Friday’s Art Notes

BY Maureen Hoch  March 19, 2010 at 12:31 PM EDT

trolley.jpgSaturday is ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day,’ the birthday of Fred Rogers, who passed away in 2003. The annual event encourages neighbors everywhere “to wear his or her favorite sweater and promote neighborliness in their neighborhood.” You can watch episodes of “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” at PBS KIDS.

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NPR reports that Iranian authorities continue to block the travel of Simin Behbahani, the nation’s most prominent poet. Behbahani, who is 82 and nearly blind, “has been writing fierce poetry for decades, during the reign of Iran’s Shah, during the Islamic Revolution, during the reign of the ayatollahs, and over the past year’s political turmoil.”

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Drama and culture critic Terry Teachout writes in About Last Night about PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger’s plans to beef up arts programming. “That’s the subject of my ‘Sightings’ column for Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, in which, among other things, I tell what I’d do if I were (A) put in charge of arts programming at PBS and (B) given a pile of money to spend as I saw fit,” Teachout writes.

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The New York Times reports that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will end his charitable gift giving through the Carnegie Corporation, setting off worry among arts and service groups. Bloomberg’s decision “has set off alarm in the city’s arts and social services worlds, which depend heavily on his largesse and are grappling with deep budget cuts and a brutal fund-raising climate.”

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Fess Parker, an icon to a generation of youngsters as Davy Crockett and later Daniel Boone, died Thursday at the age of 85 of natural causes. NPR’s “All Things Considered” remembers the actor.