lost Memory of Skin"

and Karen Russell's "Swamplandia!" The nonfiction nominees are Manning Marable's Pulitzer-winning "Malcolm X," Robert Massie's "Catherine the Great" and James Gleick's "The Information."

The medals will be presented in June.

—Associated Press

Holbrook to get Twain award

Actor Hal Holbrook has been performing as Mark Twain for six decades. Now he's getting an award named after the author and humorist.

The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, Mo., said that Holbrook is the first recipient of the Mark Twain Lifetime Achievement Award to honor those whose life's work has furthered the legacy of the literary icon.

Holbrook, 87, will be presented the award when he appears at Hannibal High School on Nov. 17 to perform "Mark Twain Tonight!"

—Associated Press

Bands to rock Century City

The heavy commercial district that is Century City will be getting an injection of rock 'n' roll this summer.

In conjunction with the upcoming exhibit "Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present," KCRW-FM (89.9) has revealed the lineup for three free Saturday evening concerts outside the Annenberg Space for Photography.

The lineup includes Moby (July 14), Portugal., The Man (July 21) and Raphael Saadiq (Aug. 4).

All performances will begin at 7 p.m. and are free, but advance registration is required on the KCRW website (

—Todd Martens

L.A. Opera to be on KUSC-FM

There's a double dose of Los Angeles Opera in store for listeners of classical music station KUSC-FM (91.5) this weekend, including a live broadcast of "La Boheme" from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown L.A.

The production, which opened Saturday and continues through June 2, will air at 2 p.m. Sunday, hosted by Duff Murphy and Kimberlea Daggy.

Before that, however, is the opening installment of the sixth season of "L.A. Opera on Air," which kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday with the recorded broadcast of Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin." It will be followed on the five successive Saturdays by the other productions from L.A. Opera's 2011-12 season.

—Lee Margulies


Let's talk: The American Civil Liberties Union will host a panel discussion on the topics of gay bullying, intolerance and dysfunctional families after Friday's 8 p.m. performance of "Finding the Burnett Heart" at the Lillian Theatre in Hollywood.

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