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Friday, October 24, 2014

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Koffler director heads to San Francisco

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Toronto’s Koffler Centre of the Arts has begun a search for a new head after its current executive director, Lori Starr, announced she has accepted a position as executive director of the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, beginning in June.

Starr had “a remarkable tenure of seven years” at the Koffler in which she transformed it into “a thriving, multidisciplinary cultural institution that now programs across the Greater Toronto Area to audiences of over 100,000 a year,” the Koffler’s board of directors said in a press release. 

Starr had also served as vice-president for culture for the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and was an adviser to the International Jewish Presenters Network and the Harold Green Jewish Theatre.

“Lori Starr made an enormous contribution to Toronto while she led the Koffler,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, director of the Art Gallery of Ontario. “She moved inventive and galvanizing programming into the community, while positioning important issues of our time into the public realm for active discussion. She did so with style, intelligence and true commitment. She made our community stronger. I know she will have an important and sustaining impact on San Francisco. The cliché is true. Our loss is San Francisco’s gain.”

Before coming to the Koffler, Starr served in a similar capacity at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. She was also a Rockefeller Fellow in Museum Education and Community Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

 “I have learned so much from my work here,” said Starr. “I am going to miss Toronto’s vibrant arts scene and all the friends and colleagues I have gotten to know and admire.”

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Poetry & Music: Toronto native Aubrey L. Glazer, a rabbi, scholar, artist and translator based in New York, has explored the flourishing, contemporary, cutting-edge poetry scene in Israel and produced some fresh translations for a new book, Mystical Vertigo: Kabbalistic Hebrew Poetry Dancing Cross the Divide of Jewish Thinking.

A book launch of Mystical Vertigo features readings by Glazer and performances by the band Jaffa Road and musicians Aaron Bensoussan and Ernie Tollar. A post-show reception features Passover-friendly sweets and drink specials. $10 at the door. The Rivoli, 334 Queen St. W. Thursday, March 28, 7:30  doors open for 8 p.m.

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Names in the News: Heritage Toronto and the Toronto Legacy Project were to unveil a plaque March 11 in the University of Toronto Faculty of Music in honour of composer John Weinzweig on what would have been his 100th birthday.  

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Names in the News II: The band Jaffa Road was recently nominated for a Juno Award for its latest CD, Where the Light Gets In, in the category of world music. The band was previously nominated for a Juno in the same category in 2010. Where the Lights Gets In is available on iTunes and Bandcamp. The Juno Awards ceremony takes place April 21.

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Arts in Brief

• Adam Nayman discusses “Crime and Punishment: Fargo and The Big Lebowski” in the next instalment of his ongoing series on the films of the Coen brothers. $12 drop-in, students $6. Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Monday, March 18, 7 to 9 p.m. 416-924-6211, ext. 606.

• Active Seniors and Boomers presents Osnat Lipa discussing “Impressionist Art and Artists.” $4. Miles Nadal JCC, Thursday, March 14, 1:30 p.m. Registration starts March 28 for “Influential Jewish Artists & Their Art,” which unfolds April 16, 23 and 30.

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At the Galleries

• What? Where? When? Why? How? is a show by Toronto artist Bradley Hart of works made of discarded materials from his studio and wasted paint from past series. Gallery nine5, 24 Spring St., New York City until March 29. Currently on view, the exhibition officially opens March 20, 6 to 9 p.m. www.gallerynine5.com

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