The Durham Arts Council last week announced the recipients of its annual Emerging Artists Grant Program. Eight grants of up to $1,500 each cover specific material needs of artists at pivotal points in their careers. Winners this year include opera singer Taquisha Coley Rice, who will use the money for audition expenses; documentary filmmaker Ryan Bilsborrow-Koo, who will complete his film on a community of Huaorani Indians; and Lara O’Keefe, who will build an Anagama kiln based on those in medieval Japan. The award ceremony is Friday, Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Durham Arts Council. Call 560-ARTS or visit www.durhamarts.org for details. STATE OF THINGS seeks NEW HOST Friday was Melinda Penkava’s last day as host of The State of Things, WUNC 91.5 FM’s daily news and talk program. Penkava, who has hosted the show since February 2003, will stay with the station as a correspondent based in her home in the coastal town of Oriental. Frank Stasio, who occasionally fills in for Penkava, will be the interim host while the station conducts a national search. UNITED ARTS CHANGES GRANT GUIDELINES The United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County ( www.unitedarts.org ) released a new set of grant guidelines for 2006-07 this week, eliminating basic operating funding but adding several new categories including youth arts, festivals, arts service organizations and seed funding. United Arts says the new guidelines place more emphasis on the specific programming offered, but will not leave previous grantees in the lurch. Applicants are required to attend a training workshop in January; the deadline is March 6. x

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