AMONG THE NEWEST MacArthur Fellowships winners are a number in fields of the arts. They include Ran Blake of Boston, pianist-composer; Charles Burnett of Los Angeles and Jon H. Else of Portola Valley, Calif., filmmakers; Max Roach of New York, jazz percussionist and teacher; Bruce D. Schwartz of Los Angeles, puppeteer; and Gary Alfred Tomlinson of Bala-Cynwyd, Pa., musicologist. The financial awards have no strings attached. Recipients are free to use the fellowship money as they wish. AN EXHIBIT OF `WOOLIES' is scheduled in New York this fall. ``Woolies'' are an art form of embroidered ships' portraits executed by British seamen on leave, between the 1840s and 1880s. Designs included maritime symbols such as lighthouses, sailors' cottages by the sea, and flags, and sometimes a sentiment such as ``A present to my dear mother.'' The exhibit of 40 woolies will be held at the Hansen/Yeakel Gallery, 125 East 57th Street, Sept. 24-Oct. 16; it then moves on to the Hanse/Yeakel Gallery in California, 1099 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, on Nov. 18. `THE POETIC OBJECT,' an exhibition at the San Antonio Museum of Art, focuses on 10 artists who work with collages, assemblages, and construction. In San Antonio Sept. 9-Oct. 30 and at the Boise Art Museum in Boise, Idaho, Dec. 1 through Jan 29, 1989. RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL in New York reports it has received more than $5.7 million in advance payments for group-sales tickets (25 or more) to its ``Magnificent Christmas Spectacular.'' The figure is $1.5 million ahead of last year's sales by this time. According to Bruni Allen, vice-president of group sales, ``Demand is just phenomenal.'' Some 5 million people have seen the Christmas show, now in its 10th year. This year the show opens Nov. 11 and closes Jan. 4, 1989.

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