KCTS S.O.S.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting faced threats from within and without. On Thursday, June 16, the House Appropriations Committee jammed its hand deep into CPB's pocket, voting to cut its budget by $100 million. Meanwhile, CPB Chair Kenneth Y. Tomlinson has been pushing for the appointment of the Republican National Committee's former co-chair, Patricia Harrison, as the agency's new president. The CPB has become increasingly politicized in past months, with Tomlinson accusing public broadcasters of having a liberal bias. But Tomlinson's also on the defensive, since it has come to light that he secretly hired a consultant to track that bias, without the knowledge of his board. On Monday, June 20, the board voted to delay selecting its new president for a few days. Meantime, KUOW radio and KCTS TV are circling the wagons, updating listeners and viewers daily on the status of the funding battle, and—in the case of KCTS—urging supporters to "fight back" by contacting their congressional representatives. (See Mossback) LYNN JACOBSON & GWEN DAVIS

THEATER CONFAB

Movies may be king, but live theater is not prepared to go into its dotage just yet. At least that's the impression left by the 2005 Theatre Communications Group conference, which came to a close in Seattle on Saturday. Some 800 theater professionals from across the country—including locals from host organizations Seattle Rep, Intiman, ACT, and Seattle Children's Theatre—engulfed Lower Queen Anne to talk, argue, applaud, commiserate, drink, and carry on as only theater people really can. This marked the first time TCG, a New York–based support organization for regional theaters, held its biennial get-together in Seattle. "We were absolutely thrilled with the way the conference went," said TCG Executive Director Ben Cameron early this week. "The facilities were extraordinary, providing a real home to us at Seattle Center, and the ability to see so much fantastic [theater] work around the city was unbelievably valuable for people and great fodder for conversation." LYNN JACOBSON

TEAM PNB

Also huddling in Seattle last week was Dance/USA, a national service organization. Among the topics discussed was how to help dancers make the transition from the ballet world to the world of ordinary mortals at the end of their performing careers. On hand to offer his wisdom was Pacific Northwest Ballet board member Rick Redman, who played linebacker for the San Diego Chargers before joining Sellen Construction. What does a football player know about ballet? Plenty. Like athletes, dancers begin training at an early age, become professionals while their friends are still in school, and retire when others their age are just settling down. At PNB, Redman noted, that retirement is often eased by the company's Second Stage program, which offers dancers training and support as they grapple with what happens after the final curtain goes down. SANDRA KURTZ

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