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Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax — and all of the art that sticks in 2006

Empujon: In August at 21C Museum Hotel, Louisville Ballet dancer David Ingram debuted Empujon, a new contemporary dance troupe that includes several members of the Ballet. Photo by Eddie DantDid the events and performances of 2006 make any difference in the overall vitality of Louisville’s arts scene? If so, how? Those who write about the arts for LEO took those questions to heart and surveyed the offerings served up to the public in 2006. Per usual, it was a smorgasbord, with fare ranging from the highbrow, such as Louisville Ballet’s showcase of pieces in its “Four for All” program, to lowbrow, such as the new city-sanctioned space for graffiti art on East Market Street. This range of choices encapsulates Louisville’s best attributes: a mix of creative organizations and events to serve almost any taste.

City Strobe: Got cultural vitality?

So you think Louisville is among the nation’s leading arts communities? That depends on factors considered. The Urban Institute, a non-profit research organization, gathered statistics based on census data about the number of artists, artist jobs, nonprofit arts contributions and other data, and in seven categories ranked the top 50 cities.

LEO’s Third Annual Not Good for Nothing Quiz* (2006 — Holy Crap, Did That Really Happen?)

* “Only a good-for-nothing is not interested in his past.” — Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis Every once in awhile, a year comes along that fills our hearts with joy and wonder. Artistic expression flourishes, the people prosper, and nobody takes a face full of birdshot from the Vice President of the United States. Ladies and gentlemen, 2006 was not that kind of year.

City Strobe: Happy new year, OLCH, you’re going to court

Rocking out has been difficult of late at Old Louisville Coffeehouse.After 130 shows, the best thing that’s happened to the neighborhood since the Tavern’s burger is headed to Jefferson District Court on Jan. 3 because a neighbor is fed up.

Rumor & Innuendo

The Lord works in strange ways. In the middle of the night Friday, I was struck with one of those extremely virulent 24-hour bugs. I shall describe no more. ’Twas a nasty sight. Thus, in bed with a fever, I saw nary a second of Saturday’s game. Lucky me. It was apparently U-G-L-Y. Especially for Cardinal fans. If lucky, U of L might make it to the Final Four for the third straight year. Can we say NIT encore?

The Tear Sheet : Bungling the name game - Is changing 22nd Street the best we can do to honor Dr. King’s legacy?

Louisville, can’t we do better?Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered on April 4, 1968, and since that dark day we’ve had seven presidents, nine governors and 38 Kentucky Derbies, and we’re still fighting over naming a street after him?

Rumor & Innuendo

SchnellReport of the Week.

Dispatch from 'The Lip': Dog ordinance passes; an ugly, unforgettable night

I wasn’t in Council chambers five minutes Tuesday night before Steve Haag, director of the Republican caucus, approached me, sweating a little bit and clearly ready to talk. As of 5:45 p.m., he began, Republicans had not seen the draft of the dangerous dog ordinance that Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5) and other Council Democrats had spent the last 48 hours working on, with, of course, legal assistance from the County Attorney’s office. Hamilton offered the new ordinance as a substitute for what the Council had planned to vote on.

Bad dog: Will the dangerous dog ordinance become Metro Council’s Moby Dick?

Editor’s note: The Metro Council was to act on the dangerous dog ordinance at its meeting Tuesday evening, which took place after LEO’s press deadline. Thus, if things got weird enough, everything in this story may be moot. That’s unlikely, though, judging from the politicking going on behind chamber walls for the last week or so, which — at least in part — is the subject of this treatise. Visit The Lip: LEO’s News Blog  for news about and analysis of the outcome of Tuesday’s Council meeting.

Feature: Ball droppings - What are you doing for New Year’s Eve? Here’s the low-down.

COMPILED BY SARA HAVENS & CLAUDIA OLEAIs it just me, or are New Year’s Eve parties always a let-down? You build it up all month long — planning, getting your crew together, shelling out lots of money for cover charges, fancy dinners and live music — when basically you’re just looking for a place to stand when the clock strikes midnight, hopefully surrounded by friends and next to someone to swap spit with. Perhaps I’m just bitter this time of year — wouldn’t be the first time. But I’m thinking a small, intimate get-together with friends at a neighborhood bar sounds just fine.