Rita Dove gets honored; Wimer finally escapes zombies; school merger may change music ed

Remember the "30 Rock" where Tracy Jordan promises his wife he’s going to EGOT—that is, win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony? UVA poet Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate, came one step closer to the literary equivalent last week when she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, one of the nation’s highest formal honors of artistic merit. (She joins staffers Deborah Eisenberg and Ann Beattie.) Seems all Dove needs now is a National Book Award…

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If you know one thing about the local filmmaker Brian Wimer, it’s probably that he loves zombies—just see Danger.Zombies.Run. and Eat Me! A Zombie Musical. Well, no more. A new Wimer flick in preproduction has him working outside of walking dead territory. Billy Barnwell’s Favorite Friends is a "dark comedy about the travels and trials of a dysfunctional troupe of actors performing kid lit for elementary schools." Check out the film’s Kickstarter here in its final hours. How is Wimer going to organize a 5k around this one?

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A brief note about the foundation of Charlottesville’s music community: music education. The Daily Progress has a story today about how parents fear the merging of Charlottesville’s middle schools may hurt the city’s thriving band and orchestra programs. For now, all fifth-grade music students studying under two band leaders and an orchestra teacher at Walker—meaning these mini-musicians are grouped by and receive more specialized instruction in the instrument they play. That in turn prepares them for Charlottesville City Schools’ strong music programs. But under a new plan, fifth-graders will be spread across city elementary schools. Read more here.

What’s going on this week?

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