A look back at arts events to remember

Jan. 1

A 10th-anniversary year begins for Grandview's A Muse Gallery and Columbus Dance Theatre.

Jan. 11

Local dance troupe Anatomical Scenario premieres Anna and The Annadroids: Clone Zone at Columbus Dance Theatre. Two months later, the production walks away with a GCAC Artistic Excellence Award for $10,000. Repeat performances are scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 30, 2009.

Late March

The Dublin Arts Council discovers that sculptures from its Art in Public Places program and the first Titration exhibition in Coffman Park have gone missing or been seriously damaged. Shaking it off, DAC announced plans last month to purchase new works from each of the four artists in Titration2: Park Fiction, on view through September 2009.

May 31

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra takes the Ohio Theater stage for its last performance of the 2007-2008 season. From there, things get ugly.

Orchestra management, facing a deficit in the millions, terminated the musicians' contract, as musicians and their union argued the CSO board didn't have that authority. Talks started and stalled. Musicians scheduled their own series of benefit concerts over the summer.

By late September, faced with a choice of deep pay and benefit cuts or jobs that might never come back, players reluctantly signed a three-year deal that brought the orchestra back to life.

It returned to accompany Opera Columbus' season opener in October before launching a shortened symphony season. Guest conductors are filling the podium for music director Junichi Hirokami, an outspoken critic of CSO management, who left in November.

June 4-7

The Discovery District is, um, discovered. As CCAD finishes the first phase of a campus expansion into the Byers building, the Columbus Arts Festival moves from the construction-blocked riverfront to the area surrounding CCAD and Columbus State. It'll keep that location through 2011.

June 5-7

A month after the dine-and-dash assault that would seriously injure Haiku co-owner Julie Liu and paralyze server Rachel Widomski, artists and restaurateurs unveil Hope Weekend, a fundraiser that raises over $100,000 for Widomski's care. A sentencing hearing for the assailant, Michael A. Rose, is set for Feb. 3.

Late June

A giant bendy straw appears in the middle of the pond at Goodale Park. Sly public art project by the enigmatic Vinchen, or subliminal advertising for ComFest's beverage booths?

Sept. 20

Gay Street enjoys a little more attention as Downtown's social hub with the Independents Day fest. The enjoyment may be short-lived however; if the event returns as planned in '09, it could move elsewhere.

Sept. 13

Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms opens at the Wexner Center and engulfs the city in Warhol fever. It spreads to the offices of ArtForum, where editors name the show one of the best of 2008.

Sept. 13-14

Via Colori returns to Goodale Park and has an unwelcome visitor: high-force winds that keep attendance down and leave much of the city without power for days.

Sept. 30

BalletMet begins a seven-show run at the Joyce Theatre, where the company made its New York debut in 2004 to critical acclaim. This time, not so much.

Oct. 5

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra starts its 30th season, so it can no longer be trusted.

Oct. 15

Opening its season with Jeff Daniels' Escabana in Love, CATCO officially hits the quarter-century mark.

Oct. 31

Halloween gets a little more fabulous with the introduction of the Short North's High Ball, complete with a runway show smack dab in the middle of High Street.

Nov. 14

Faced with a 2009 budget deficit, Mayor Michael Coleman proposes tough cuts to the city's budget, including the shuttering of a dozen recreation centers. Earning the loudest cries of outrage: Davis Discovery Center, the downtown rec center that fosters young talent in the performing arts. Supporters are now trying to figure out how the center might run without city support.