News and notes from the San Antonio art scene

Did you do it for love?

Scott Lifshutz, the non-developer offspring and brother of Blue Star developers Bernard and James Lifshutz, respectively, made the pages of The New York Times new fashion magazine, T. In the inaugural issue's "Luxury Price Index," which charts the increasing cost of living the lifestyle of the rich and famous, the Pets indicator ticked up 200 percent: In this year is a portrait of your furry companion painted by Lifshutz (a steal at $1,500, frankly); out is a pool party for seven dogs at the Dog Run. Fashion analystistas would no doubt say this is further evidence of post-9/11 nesting behavior. Isn't it all, darling?

Did you do it for money?

District 1 Councilman Roger Flores appointed a committee in July to propose renaming the Majestic Theatre the Jocelyn Straus Majestic Theatre, a nice complement to the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre around the corner. Straus donated $25,000 apiece toward the renovation of the historical performance halls, and was critical in the 11-month, $4.5 million campaign for the Majestic's restoration. Over on the East Side, where sweat equity counts for more, District 2 Councilman Joel Williams has also appointed a committee (which we assume is council's way of floating a trial balloon) to study renaming the Carver Auditorium the Jo Long Theatre of Performing Arts after the nationally renowned center's first director.

Did you do it for spite?

It's unclear yet what effect Terry Brechtel's abrupt dismissal (Mayor Ed Garza forced her resignation during a City council meeting August 31) will have on the ongoing City budget process. The Office of Cultural Affairs, at least, was appreciative of the outgoing City Manager's forbearance when it came to number-crunching time: While arts funding didn't see an increase under Brechtel, it wasn't cut, either, even during tough times. Left in her wake, though, is a Council that is considered by many observers to be relatively arts-friendly, a disposition OCA hopes will be shared by her successor.

I think you have to, honey

There's still a week left to kick in your dough for the Texas Arts Community's full-page anti-Bush ad in The New York Times. In text reminiscent of the Constitution, the ad will read: "We are Texans. The Texan in the White House doesn't speak for us. Join with us, members of the Texas arts community, in rejecting the arrogance and recklessness of the Bush administration. America can once again be the hope of the world. Let your voices be heard." Among the nearly 400 signers to date are panhandle artist and musician Terry Allen and SA's Ken Little. The estimated cost, including minimal overhead, is $140,000; the suggested donation is $150 but the names of all contributors will be included. For more info, or to join the petition, go to

Compiled by Elaine Wolff

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