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Two area students are ARTS-award winners


Dancer Meredith Michael Reffner from Glen Burnie and violinist Anna Elashvili from Baltimore earned a total of $4,500 in cash awards when they participated in the final audition phase of the 1994-1995 Arts Recognition and Talent Search of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in Miami


Ms. Reffner, a senior at Old Mill Senior High School and a student at the Washington School of Ballet, won $3,000. Last year, she received Maryland's Distinguished Scholar in the Arts award.

Ms. Elashvili, a senior at the Baltimore School for the Arts and violin student at the Peabody Preparatory, won $1,500. She received a first-place award from the Maryland Music Educators Association in 1993 and 1994.

During ARTS Week, 110 candidates met in Miami for auditions, master classes, workshops and seminars in their disciplines.

The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts paid all expenses for the young artists' week-long participation in the ARTS program. A nonprofit, Miami-based organization, NFAA encourages young artists in all art forms by assisting them financially and by creating educational and professional opportunities for them. The ARTS program is funded in part by corporate sponsors.

Rare books

Two illustrated incunabula -- books printed before 1500 -- brought $17,000 (a copy of "The Nuremberg Chronicle") and $10,000 (a French book of hours) at a recent Baltimore Book Co. auction held in Timonium. A 1923 mint copy of "Three Stories & Ten Poems," Ernest Hemingway's first book, with dust wrapper, brought $14,000. Among items of a local nature, a copy of Poppleton's 1852 map of Baltimore, in its original box, went for $2,200.

Young writers

A writers' conference for girls in seventh and eighth grades is set from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 25 at Mercy High School, 1300 E. Northern Parkway. The free conference will offer workshops on writing short stories, on personal narrative, journalism, poetry and playwrighting. For details and to register, call (410) 433-8880.


* Pumpkin Theatre will hold auditions for its May production of "The Bremen Town Musicians" at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Hannah More Arts Center, St. Timothy's School, in Stevenson. The production calls for men and women, ages 18 and up, who can sing and move well on stage. Dancing is not required. Those auditioning should prepare a song. For details, call (410) 323-9402.

* Liberty Showcase Theatre will hold auditions for its April-May production of "Steel Magnolias" from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Catonsville Skilled Resource Center, 106 Bloomsbury Ave. For details, call (410) 653-2917.

* Auditions for Theatre on the Hill, a professional summer theater company in residence at Western Maryland College, are scheduled for Saturday at Alumni Hall on the Western Maryland College campus in Westminster. The company will perform "Barnum," "Bedroom Farce" and "Camelot," as well as an original show for children. For details and to make an audition appointment, call (410) 857-2599.

* Singers and actors aged 55 and over are invited to audition for the Senior Star Showcase at Essex Community College. This 90-member organization, directed by Arne Lindquist, produces a Broadway musical as well as a musical revue every year. In addition, a touring company from the group performs for community groups throughout the area. Anyone who loves to sing and dance is invited to call for an appointment to audition. No stage or performing experience is necessary.

For information or to make an appointment to audition, call (410) 780-6535.

Cultural arts

The National Council for the Traditional Arts in Silver Spring has received $150,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Maryland organization is one of 44 arts institutions nationwide that recently won a total of $12.38 million in federal challenge grants. These grants were established in 1978 to support efforts by arts institutions to secure their financial futures or to launch new arts programs with regional or national impact. They require recipients to raise $3 for every federal dollar awarded. Over the past 17 years, these grants have generated more than $2.4 billion in matching support.

Founded in 1933, the National Council for the Traditional Arts seeks to celebrate and honor arts -- such as music, storytelling, ,, crafts and dance -- that are cultural expressions.

It presents the National Folk Festival, an annual multi-ethnic festival, and organizes national and regional tours of folk, ethnic and tribal arts. NCTA also maintains an archive of original audio recordings of traditional music dating from the 1930s to the present.

The NEA challenge grant will support creation of a cash reserve fund to offset cash-flow shortages and risks associated with the organization's presenting activities.

Two forces, one show

The Olney Theatre Center and the Rep Stage Company, in residence at Howard Community College, are presenting a seven-week run of "M. Butterfly" this month. The collaboration, which combines the two organizations' artistic and financial forces, is expected to be the first of several annual joint projects.

"M. Butterfly," which began Friday, will run for two weeks at Howard Community College and then move to Olney Theatre Center in Montgomery County for a five-week run.

For details, call (410) 964-4940.

Art and disability

The deadline is March 15 for artists who are physically and/or developmentally disabled to submit work to the Jewish Community Center for its May 21 juried show "The Challenge That Is Art." For details and an application, call (410) 542-4900, Ext. 238.

Music competition

The final round of auditions for the Baltimore Chamber Music Awards competition is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1:35 p.m. March 25 at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, 1 E. Mount Vernon Place.

Each chamber music ensemble will present a 20-minute selection of its own choosing. Jurors Edward Polochick and Peter Landgren will select three winners to receive an honorarium for a performance July 23 in Meyerhoff Symphony Hall during the Artscape festival.

Held since 1989, the Baltimore Chamber Music Awards Competition was initiated to recognize and support emerging local artists and encourage appreciation of chamber music.

The groups scheduled to audition include Baltimore Saxophone Quartet, Atlantic Winds, Washington Woodwind Quintet, Spyri Trio, Trio Latre, the Second Story Brass Quintet, Quintet Quintessence, Le Trio Noir and Lee/Ponder Duo.

Winners will be announced at 2 p.m. Admission is free. The competition, administered by the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Art and Culture, is sponsored by Laura Burrows-Jackson.

For details, call (410) 396-4575, TDD accessible.

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