The telephone number for the D.C. Youth Orchestra's current auditions was incorrect in the Arts Beat column of yesterday's Style section. The correct number is 723-1612. (Published 11/24/87)
This much is true: One, there are more than 1 million American Indian artifacts, considered the best and largest collection in the nation, languishing in a Bronx warehouse and the seldom-visited Museum of the American Indian in a bad New York City neighborhood. And two, everybody -- museum officials, politicians, Indian groups -- wants to save them by putting them in a new museum.
The rest is talk. Lots of it. And after two long joint hearings over the past two weeks before the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, there is still no agreement as to what to do with the collection. There are now, however, two strong and widely divergent proposals, one to bring the artifacts to a new Smithsonian museum on the Mall and one to keep them in New York.
Legislation was introduced in September by Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, who is also chairman of the Indian committee, to transfer the bulk of the New York collection to a proposed National Museum of the American Indian here. As evidenced by testimony in the last weeks, the bill is backed by Indian groups, officials at the New York museum and Smithsonian head Robert McC. Adams.
But after years of squabbling, New York State and city officials have finally united, and are proposing a plan of their own to keep the collection in New York while lending pieces liberally around the country, including to the new museum in Washington. At Wednesday's hearing, New York City Mayor Ed Koch and New York Sens. Alfonse D'Amato and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Lt. Gov. Stan Lundine, Attorney General Robert Abrams and others from the Empire State all squarely backed a Moynihan proposal to place the collection in the Custom House in Lower Manhattan. In arguing for the museum, Koch called New York the premier Indian state and pointed out that "in the very seal of the State of New York is the Indian."
Seal or not, Inouye and others still want the collection, founded in 1916 by New Yorker Gustav Heye and valued at $1 billion, here in the nation's capital. But this new unity of the New Yorkers, who contend it is illegal to take the pieces from the state, spells trouble.
As of right now, both sides are talking compromise, with aides to both senators predicting negotiations after Thanksgiving. "Senator Inouye is not going to force a solution," says an Indian Affairs Committee staffer. "We're going to try to accommodate some compromise."
A Moynihan aide agrees. "Inouye's got enough support and power to do our proposal in and vice versa," he says. "Legislation will not likely be pushed ahead, and an answer will come through back-room negotiations."
CIA Art Your art will be watched. Carefully. That might seem a dream of many artists, most of whom toil in obscurity. But this is not quite in the way you might think. Likely there'll be no klieg lights, nor a fancy opening party; more like flashlights and clandestine meetings.
The General Services Administration is seeking artists to create large-scale works for the Central Intelligence Agency's new building (don't ask where). The works can be two- or three-dimensional, for interior or exterior spaces.
Those interested should call Marilyn Farley at the GSA's Art in Architecture Program at 566-0950 soon, because the deadline for submission is Nov. 30. Trips Abroad Yet another local arts group is headed to the Soviet Union. The D.C. Youth Orchestra is planning a schedule of performances for an August 1988 trip there. But before then, the group needs about a dozen more musicians, aged 11-19, with performance experience, to round out the ensemble. Call 723-1212 for auditions. Rehearsals begin in December.
Also abroad is Maida Withers' Dance Construction Company, which is on a Central American tour through Dec. 5. The company will perform the world premiere of "Obsession" and teach workshops in Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica. Auditions Closer to home, performers interested in auditioning for Wolf Trap's Summer Interpretive Program in the Theatre-in-the-Woods for 1988 should call 485-9708. Auditions will be today through Wednesday and Dec. 16-18 at the George Meany Center for Labor Studies.
And in the what-a-deal department, the University of Maryland is calling for music students to audition for its new National Orchestral Institute to be held June 10 through July 2. Those who are chosen will get full scholarships (tuition, room and board) for the three weeks. Students will get to study with such renowned conductors as Andrew Litton, Jorge Mester and David Zinman, and musicians from the nation's leading orchestras. Call 454-5276.