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SUNDAY, MARCH 29, 1998 The Palm Beach Post SECTION J BOOK s I fl S I D E A COMPELLING TALE Brian Morton's novel, Starting Out in the Evening, is cause for ; celebration. It's humane, nuanced and bereft of trendy literary hypocrisies. BACK PAGE V ARTS 6? ENTERTAINMENT From the controversial Lolita to the best works of Oscar Wilde, audio books can be entertaining companions on the road. PAGE 3J ' wy I V I . v 1 , i mm mh mmmmmmmhmJ 1 n. I Charles Passy Arts Sceme (lb "7&TS I J 1 'w sir. . 1 1 "4S 7 j n 4 f ' ' 71 Grant cuts send wrong signal to arts community When the Palm Beach County Cultural Council recently pulled out of a regional grant program for artists, you could hear the cry from every beret-wearing bohemi-an from Boca Raton to Jupiter. Especially since the council's reasoning was that artists were being rewarded more for political ideologies than quality work. "That's censorship," the artists and art lovers protested. But that's not the real issue. You can talk all you want about freedom of expression. But the half-dozen $15,000 grants doled out each year by the South Florida Cultural Consortium, an ; amalgam of government-supported arts , councils from Monroe to Martin counties, hardly amounts to much. Worse yet, the money went only to visual artists, ignoring the contributions of composers, choreographers, playwrights and performance artists. Cultural 5 b. 'V in GREG LOVEHStaff Photographer Evi and Gin Weintraub perform at the Acapulco Grill, one of many local gigs INHOUSE has. Success is elusive for the band, which is still reaching for the brass ring. 'They have always been the group that we're just waiting for to catch that break,' says the co-owner of the Underground Coffee Works. So, you want to be a H U Lruu u First, listen to the story of a local band called INHOUSE. They don't have steady jobs, a checking account or a car. Or what they want the most -a national record contract. Council President Will Ray says he tried ; to talk the consortium into expanding the ; array but was told that was not possible without more money. "Their point is you have to start somewhere," he says. Money went down BRITT's drain The problem is that somewhere has led to nowhere for most local artists. While Palm Beach County and West Palm Beach poured $1 million into the financially troubled BRITT, only to watch their investment in the downtown theater fizzle, neither government body has granted a penny to an individual artist apart, that is, from the occasional commissioning of a statue in front of a new building. Most municipalities stay out of the arts business altogether. And while the county contributes $2 million annually, channeled through the cultural council, the money goes to arts groups, not artists. Palm Beach County is not alone in this regard. According to Americans for the Arts, the majority of local arts councils finance institutions at the expense of individuals. "Maybe people perceive the organizations more as the foundation of their cultural community," says Randy Cohen, a spokesman for the Washington-based organization. The irony is that a little money in the right artists' hands could go a long way. Not only to creating the true artists' community that Palm Beach County lacks but also to improving the broader community for non-artists. Artists turn cities into magnets You can make the economic argument: that artists typically walk where fools fear to tread and in the process, they turn abandoned warehouse districts into up-and-coming residential neighborhoods. Pay a painter, and you make a real-estate developer happy. Now let's see a symphony accomplish that But I'd rather make the quality-of-life argument. Artists add color and personality to our world, something that's readily noticeable when you walk through any of the cities that serve as their meccas: New York, San Francisco, even Missoula, Mont A theater can produce plays, but by itself, it's an inanimate object. A playwright lives and breathes and his presence enriches us. It's such an argument that prompts Please see PASSY2 'PI magazine Billboard has profiled them. And a legendary producer has recorded them. But, so far, nothing. And with the band's third self-produced CD, Waking Juliet, set to be released this week, the sense of a last chance is settling in. There are only so many times you can knock on the same doors, and there's only so long you can live the sparse existence that defines a struggling young band. Especially when you're no longer that young: The Weintraubs have hit the dreaded age of 30. "I could baby-sit Hanson," says Gin. "That's a scary thing." In a way, the identical twins have been chasing this rock 'n' roll dream since they were Hanson's age. They grew up in Brentwood, N.Y., on Long Island, two of six siblings in an artistic family. Dad left a job as a post-office clerk to become a painter. Mom helped manage his career. And the two brothers played in bands, jamming the years away in the family basement. The sisters also performed together, but not with an eye on a career as a duo. When the family moved to upstate New York, Evi fronted bar bands, while Gin left to study fashion design in Manhattan. But being twins, they shared an almost psychic connection "We have this sometimes annoyingly close Please see INHOUSE- By Charles Passy Palm Beach Post Music Writer At the Jamestown Cigar Bar, you don't breathe the air as much as you marvel at its density. The downtown West Palm Beach club is a testament to the seductive powers of tobacco, and it draws a smart, urban crowd that treasures the aromatic atmosphere. It's the perfect place to relax, sip a dark draft and, of course, smoke a fine stogie. But it's not the perfect place to play music. That's what the members of IN-HOUSE, the Lake Worth band headed by twin sisters Gin and Evi Weintraub, discover as they congregate in a corner on a recent evening. Patrons practically trip over the group on their way to the long bar. The noise level indicates the audience is far more interested in discussing the merits of Dominicans vs. Cubans than listening to the rock outfit's acoustic-to-psychedelic stylings. This is the life you don't read about in Rolling Stone or Spin, the workaday grind of low-paying local bookings endured for the sake of landing a seven-figure record deal. But this is the life of INHOUSE, the band that would be voted most likely to succeed if you polled area club-goers. In six years of playing a grueling schedule of three-to-five gigs a week, they have come closer than any Palm Beach County group to breaking big. Label executives and concert promoters have met them. The music trade f With the band's third self-produced CD, Waking Juliet, set to be released this week, the sense of a last chance is settling in. The mama of Dada and Titanic9 s muse Spirit of Beatrice ft bod shines in PBCC exhibition r , jcSs Jfli f n V - i' -K V ' s x j Jf .-: ' Beatrice Wood's 1985 Indian-style copper teapot is part of a retrospective of her work at PBCC's Museum of Contemporary Art. Vw i ; Kate Winslet's willful character of Rose (above) in Titanic was inspired by Beatnce Wood (nght). Titanic director James Cameron was so taken by Wood's zest that he based the character of Rose on her. (It's no accident the older Rose in the movie is a potter, and that actress Kate Winslet bears a facial resemblance to young Beatrice Wood.) Some scholars have also called Wood "the Mama of Dada." referring to the anarchic "anti-art" movement that still inspired a lot of 20th-century art. And ceramicists were encouraged " Please see WOOD:? By Gary Schwan I'alm Bra-h Post Art Water Beatrice Wood had luster. Her ceramic art was admired for its brilliant glazes, and her life was envied for its radiant phases. Right up to her death this month at age 105, Wood inspired a variety of people. Artists, historians, even I lol-lywood directors, all were in love with the spirited woman in her Indian sans w hose life was, well, never dull; the willful woman whose 19S8 autobiography was, titled ShiKk Myself.