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Read this: Art in Peoria, Darvin Moon, this week's free stuff


Rocco Landesman (Marcus Yam/The Washington Post)

Good afternoon, everyone, and happy Monday. Planning on putting your foot in your mouth any time soon? Take a cue from National Endowment for the Arts chair Rocco Landesman: Go the extra mile to make up for it.

Landesman, who made his name as a theater owner and producer in New York City, dissed the Peoria, Ill., arts scene in a highly publicized interview with the New York Times -- and Peoria bit back. Now, Landesman has traveled to that city so he can learn what it really does have to offer in the ways of art and culture. Of course, this all boils down to NEA appropriations, so the visit is kind of a big deal. Writes Peter Marks:

Given that the state arts council's budget is being slashed, small grants can carry outsize weight. After Landesman remarks that he's surprised New York's Joseph Papp Public Theater bothers to return his call, since the NEA provides that institution with only about $60,000, [Eastlight Theatre director Kathy Chitwood] emits an ironic little laugh. She says that if they don't want it, her nearly 20-year-old theater -- supported chiefly by ticket sales and in-kind contributions from agencies in the city of East Peoria -- will take it.

Elsewhere in today's Style section: Western Maryland lumberjack Darvin Moon is one of two players left in the World Series of Poker. Hank Stuever calls out Discovery Channel's somewhat obvious attempt to make a buck off the execution of John Allen Muhammad. And the Going Out Gurus recommend free things to do for every day of the week.

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By The Reliable Source  |  November 9, 2009; 11:53 AM ET
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