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February 07, 2011

In the Arts: City Fund Cut-Off Threatens Baltimore’s Poe Museum

The curator of Baltimore’s Edgar Allan Poe House says the museum could close if city officials do not restore government money for the facility, says The Baltimore Sun.

The city eliminated aid for the museum, located in a house where the writer lived for a few years in the 1830s, from this year’s budget and has given the municipal preservation agency until July 2012 to come up with a plan to make the Poe House self-sufficient.

The museum, which has an annual budget of $85,000, has remained open through private contributions, but Jeff Jerome, the Poe House’s curator since 1979, said becoming fully self-supporting by next year is “a big order.”

In other arts news:

● The Los Angeles County Museum of Art says the toymaker Mattel’s co-sponsorship of a forthcoming design exhibit is not connected to the inclusion of the company’s signature Barbie and Ken dolls in the show, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Wendy Kaplan, head of the museum’s decorative arts and design department, said she was already planning to include the original 1959 Barbie in the show, a review of mid-20th-century California designers, when Mattel agreed to become the main corporate sponsor.

● The actor Kevin Spacey announced plans Sunday for a theater academy in the Middle East, the Associated Press says.

The Academy Award winner’s foundation is collaborating with a group led by a business tycoon in the United Arab Emirates to offer theatrical workshops and classes across the Middle East and bring productions from the region to international audiences.