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Los Angeles Times: Shakespeare not a hit with voters in online charity contest
May 26, 2011William Shakespeare would be a front-runner if experts were to vote on the greatest creative artist of all time, but he was just an also-ran in the Chase Community Giving competition, an online charity-by-popular-vote contest that ended Wednesday night.
JPMorgan Chase will donate $3.125 million to the top 25 vote-getters; the other 75 -– including the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, which finished 51st -- get $25,000 each for making the final round of 100.
Despite some Twitter-based help from Bard-friendly celebrities, including Tom Hanks, William Shatner, Reba McEntire and Christina Applegate, the 1,961 votes the Shakespeare Center mustered left it more than 25,000 behind the winner. Its proposal called for expanding its Will Power program, which provides summer jobs for teens as they learn the ropes of the theatrical trade and also assists Shakespearean learning in city schools. Founding artistic director Ben Donenberg had hoped to extend the job-training to recently discharged military veterans.
So who did beat out Shakespeare in the arts category?The top arts vote-getter was Pennsylvania-based Youth Education in the Arts, which will use its $225,000 fourth-place money to launch March 4 Music, a nationwide fund-raising campaign for high school band programs. Other arts groups -- apart from four drum-and-bugle corps -- were the National Assn. for Music Education (37th), Music For All (38th), the Wheeling (W.Va.) Symphony (48th), Symphony Silicon Valley (59th), Kansas City (Mo.) Repertory Theatre (75th), Women Make Movies Inc. of New York City (85th) and Architecture for Humanity of San Francisco (95th).
The four drum and bugle corps the L.A. Times neglected to name were The Cadets, who are part of Youth Education in the Arts, and Santa Clara Vanguard, Blue Devils, and Glassmen, each of which won $20,000 in the second round on top of the $25,000 in the first round. Also in the competition was the parent organization for competitive junior drum and bugle corps in North America, Drum Corps International, which earned $100,000 in the second round in addition to its $25,000 from the first round.
Those of you who have been reading my journal know that I have a long and emotional history with drum corps
. You may not know that this particular story hits closer to home than most. The director of Youth Education in the Arts could have been the uncle to the stepchildren I would have had if we had both married the women we were dating from 2000-2004. They were sisters-in-law. The perverse part of that was that we (the director and I, not our ex-girlfriends) were well-known frenemies on the Internet at the time. Since his ex-girlfriend's real brother wanted nothing to do with him, I decided to pick up the role of annoying brother-in-law and take public pot shots at him. I don't know what he thought of the relationship, but I had fun doing it until I started getting fed up with activity and its fans.
Now that I've walked away from drum corps, we're no longer frenemies. We're just casual friends and have a very pleasant relationship on Facebook with no sniping on my part. I'm a lot happier for it.
Oh, and I'm not planning on seeing any shows this summer, either. The grieving in advance