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IN SHORT : Town Hall Appoints New Development Director

Town Hall, a major venue for the performing arts in New York, has recently announced the appointment of Susannah Sard as the Director of Development. Sard replaces Aria Edry, who resigned to embark on a six-month tour of Europe, India, and Southeast Asia. She plans to renew her work as a choreographer, performer, and teacher.

Sard has more than 20 years of fund raising and nonprofit management experience. She was formerly Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Sarah Lawrence College. She also started a development program for Kentucky Educational Television.

To Life Festival '98

For the Labor Day weekend, Battery Park in lower Manhattan will be the site of The Na Zdorovye*L'Chaim*To Life Festival '98, a Russian-Jewish cultural celebration. The festivities--three days of free entertainment--will include films, events, and a market of ethnic foods and craft items. The festival celebrates the 25th anniversary of settlement by Jewish emigrants from the former Soviet Union to New York City, and it runs Sun., Sept. 6-Tues., Sept. 8 in Battery Park, from 11:00 am-9:45 pm daily.

Highlights include a range of performances, all featuring members of the Russian-American arts community, as well as appearances by The Moscow Circus and The Children's Ballet of Russia.

The event is sponsored by the New York Association for New Americans (NYANA), in association with Global Entertainment Productions, Ltd. NYANA is a not-for-profit agency that has assisted over half a million people from around the world in starting anew in the United States. For more information: (212) 898-7827.

651 Launches 10th Season

The Brooklyn-based 651, an arts center grounded in the African Diaspora, will launch its 10th season at the BAM Majestic Theatre on Wed., Sept. 23, with "Jazz Train" the latest dance work from The Harlem Nutcracker choreographer Donald Byrd. The piece features an original trio of jazz scores performed live by the legendary drummer, Max Roach, jazz pianist Geri Allen, and Vernon Reid, guitarist and former leader of the platinum rock band, Living Colour.

Other 651 works coming down the pike at BAM include "Dance and Spiritual Life," a triple bill of dance works, Nov. 21; "I'll Make Me a World," a documentary about the contributions made by African-American artists, Jan. 11; "Waramba," a Mandingo opera from West Africa's Ivory Coast, April 30 and May 1; "Sacred Music," a three-day festival exploring spirituality expressed through music from different cultures within the African Diapsora, June 4 through June 6. For more information, call (718)-636-4100.

"Pimpernel" Clean Up

Rumors abound that shortly after Cablevision Systems Corp.'s Radio City bought out "The Scarlet Pimpernel," top-notch brass have decided to hire director Robert Longbottom--hitherto identified with the Tony-nominated " Side Show"--to hone the musical. And cast changes are in the works as well. Contracts for Douglas Sills as well as Christine Andreas and Terrence Mann will expire in September. According to a story in Variety, producers are hoping to keep the Tony-nominated Sills on board. "The Scarlet Pimpernel" will close Oct. 5-9 to put into effect some of the technical and creative changes.

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