CELLULOID PROF -- John Dufresne, a former Augusta College professor, is adapting his first novel, 1994's Louisiana Power and Light, for a movie.
Billy Bob Thornton, the Oscar-winning director and star of Sling Blade, will star in and direct the Mirimax Films project.
"I feel very lucky," said Mr. Dufresne, who taught composition and creative writing at Augusta College in 1988 and 1989. "I could not have picked a better director than (Mr.) Thornton. He loves the South; he likes character-driven stories. And he's a great screenwriter himself."
Mr. Dufresne teaches at Florida International University in Miami and lives in nearby Dania with his wife, poet Cindy Chinelly, and their son. "I liked Augusta. I just got a better job," he said.
BEETHOVEN BROADCAST--Peach State Public Radio will broadcast portions of the Augusta Symphony's March 28 concert saluting Beethoven sometime in June, said the network's music director, Winston King. Mr. King will include the performance on his show Performance Showcase, which airs at noon on Sundays, with a repeat broadcast at 7 p.m. on Thursdays on WACG-FM (90.7).
GRASSROOTS GREEN -- The Greater Augusta Arts Council will hold an information session on applying for grants under the Grassroots Arts Program at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Great Hall at Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 1301 Greene St.
Projects such as visual arts exhibitions, concerts, theatrical and dance performances, arts festivals and other programs are eligible.
To qualify an organization must be incorporated in Georgia as a nonprofit, tax-exempt group or be a unit of government. The funding is available for 10 area counties: Burke, Columbia, Glascock, Jefferson, Johnson, Lincoln, McDuffie, Richmond, Warren and Wilkes. Grants for any one organization cannot exceed $2,000 per county served, and all grants have to be accompanied by 50 percent cash matches.
Additional information and application forms are available from the Arts Council, P.O. Box 1776, Augusta, GA 30903, or by calling 826-4702.
PORTNOY VS. GOLIATH -- Augusta Symphony maestro Donald Portnoy will direct the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra, performing its last concert of the 1997-98 season Monday at the Koger Center in Columbia. Dr. Portnoy will preside over a colossal performance of Arthur Honegger's King David, conducting more than 300 performers, including the Columbia Choral Society, the USC Concert Choir and the USC University Chorus. Tickets are $14, $10 for faculty and staff and $7 for students. Call the Carolina Coliseum at (803) 251-2222.
AUGUSTA ARTISTS' DISPLAYS -- Augusta-area artists, through the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, are exhibiting works all over town in April. Oil paintings by Joyce Girgenti are on display at the offices of Dr. Scott Balogh and Dr. Gayle Rozantine, 3740 Walton Way Extension. At the Evans Government Complex, 630 Washington West Road, watercolor paintings by Frank Carstarphen are being shown. Emily Shipe's pastel and acrylic portraits are on the walls at Georgia Bank and Trust, 3530 Wheeler Road. The Shepeard Communtiy Blood Center, 1533 Wrightsboro Road, is displaying weaving work by Ulrike Beck. Watercolors by Arleigh Mansfield can be viewed throughout the month at Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 1301 Greene St. Margaret Ann Houge's photographs are on display at St. Joseph Hospital, 2260 Wrightsboro Road, and the United Way of the CSRA, 630 Ellis St., features oil and acrylic paintings by Michael White. Also, the Professional Office Building II at University Hospital, 818 Sebastian Way, has photography by Angelika Selman-Bondar on display.