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Producer Papp rejects NEA grants

Producer Joseph Papp turned down $323,000 in grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) on Thursday, the second time this year he has refused money from the federal government. In a letter to NEA chairman John Frohnmayer, Papp, who heads the New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater, said the festival found "the new legislation for the continuance of the National Endowment for the Arts punitive and an infringement on the civil rights of artists and arts institutions."

Papp's action came despite the NEA's decision last month to drop its policy requiring grant recipients to sign a pledge saying they would not violate Congress' restrictions on obscenity.

"What this means financially is a substantial increase in our problems as an institution to raise .


. funds," Papp said.

In April, Papp rejected a $50,000 grant from the endowment to help underwrite a Latin American festival.

A Plains ghost?

Former President Jimmy Carter won't say if he believes the ghostly stories about his old house in Plains, Ga. But he concedes that he has wondered about them.

Carter recently took a walk around the grounds of the wooden house he lived in the 1950s. In Plains, it's been known for decades as a haunted house.

"I will say I saw a flicker in the upstairs window one time," Carter said. "It could have been a reflection. I don't know."

Boy gets girl, loot

Actors often complain they never get a serious role. But Brad Dourif would like a role that's, well, less serious.

Dourif began his film career in the role of mentally deranged Billy Bibbit in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

After playing an obsessed rat exterminator in Graveyard Shift and a drifter in Sonny Boy, a romantic lead in Hidden Agenda is helping Dourif fulfill his goals as an actor.

"I wanted to get the girl and make the big bucks, like everybody else."