The American Council for the Arts has launched "Vantage Point: Issues in American Arts," a bimonthly arts magazine. The debut issue features an interview with New Museum founding director Marcia Tucker, an essay on the unhealthy climate for new American plays, four pages illustrating the creative processes of four artists, a grid detailing arts-related programs on national television, and a readable analysis of new music . . . The East Village is Manhattan's hottest art area at present, and Gracie Mansion (no, not the mayor's residence) is one of the most prominent new art dealers. Mansion will present a slide lecture on the new wave of Expressionist painters thriving in the East Village at 8 p.m. next Wednesday at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Call (301) 396-3614 . . . The Lorton Photography Workshop received a $10,000 grant from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, one of only 10 Special Constituency grants awarded this year. Director Karen Ruckman works with Lorton Penitentiary inmates, who produce quite moving images. Watch for an exhibition this fall . . . A passel of pop stars have made "political videos" urging young people to register and vote. MTV began airing the short spots, including efforts by Cyndi Lauper, Tina Turner, Huey Lewis, Rockwell, "Weird Al" Yankovic and Crosby, Stills and Nash, on Monday . . . In the beginning there was Exercise, which begat Jazzercize, which begat Dancercize, Eroticize and others ad nauseam. The newest dance/aerobics entry sweeping L.A. is called Tappercize . . . It may not be art, but it's interesting: The Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History, which has more than 8 million beetles in its insect collection, recently received a bequest of more than 240,000 (mounted) beetles from around the world . . .