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Mallarmé Chamber Players is calling it quits after 23 years. Durham's traveling orchestra will perform for the last time in June 2007.

The board of directors voted to disband the nonprofit that employs about two dozen professional musicians after founder and artistic director Anna Ludwig Wilson announced her retirement. "We have a very, very small staff, essentially one and a half people," Wilson says. In the nonprofit world, she says "it's very unusual for an organization that's been essentially led by a founder-director to continue after their retirement."

Unusual is a good word to describe Mallarmé. Since its inception in 1984, the group has blended European chamber music with jazz and musical traditions from around the world. It has commissioned more than 20 original compositions, performing in schools, arts councils, auditoriums and private homes.

Mallarmé's curtain call will be a loss to the Triangle, not only for aesthetic reasons but because of the group's community outreach. "We have consciously made an effort to build relationships with African-American and Latino artists and presenters," Wilson says. "We're trying to reflect Durham's greater population, not just middle-aged, white, middle-class folks."

North Carolina legislators are the target of lobbyists today as Arts North Carolina conducts its annual advocacy day in Raleigh. An estimated 150 members of the statewide advocacy group will gather at the General Assembly to lobby for greater arts funding in the state budget. Professional development workshops that began yesterday culminate this afternoon with an address by Bill Ferris, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and by Arts N.C.'s Executive Director (and registered lobbyist) Karen Wells. See for more info.

A Carrboro Film Festival is in the works, thanks to members of the Carrboro Art Committee. The town-sponsored competition, scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 19, will feature three categories (student, college and emerging) and will be open to anyone who lives, works or studies in Carrboro. Entries should be 30 minutes or less and should be submitted in DVD format. No due date for submissions has been announced yet.

Interested participants and potential sponsors are invited to an informational meeting on Tuesday, May 16 at 7 p.m. at the Carrboro Century Center. See for more details.


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