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Sculpture in the grass: Eric Legacy’s Exodus at the Berkshire Botanical Garden.

BACK TO THE GARDEN: Every summer for the past five years, the Great Barrington-based arts organization Sculpture Now has sponsored the exhibit Sculpture in the Garden at the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge. The 16-year-old group annually offers 80 Berkshire-area high school students a guided tour of the show, and the chance to participate in a hands-on sculpture project in the studio of artist Peter Barnett. (Even if the kids don’t go on to be sculptors, the welding experience at least introduces them to a good trade.) The organization’s good work has been recognized by an unnamed “private foundation,” which has given Sculpture Now $20,000 to continue its educational mission. For more information about the exhibition (and to discuss tax-deductible charitable giving, if you are so inclined), call (413) 698-2313.

THE HORROR, THE HORROR: Capital Region filmmakers Joe Bagnardi and Bruce G. Hallenbeck have finished post-production on their anthology horror film The Edge of Reality. Bagnardi, who directed and cowrote the screenplay with former Metroland film critic Hallenbeck, is working with the film’s editor and associate producer, Jeff Kirkendall, on arranging the premiere and lining up distribution. The Edge of Reality—shot on digital video—presents what is promised to be three verry scarry (to borrow a phrase from Count Floyd) tales. The opener is a variation on “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the second offers a man and his homicidal doppelgänger, and the final segment showcases Bigfoot (’nuff said). If you want to view the film’s trailer, go to: www.veryscary productions.com/trailers.html.

COME AND GET YOUR GRANT: The New York State Council on the Arts has awarded the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council (LARAC) $62,800 to provide grants through the Arts Initiative Program. This proves that although times may be tough, there’s still a bit of money left over for the arts. Of course, you can’t just stick your hand out; there are some rules. Funding is available to not-for-profits and municipalities based in Washington and Warren counties that provide arts and cultural programs which are open to the public. Each applicant may apply for one to three projects, with a minimum request of $300 per proposal, and a maximum of $5,000 for one to three projects. There’s a final catch, though: Applicants are required to attend a free, one-hour seminar to be eligible. Seminars will be held on Monday (Aug. 11) at noon, and Sept. 9 at 6 PM in the LARAC offices (7 Lapham Place, Glens Falls); Aug. 19 at 6 PM in Proudfit Hall (181 Main St., Salem); Aug. 27 at 6 PM in Thurman Town Hall (311 Athol Road, Athol); and Sept. 4 at noon in the Old Stone House Library (36 George St., Route 4, Fort Ann). The deadline for submitting applications is Sept. 29. For more information, call LARAC at 798-1144, or visit www.larac.org.

PLAYWRIGHTS, SHARPEN YOUR PENCILS: The theater is not dead. To help it stay that way, the Barrington Stage Company has announced the Herrick Theatre Foundation Play Competition for New American Plays. They aren’t messing around, either: First prize is $20,000, and two runners-up will receive $1,000 each. The top prizewinning play will also get the full workshop treatment, with professional actors, at Barrington Stage Company. (Special consideration will be given to actually producing the work on the main stage, too.) Rhoda Herrick, founder and head of the Herrick Theatre Foundation, was quoted as saying that “nothing in the theater outweighs the development of new plays.” The deadline for entries is Dec. 1. A panel of professional judges will whittle the entries down to 10 by April 1, 2004, and a second panel will select and announce the winners in May 2004. Competition information can be obtained by calling (413) 229-2076 ext.107, or by visiting www.barringtonstageco.org.

FREE POEM, ACT NOW: No matter what George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld may say, Gulf War 2 sure doesn’t seem like “mission accomplished.” Well-known Albany poet Dan Wilcox, who has been a visible and vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, has written “Baghdad/Albany,” which reimagines the attack on the Iraqi capital as an attack on Albany. Sample couplets: “The sound of planes overhead, the trucks on New Scotland Ave./are the invading army, blasting into Albany.” And: “Galleries burn, paintings and photographs melt with the wallpaper/no poetry can be heard on Lark St., or Hudson Ave., or North Pearl.” If you are suitably tantalized and would like to read the rest, then the Friends of the Albany Public Library have done you a service by arranging to print and distribute 1,000 copies of “Baghdad/Albany.” For more information, e-mail friendsofapl@yahoo.com or call 427-4333.

—Shawn Stone

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