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BEHIND THE SCENES

The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts has available about $3 million in scholarships, plus $300,000 in cash awards, through its Arts Recognition and Talent Search program. Applications are available in dance, jazz, classical music, voice, photography, theater, visual arts and writing. Eligible artists must be high school seniors, or 17 or 18 years old, and U.S. citizens (except for the jazz category, which seeks international applicants). Deadlines are June 1 for a $25 processing fee, and Oct. 1 for a $35 processing fee. Call (800) 970-ARTS for information or an application. Or apply at the NFAA Web site: http://www.nfaa.org.

Performers are needed for the 10th annual First Night Buffalo, the drug- and alcohol-free New Year's Eve event in downtown Buffalo. Performance stages are held from 7 to 11:30 p.m. at indoor venues. New performers are especially encouraged. Deadline has been extended to June 1. For an application or information, call 631-5731 or (800) 247-1466.

Auditions

Cheektowaga Community Chorus is seeking all voice parts, particularly male voices. Call 839-0405 or 689-2453 for information.

Calls for work

Western New York Artists Group is seeking entries for its "Regional '98 -- Seventh Annual Regional Artists Exhibit." Slide entry deadline is 3 p.m. May 16. For a prospectus, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Regional '98, Western New York Artists Group, One Linwood Ave., Buffalo, N.Y. 14209-2203. Call Art Dialogue Gallery at 885-2251 for information.

Squeaky Wheel is seeking works for its first festival and fund-raiser, titled "About Buffalo," to be held April 30 at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. This year's theme is "Humor!," with numerous categories including retro, tall tales, scandalous, animation, sexiest, trash-o-rama, family life and more. Winning tapes will be screened at the festival and aired on cable's "Axlegrease." For entry information, call Squeaky Wheel at 884-7172.

Several percussion students from Fredonia State College and faculty member Kay Stonefelt traveled to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point this weekend to participate in the 1998 Percussive Arts Society New York Day and West Point Percussion Festival. Of particular note was a concert on Saturday with a mass marimba orchestra of more than 150 players, which was believed to be eligible for entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Louisville actor Arthur Burns, who spent several seasons at the Kavinoky Theatre and Shakespeare in Delaware Park during the mid-1980s, died suddenly on March 9. He was 55. The cause was lung cancer. He had recently become a fixture in a Kentucky children's theater, Stage One, run by Moses Goldberg.

Sarah M. Lane, a violist who is a senior at Williamsville East High School, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Amherst Symphony Orchestra Women's Committee and the Williamsville Rotary Foundation. The presentation will be made during the Amherst Symphony concert on April 26. Lane plans to prepare for a career as a professional violist.

The Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts will host a jazz festival from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in its school at 333 Clinton St. Music students from throughout Western New York will attend. The three winning bands will return for a final competition at 7:30 that evening.