Artsday / Todd’s masks support industry – and children

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Todd McKenney masked up.

ENTERTAINER Todd McKenney’s new project to assist others in the entertainment industry has become a roaring success. Through his platform, toddmasks.com, almost 800 Australian-made face masks by Australian costume designers have been sold, raising $20,000, creating an income stream for the sector. There are also online auctions of one-of-a-kind masks to support the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

SAD news from Art Song Canberra that its planned live concert, “Songs Around the Piano”, to have been held at Wesley Music Centre on August 16, has been cancelled in light of travel restrictions to and from greater Sydney. Performers Susannah Lawergren and Maciej Pawela both live in Sydney.

The Australian Ballet’s ‘The Merry Widow’.

THE Merry Widow, based on Franz Lehár’s romantic operetta, was the first original, full-length ballet created for The Australian Ballet in 1975 by the late Robert Helpmann. Both the 1993 and 2018 versions are available to watch free via australianballet.com.au until August 20 – over a glass of bubbly, the ballet company suggests.

THE reopened National Film and Sound Archive is paying tribute to creative trailblazers with screenings of Fellini’s “La Strada” tonight, Friday, August 7 at 6pm. Then at 2pm tomorrow, Saturday, August 8, there’s “She Who Must Be Loved”, the story of Indigenous Australian photographer, activist and mother, Freda Glynn, followed by a live-streamed Q&A with Glynn’s daughter Erica Glynn, who also directed the film. Bookings at nfsa.gov.au

A scene from ‘Geometry the Movie’

“GEOMETRY the Movie” is a new multicultural film recently produced in Canberra, directed by Shawon Khan and featuring the talents of Simran Gulati, Chandrasekhar Kommalapati, Anaïs Maro and Tara McClelland. Focusing on subcontinental millennials living in Australia, it’s a story about aspiration, sacrifice and relationships that touches on social and cultural issues. Community screening at Palace Electric Cinemas, NewActon, 11am, Sunday, August 9. Book at palacecinemas.com.au

CANBERRA Jung Society has Dr David Russell speaking via Zoom on “How Jungian Perspective Makes a Contribution to Understanding Emotional Trauma”, 8pm Friday, August 7, details at canberrajungsociety.org.au

Music in the tropics, cellist Eliza Sdraulig at the festival in 2018.

THE Australian Festival of Chamber Music, due to have run in sunny Townsville from July 31 to August 9, is holding a three-day digital event called “Festival Prelude” from August 7 to 9, directed by British pianist Kathryn Stott. Stott herself plays, with some of the biggest names in chamber music including violinist and incoming director, Jack Liebeck and baritone Roderick Williams. Each day is hosted by Stott with interviews, flashbacks, a daily chamber challenge, and a celebration of north Queensland. Tickets at afcm.com.au

MUSE Café’s literary events are up and running again at East Hotel, Kingston, with demographer Liz Allen in conversation with Chris Wallace about her book, “The Future of Us”, 3-4pm, Saturday, August 8, and Geoff Kitney in conversation with David Crowe about his book, “Beyond the Newsroom”, 3-4pm, Sunday, August 9. Book through musecanberra.com.au

‘Jihad Jane’ being interviewed.

THE newest film screening via the documentary service IWonder is “Jihad Jane”, which follows the online radicalising of two socially-disadvantaged American women. Colleen (Fatima) LaRose from suburban Philadelphia, who called herself “Jihad Jane”, was convicted of conspiracy to murder Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who had drawn a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad. She and Jamie Paulin Ramirez from Colorado were taken into custody as part of arrests in Waterford, Ireland, where the film was made. I’ve watched it and the extraordinary thing is how boring their jihadist handler, “Black Flag”, proves to be and how tedious their lives become. Accessible via iwonder.com

Michaela Laurie miniature, ‘The Florists’ Window’, mixed media, coloured pencil.

CANBERRA’S Art in Miniature painting group is now exhibiting miniature artworks at Raglan Gallery, 9-11 Lambie Street, Cooma, Wednesday to Sunday, 10.30am-3.30pm, until September 27.

“ROCKSPEARE Richard III”, Mallee Pavilion, Exhibition Park In Canberra (EPIC), 7.30pm, Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8. Book for both live and streamed experiences through Eventbrite.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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