Monday, October 26, 2009

Consider Ten Chimneys For Your Next Short Trip

If you live in Northern Illinois or Southern Wisconsin and have an interest in the theatre, I have just the place for you. Ten Chimneys, is the Genesee Depot, WI country estate of the great actors Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. It is just 30 miles from Milwaukee and 90 miles from Chicago and it would make a nice late fall drive on any Tues-Sat until Nov. 14, when it closes for the winter. Tour reservations are suggested. Check out or call 262-968-4110

Visitor center exterior

Tour group heading to the Lunt/Fontanne home

Interior of visitor center

One of the displays in the museum is a mock up of a famous scene design from Amphitryon 38

Other displays feature colorful little moving versions of Toy theatres.

You will find a remarkably well appointed visitor center complete with several museum exhibits plus several homes and hideaways, and beautiful grounds and walking paths. Photography is not allowed inside the homes, but you will be able to see all the rooms and the furniture and theatrical mementoes just as they existed when Lynn and Alfred were in residence and were entertaining the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Laurence Olivier, and Noel Coward. My wife and I loved the tour and the docents were first class. Ten Chimneys is a National Historic Landmark. Take a trip!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October Arts Advocacy Bulletin

In the face of cuts in arts budgets all around the country, it seems clear that partnerships and coalitions on local, statewide, and national levels are becoming more important.
The Illinois Theatre Association is doing its part.

Our recent convention had a fine presentation on Advocacy by Ra Joy, Executive Director, and Scarlett Swerdlow, Advocacy Director, of Arts Alliance Illinois. An abridged version of the Alliance presentation, with some of their slides, is posted on: Their handouts are online at: If you are interested in hosting an advocacy training for your board, staff, volunteers, or school contact Scarlett Swertlow at:

On the national level you can help in the celebration of October as National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) This coast-to-coast celebration of culture in America is held every October and coordinated by Americans for the Arts. This year is special because it is the first time that National Arts and Humanities Month has been recognized by an official Presidential Proclamation. By issuing this historic public statement in his first year in office, President Obama has taken this opportunity to recognize the contributions that our cultural assets make to America's diversity, humanity, and economic health.

On the local level you can add your programs, events, and celebrations to the National Arts events map at You can also submit photos and videos via the NAHM groups on YouTube and Flickr or on Facebook. Get help with your planning by visiting the NAHM website where arts organizations can find planning and advocacy tool kits, as well as free downloads of the NAHM logo and web stickers that can easily be placed on websites, blogs, and social network user profiles. For more information about National Arts and Humanities Month, send an e-mail to

Do you think your school has a great theatre program? The Kennedy Center Alliance/School Boards Assocation is now seeking nominations for a a $10,000 cash prize to help strengthen a school’s arts education programming. Only one nomination per state will be considered by the award review panel and it must come from the State School Boards Association, State Alliance for Arts Education, or both organizations jointly. Nomination deadlines vary by state. Visit the KCAAEN website for more information. Nominations must be received by December 1, 2009.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Beloit College Class of 1959 Goes Golden

Two members of the Beloit College class of 1959 (Jim and Jan) returned to their alma mater last weekend with over one hundred of their former classmates to celebrate their fiftieth reunion. The two day bash began on Friday with a formal dinner and the awarding of Golden Hoods to each class member.

I clearly enjoyed getting my hood. That's Beloit's new president Scott Bierman smiling behind me.

A convocation of all the reunion classes on Saturday morning revealed that the 59'ers had the highest number of returnees and the highest percentage of total class returning. That meant a couple of trophys and two of our classmates, Harry Worth and Jim Evans, accepted for us.

Fraternity and Sorority membership was a big part of our Beloit experience and the reunion also gave us a chance to chat with our old pledge classes. Below you can see a nice group of Thetas and a handsome crew of Pi Kaps.

Best of all was the unanimous agreement that a Beloit education had served us well over the years. Here's to the Buccaneers, the Turtle Mounds, the Scoville Rats, Chapel Points, and the everlasting bridge games. Here's also to the friendships made and kept and especially a toast to the eleven members of the class who met and married a class member. Not sure how they counted that but Jan and I were among them. We have another golden event to celebrate later this year. A lot more pictures of the weekend can be found on my Flikr page. Go to