The Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) and the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) will be among the recipients of the 2002 Governor's Arts Awards on Monday, November 18. Christine Baranksi, Dina Merrill, Polly Bergen, Jimmy Smits, Rita Moreno, and other celebrity presenters will hand out the awards in a ceremony at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, beginning at 7pm.
HOLA is an arts service organization committed to exploring and expanding available avenues for projecting Hispanic artists and their culture into the mainstream of Anglo-American industry and culture, and to making the entertainment and communications industries aware of the availability, diversity, and quality preparation of Hispanic artists. Since its inception in 1976, the group has worked to gain an accurate, educated, and non-stereotypical portrayal of Hispanic culture and its people through the arts and media.
Terrence McNally and Linda Lavin will present the award to the Manhattan Theatre Club, with which company both have worked in recent years. McNally's The Lisbon Traviata had a successful run there in 1989 and his Corpus Christi opened at MTC in 1998 despite "busloads" of objectors imported from Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Long Island by the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights; the play, which depicts a Christ-like gay man and his equally gay disciples, was so controversial that the theater had to install metal detectors to deter potential bomb-carrying protesters. Lavin's history with MTC is not so controversial: She starred in Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergist's Wife at the company's longtime home on West 55th Street and at the Barrymore Theatre on Broadway.
"The Governor's Arts Award is sort of a Good Housekeeping seal of approval on the body of work we've done," MTC development director Andy Hamingson tells TheaterMania.com. "We can use it as we try to raise funds in the future." He says that fundraising at MTC "is slow going these days" but feels that this is "not so much because of September 11 but because the stock market is down."
Also to receive awards on Monday are Gordon Parks, the African-American photographer, writer, filmmaker, and composer-librettist of the five-act ballet Martin; Douglas G. Schultz, director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo; H.T. Chen & Dancers, the leading Asian-American dance institution in the United States; the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie; Senator Roy M. Goodman; the American Museum of the Moving Image; the Arts Council in Buffalo & Erie County; the Center for Arts Education; and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.