Monster Mash: Smithsonian's buyout plan; 'Enron' sets Broadway date; Madoff gored, figuratively
--Drastic measures: The Smithsonian Institution is offering its entire staff a buyout or early retirement package, citing budgetary difficulties.
--Heading to New York: "Enron," a new stage production about the corporate financial scandal, is set to open on Broadway in April 2010.
--Painful to look at: Artist Chen Wenling has created a sculpture depicting convicted financier Bernie Madoff being gored in the buttocks by a bull.
--Retiring: Antonio Castillo de la Gala is ending his run as a pianist at the Hotel Bel-Air's Champagne Bar.
--Preventive measure: The Los Angeles City Council approves an ordinance requiring new homes to include a graffiti-resistant finish in order to reduce incidences of tagging.--Stage heaven: The Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago is named one of the top 15 places to work by the Wall Street Journal’s Top Small Workplaces 2009.
--Protest: Workers at the Venice Biennale strike to protest working conditions and not receiving overtime payment.
--Defying gravity: Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte will spend time aboard the International Space Station, where he will "lead" a performance next week.
--Group effort: Five prominent architects -- including Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel -- are contributing designs for a new arts center in the South of France.
--Fancy feet: The United Nations declares the tango a world cultural treasure.
-- David Ng
Photo: A sculpture by Chinese artist Chen Wenling, titled "What You See Might Not Be Real" on display in Beijing, depicts convicted financier Bernard Madoff. Credit: Ng Han Guan / Associated Press