Fuse: Anonymous Robin Hood
On October 5, the Fuse Foundation made its official debut in an editorial endorsement in The Seattle Times. The foundation is headed up by none other than Alex Steffen, recently departed from Allied Arts [In Arts News, Oct 5], and was set up to give "life-changing grants" of $20,000 to emerging artists (artists, in this case, means any kind of art: film, visual arts, writing) along with a year's access to health care, the Internet, career guidance, and a materials fund. The idea is that with the decline of NEA grants to individual artists and the lack of city or private support, someone else has to step in. "Philanthropy in general has increased," Steffen says, "but arts philanthropy has flatlined. We're offering a mix of pragmatism and hope to emerging artists." Like the MacArthur Fellowships, there's no application process; rather, artists are selected by a set of an onymous nominators. So, artists: Look lively! Someone may be watching you. More information can be found at www.fusefoundation.com. EMILY HALL
Governor's Writers Awards
A predictable variety of fiction and nonfiction winners were announced last week for the 2000 Governor's Writers Awards, including the collection of short stories, Sonny Liston Was a Friend of Mine, by Thom Jones (Olympia); The Father of Predicaments, poetry by Seattle's Heather McHugh; Traveling Light, poetry by David Wagoner; and Salmon without Rivers, nonfiction by Jim Lichatowich (Sequim). Among the more interesting choices were What She Left Me, short stories by Judy Doenges of Bellingham, and Origins of Architectural Pleasure, nonfiction by Grant Hildebrand of Seattle. Über-librarian Nancy Pearl, who headed up the selection committee, defended the choices against the routine charges of predictability, saying that she felt confident in the selection process. TRACI VOGEL
Schell Lights His Own
There's been a lot of slag heaped on Paul Schell for his failure to live up to his campaign-promised title of "arts mayor," to which In Arts News can only say, "How vindictive; how wrong!" Schell amply proved himself an arts mayor par excellence last week when he declared October 7 "New Prometheans' Day" in honor of CoCA's three-day fire festival, adding, "I encourage all citizens to join me in celebrating artistic endeavors that are glowing, scorching, sizzling, and ablaze in our community." Hey, it takes a lot of work to make a day seem special--cut the guy some slack! JAMIE HOOK
Put the Lime in It!
CoCA, staffless as of last Friday, has reportedly asked former director (and perennial CoCA addict) Larry Reid to step in as an interim staff member, presumably until the board can find a new executive director. According to sources within the organization, Reid uncharacteristically refused the job! (Though he will help out as a programming advisor.) So, as of Friday, CoCA has, so to speak, left the building. Hint: Call before you head down there. JAMIE HOOK