While Seattle Weekly's staff was busy interviewing newcomers on the Seattle arts scene for this week's Fall Arts Guide, local cultural organizations were still interviewing (and hiring) job candidates. The big news: Seattle International Film Festival crowned its own Carl Spence artistic director; he and a managing director (not yet named) will share the spot vacated by executive director Helen Loveridge last summer. Spence is a known quantity at SIFF, having held several jobs there (including director of programming) over the past decade. His selection suggests no radical changes as SIFF turns thirtysomething this year. . . . Other recent hires: Consolidated Works named Corey Pearlstein its new artistic director on Sept. 6. Pearlstein is a peripatetic producer, director, and administrator whose most recent gig was at the multidisciplinary Theatre Outlet in Allentown, Pa. He'll fill the void left by founder Matthew Richter, whose firing last winter led to off-stage drama galore. . . . And the UW has named Dr. Julie Stein the new director of the on-campus Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. LYNN JACOBSON
Cautious optimism was the mood at the Seattle Symphony's annual meeting Monday, Sept. 12, in the face of troubling budget news: an increase to its accumulated deficit, with a $196,000 shortfall added to the carryover $858,000 deficit from last season, despite aggressive cost-containment that reduced expenses by nearly half a million dollars. The shortfall was blamed on the one-time expenses of last season's East Coast tour, plus slow ticket sales last fall. Even so, the orchestra boasts that 55 percent of its income comes from ticket sales (most comparably sized orchestras report 40 percent). No final word yet on the concertmaster search; three candidates are being invited back for further scrutiny, and the symphony hopes to make a decision by Thanksgiving. GAVIN BORCHERT
A CIRCUS SUPREME
Seattle routinely exports stage hits to New York, but usually from tony Equity houses, not a drafty hangar at Sand Point. But the plucky, underfunded, underclad hootchie-cootchie gals, handstand tap dancer, and curio hawkers of Seattle's Circus Contraption just took Manhattan, selling out their first Grand American Traveling Dime Museum shows at Theater for the New City. The troupe's act, a retro circus that defies gravity and makes light of the tradition that Cirque du Soleil glossily Vegasizes, won huzzahs from Nytheatre.com's critic: "Shockingly talented and versatile . . . the ragtag performers all seem a bit degenerate, and that's no small part of their appeal." Maybe the next time we see them hanging from a trapeze back home flashing their naughty bits, they'll be wearing pricier lingerie. TIM APPELO.
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