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Joe Orton's final play, What the Butler Saw, at Jary Auditorium through January 24, features undressing, cross-dressing and plenty of innuendo to keep the audience on their toes and in the pink. (courtesy photo)

News and notes from the San Antonio art scene

The Cultural Collaborative, which kicked off with much fanfare and enthusiasm in November, is moving ahead on schedule. The Office of Cultural Affairs plans to present the consultant it has chosen to guide the planning and implementation process at a January 6 meeting of the TCC Executive Committee. Jerry Allen and Associates has been invited to complete contract negotiations for the job. Allen, director of the Office of Cultural Affairs of San Jose, California, has worked for more than 25 years in public arts planning; his firm has completed cultural plans for Denver, Los Angeles, and Broward County, Florida. OCA Director Felix Padrón says that one of Allen's winning factors is his history of building a team of consultants tailored to each community's needs. The tall order ahead of Allen includes conducting research and coordinating meetings in the community, and promoting a Zen-like beginner mind among battle-weary arts funding applicants. For more information and documentation of the cultural planning process, visit OCA on the web at www.sanantonio.gov/art/website.

In other OCA news, sure to stoke the fires of Mexican-National paranoia burning bright in certain corners of the city (see Michael Mehl's diatribe on "a few self-important foreign expatriates" with "social ambitions" in "State of the Art," Voices of Art, Fall 2003), Mayor Ed Garza has appointed Ana Maria Martinez de Egan to the Cultural Arts Board. Formerly of Mexico City, Martinez is a chef and designer with 23 years experience in industrial and graphic design. She operates Egan Martinez Design on South Alamo with her husband.

It seems the three-story red ribbon of metal at South Alamo and East Commerce streets - known as the Torch of Friendship - first lit Mehl's fire, so he might not find a joke circulating through the arts community very amusing: One day, said a member of the Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos, who gave the Sebastián sculpture to SA, God will lift up the Torch and smash the Alamo with it.

Speaking of influence from south of the border, the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center presents a series of films documenting the Zapatista movement with "Other, Out and Beyond: Movement and Struggle," January 10, 14, and 17 at 922 San Pedro. Suggested $3 donation. For showtimes, call 228-0201. •


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