Thursday, April 01, 2004


So, there I am yesterday, shouldering my daily office burden of basically trying to see if there is indeed a wood surface under all of the papers that are piled on my desk. My assistant, Anthony, has taken to putting "really important" phone messages and reminders on neon yellow and hot pink post-its and sticking them to my computer monitor. So, everyday, my computer looks more and more like a spring flower blossoming into Easter color...just lovely....

The phone rings, and Anthony buzzes in to my office, "Um, I know you said you aren't here for anyone but the Pope or, well, Emma Thompson, but how about the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts?"

[See Barbara lunge for the phone!!!!!!!!!]

Our Chairman: Hello, Barbara. This is Dana Gioia.

Barbara: (oh so suave and cool) Yes! Yes! I know! How cool! You calling me!

OC: How are you?

Barbara: (not used to being excited, so becoming weird) Hey, well. Right now? Great! (here comes the weird part) But you know make it quick, I've got the Pope on the other line!

OC: Well, then...

(Barbara crumpling to ground in mortified horror.)

OC: I wanted to call you personally to inform you that Act One has been selected to receive a National Endowment Grant.

Barbara: (much glibber than it sounds) Thank you! Thank you so much!

OC: I am personally delighted to welcome Act One as one of our Endowment funded projects, and I wanted to call you personally to give you the good news.

Barbara: (Even more wit this time) THANK YOU! Thank you SO much.

Have I mentioned before that Dana Gioia is a wonderful and brilliant man? It is such an honor for the program to have his support and good wishes. He will be giving our Closing banquet address in Washington, DC on June 3rd. It will be open to the public if any of you want to come and hear him.

Overall, this Nat'l Endowment grant is very cool news for Act One. The grant isn't large, but it does give us a lot of credibility to be listed right there along with American Masters, the Metropolitan Opera and Public Radio International, as a recipient of NEA funding.

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