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Monster Mash: Damien Hirst teams with Lance Armstrong; NEA announces big grant money; more delays for Millennium Park pavilion

July 8, 2009 |  9:08 am


-- Will it be diamond-encrusted? Artist Damien Hirst is designing Lance Armstrong's new bicycle for the final stages of the Tour de France, which is currently underway and set to end July 26 in Paris.

-- Big bucks: The NEA has announced $29.78 million in new grants to more than 600 arts organizations around the U.S.

-- Delayed again: The Zaha Hadid-designed pavilion in Chicago's Millennium Park is getting a new contractor to finish the job, which means the opening is being pushed back by two weeks to Aug. 1.

-- Out with the old: Abu Dhabi, which had canceled its contract with Art Paris Abu Dhabi, has announced the creation of a new international art fair, Abu Dhabi Art, that will take place Nov. 19-22.

-- Big talent: Hollywood's Open Fist Theatre has scored new works by Neil LaBute, Julie Hebert and more for its inaugural new play festival, which is scheduled to begin in late July.

-- Nice pipes: Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, which reopened earlier this year after extensive renovations, will get its organ back in 2010.

-- Claustrophobic: A London production of Clare Bayley's play "The Container" will use an authentic freight container as its stage and set to replicate the harsh journey of migrant workers.

-- Here's a shocker: The Internet will drastically change museums' relationship with their audience, according to the directors of the British Museum and the Tate.

-- 'Tis a pity: Washington, D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre Company will furlough all of its employees this summer in an effort to make up for budgetary shortfalls.

-- Passing: Ray Watt, the prominent L.A. builder who popularized the condominium and strip shopping center, has died at age 90.

-- David Ng

Photo: Artist Damien Hirst. Credit: Associated Press