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Things to Do in the Area

ATL CityGuide HomePage (High Res)




Creative Loafing is an intensely local guide. We've been publishing a newspaper in the area since 1972 and just about all of the culture has been reported in the newspaper or on this website.

Looking for things to do in the area? We can direct you.

Here's our suggestion. Work off this page - start with the 5 Things to Do list below which are our recommendations for today's events. Not seeing what you want? Take a look at our more extensive list of today's events. Still not feeling it? See our suggestions below for ongoing events. Looking for cool things to do without laying out any dollars? Try our list of free things to do. If you are looking for events at the neighborhood level, take a look at our What's Going On to get the best local information available.

Five Things to Do Today

Monday June 1, 2020 08:00 am EDT
Oakland Cemetery Cost: $20
Community, Community::Sports and Health
Gather a group of friends for a day of cemetery sleuthing on this self-guided scavenger hunt throughout historic Oakland Cemetery!


Purchase your printable Summer Scramble packet online at https://oaklandcemetery.com/summer-scramble-scavenger-hunt/ from June 1-30, download, print, and follow all-ne... [click here for more]
Monday June 1, 2020 01:00 pm EDT
Liberty Plaza Cost: Free
Community, Community::Public Agenda
Now is the time to advocate for change as a movement with unity and clarity. We are hosting a OneRace Press Conference on June 1st @ 1pm: Pastors, Leaders & Believers - MEET US at Liberty Plaza or via Facebook live as we release the OneRace Statement on Righteousness & Justice: A Call to End Racial ... [click here for more]
Monday June 1, 2020 08:00 pm EDT
Online Event Cost: Pay What You Can
Arts Agenda, Arts Agenda::Theater
FLOURISH OF TRUMPET SOUND EFFECTS*


Groundlings, please get ready for another #quaranTIME of your lives with the next performance from Shakespeare on Digital (the artist formerly known as Shakespeare on Draught). We're bringing our brand of theatre right to your home with a live-streamed Zoom perfo... [click here for more]

Monday June 1, 2020 09:30 pm EDT
Arts Agenda::Film, Food and Drink
Silent anime screening with headphones with chill house party vibes



Great eats and dope beats. Come through and watch your favorite anime films/series with your homies in a chill atmosphere with comfy couches to lounge on and Free silent disco headphones � courtesy of @muteual

[click here for more]
Monday June 1, 2020 10:30 pm EDT
Online Event Cost: Free
Free Events, Music
Featuring Musical Guests

Quentin Avery Brown
Candy Mclellan
Katie V Cathell
Gia VONNA
Kendra Nicole Johnson
Steven Isaac Rice
Hannah Lake
Jake Sings
Alyssa Payne
Amy Duffy
Shelbea Owen


And a few surprise appearances

[click here for more]

CL's City Guide

atlanta attractions

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Friday October 18, 2019 03:39 pm EDT
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Wednesday October 23, 2019 02:18 pm EDT
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  string(6567) "GEORGIA GUIDESTONES

Elberton's granite monument two hours outside of Atlanta is the closest thing Georgia has to Stonehenge. Built in 1980 by a man (or group of men) known as "Robert Christian," the six 20-foot-tall slabs inscribed with so-called "principles" – ordering a global population capped at 500 million people and mandating healthy living and harmony with nature – have drawn plenty of conspiracy theorists. Skeptics claim it was a brilliant PR campaign to generate interest in the area's granite industry, while black helicopter aficionados say it's a clue to the shadow elite's plan for a New World Order. 1065 Guidestones Road, Elberton. www.radioliberty.com/stones.htm.

BOOGER HILL

Attracting ghost hunters, skeptics and local high schoolers for decades, Booger Hill is one of the so-called "gravity hills." According to Internet lore, the area between two oak trees along a Forsyth County road is haunted either by the ghosts of lynched slaves or children who died in a tragic school bus accident. Those who've visited the spooky site say cars in neutral between the trees will be "pushed" uphill by spirits. Some say it's an optical illusion, while others swear it's a frightening way to communicate with the dead. 2108 Bettis Tribble Gap Road, Cumming.

GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME

Macon is ground zero for the Peach State's rich musical legacy, and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame houses the state's largest cache of music memorabilia. The permanent collection of photographs, album covers and historical ephemera hanging on the walls encompasses a history lesson on everything from Otis Redding to R.E.M. to OutKast and all points between. There are plenty of interactive exhibits as well, and a play area to stow away the kids while you check out the in-house Skillet Licker Café, the Vintage Vinyl Record Store or the rotating show of the season. 200 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Macon. 478-751-3334. www.georgiamusic.org.

THE ROAD TO TARA

Whether you're the authority on every Civil War skirmish, or can't stop imagining a Rhett Butler sweeping you off your feet, maybe you should inject a little Southern charm into your life. Just 35 minutes south of Atlanta is the two-square-mile town of Jonesboro that served as inspiration for Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. Simple pleasures and Southern manners run abundant in this tiny town touched little by time or modernity. Start by browsing the Road to Tara Museum, which houses GWTW memorabilia, then visit Stately Oaks Plantation right down the road to experience Old South traditions, with themed events throughout the year and an annual battle reenactment. Road to Tara Museum: 104 N. Main St., Jonesboro. 770-478-4800. www.visitscarlett.com/gonewiththewind. Stately Oaks Plantation: 100 Carriage Lane at Jodeco Road, Jonesboro. www.historicaljonesboro.org.

ANDALUSIA FARM

Despite popular belief, Milledgeville isn't all insane asylums and ghost tours. Named by USA Today as one of the country's 10 important literary destinations, Milledgeville is also home to writer Flannery O'Connor's estate, Andalusia Farm. O'Connor rose to prominence with her two novels and 32 short stories steeped in Southern Gothic style, with slightly grotesque characters and intense religious reflections – something in no short supply in mid-20th century Georgia. O'Connor died at age 39 in Milledgeville, but her battle with lupus didn't stop her from completing some of her best-known works at the 544-acre farm, replete with its resident peacock and peahens. Close to Andalusia is Georgia College and State University, which houses the Flannery O'Connor Collection, and the Memory Hill Cemetery, where O'Connor is buried. Andalusia Farm: 2628 N. Columbia St., Milledgeville. 478-454-4029. andalusiafarm.org. GCSU: 231 W. Hancock St., Milledgeville. 478-445-5004. gcsu.edu. Memory Hill Cemetery: friendsofcems.org/MemoryHill.

AMICALOLA FALLS

Every now and then we tire of the "convenience" of city life, with its 24-hour traffic jams, crowded shopping and two-hour restaurant waits. Sometimes, what we need is a return (or, for some, an introduction) to nature. Amicalola Falls' majestic cascade of water and brilliant rays of sunshine are pretty much like free Valium – not to mention the killer view on the way up to north Georgia. After you bust your ass on the trails, head over to Poole's BBQ, where the Texas toast alone is worth going a few miles out of the way. Amicalola Falls: 706-265-4703. www.amicalolafalls.com. Poole's BBQ: 164 Craig St., East Ellijay. 706-635-4100. www.poolesbarbq.com.

BLUE WILLOW INN

Southern charm, hospitality and food bloom here like the many flowers lining the grounds of Social Circle's Blue Willow Inn. Special touches surround the turn-of-the-century Greek Revival mansion, including an elegant three-tiered fountain out front and a large koi pond out back. Margaret Mitchell frequently visited the home's original inhabitants, the Upshaws, during a courtship with one Redd Upshaw. But that was before the buffet. Now people come from miles for the restaurant's moderately priced traditional Southern fare. Can't miss items: fried green tomatoes and Blue Willow Bars. Reservations highly recommended. 294 N. Cherokee Road, Social Circle. 770-464-2131. www.bluewillowinn.com.

HOWARD FINSTER'S PARADISE GARDENS

God told Howard Finster to make art and he did. And it was good. Nestled a few blocks off Highway 27 north in a quiet Summerville neighborhood is Paradise Gardens Park & Museum. The home-turned-reliquary of the late legendary Georgia folk artist is a labyrinth of sculptures, mosiacs, signs and outbuildings, including the massive Folk Art Chapel, all made in the name of God. The self-taught Finster began garnering widespread acclaim in the '80s after creating album art for bands such as R.E.M. (Reckoning) and the Talking Heads (Little Creatures). Yes, you can see the giant tangle of bicycles shown in the video for R.E.M.'s "Radio Free Europe," but you'll be more fascinated by the sheer quantity, intricacies, humor and pathos of Finster's work. Paradise Gardens is kinda dusty, moldy and muddy, but that's part of its charm (bring bug spray). Unfortunately, some parts have fallen into disrepair over the years, including the chapel. Donations are encouraged and benefit the grounds' restoration. Oh! Make sure to stop and chat with Finster's grandson if he's there. He's full of enlightening tales about "Paw-paw." 84 Knox St., Summerville. 205-587-3090. finstersparadisegardens.org.


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Elberton's granite monument two hours outside of Atlanta is the closest thing Georgia has to Stonehenge. Built in 1980 by a man (or group of men) known as "Robert Christian," the six 20-foot-tall slabs inscribed with so-called "principles" – ordering a global population capped at 500 million people and mandating healthy living and harmony with nature – have drawn plenty of conspiracy theorists. Skeptics claim it was a brilliant PR campaign to generate interest in the area's granite industry, while black helicopter aficionados say it's a clue to the shadow elite's plan for a New World Order. ''1065 Guidestones Road, Elberton. [http://www.radioliberty.com/stones.htm|www.radioliberty.com/stones.htm].''

__BOOGER HILL__

Attracting ghost hunters, skeptics and local high schoolers for decades, Booger Hill is one of the so-called "gravity hills." According to Internet lore, the area between two oak trees along a Forsyth County road is haunted either by the ghosts of lynched slaves or children who died in a tragic school bus accident. Those who've visited the spooky site say cars in neutral between the trees will be "pushed" uphill by spirits. Some say it's an optical illusion, while others swear it's a frightening way to communicate with the dead. ''2108 Bettis Tribble Gap Road, Cumming''.

__GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME__

Macon is ground zero for the Peach State's rich musical legacy, and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame houses the state's largest cache of music memorabilia. The permanent collection of photographs, album covers and historical ephemera hanging on the walls encompasses a history lesson on everything from Otis Redding to R.E.M. to OutKast and all points between. There are plenty of interactive exhibits as well, and a play area to stow away the kids while you check out the in-house Skillet Licker Café, the Vintage Vinyl Record Store or the rotating show of the season. ''200 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Macon. 478-751-3334. [http://www.georgiamusic.org/|www.georgiamusic.org].''

__THE ROAD TO TARA__

Whether you're the authority on every Civil War skirmish, or can't stop imagining a Rhett Butler sweeping you off your feet, maybe you should inject a little Southern charm into your life. Just 35 minutes south of Atlanta is the two-square-mile town of Jonesboro that served as inspiration for Margaret Mitchell's ''Gone With the Wind''. Simple pleasures and Southern manners run abundant in this tiny town touched little by time or modernity. Start by browsing the Road to Tara Museum, which houses ''GWTW'' memorabilia, then visit Stately Oaks Plantation right down the road to experience Old South traditions, with themed events throughout the year and an annual battle reenactment. ''Road to Tara Museum: 104 N. Main St., Jonesboro. 770-478-4800. [http://www.visitscarlett.com/gonewiththewind|www.visitscarlett.com/gonewiththewind]. Stately Oaks Plantation: 100 Carriage Lane at Jodeco Road, Jonesboro. [http://www.historicaljonesboro.org/|www.historicaljonesboro.org].''

__ANDALUSIA FARM__

Despite popular belief, Milledgeville isn't all insane asylums and ghost tours. Named by ''USA Today'' as one of the country's 10 important literary destinations, Milledgeville is also home to writer Flannery O'Connor's estate, Andalusia Farm. O'Connor rose to prominence with her two novels and 32 short stories steeped in Southern Gothic style, with slightly grotesque characters and intense religious reflections – something in no short supply in mid-20th century Georgia. O'Connor died at age 39 in Milledgeville, but her battle with lupus didn't stop her from completing some of her best-known works at the 544-acre farm, replete with its resident peacock and peahens. Close to Andalusia is Georgia College and State University, which houses the Flannery O'Connor Collection, and the Memory Hill Cemetery, where O'Connor is buried. ''Andalusia Farm: 2628 N. Columbia St., Milledgeville. 478-454-4029. [http://andalusiafarm.org/|andalusiafarm.org]. GCSU: 231 W. Hancock St., Milledgeville. 478-445-5004. [http://gcsu.edu/|gcsu.edu]. Memory Hill Cemetery: [http://friendsofcems.org/MemoryHill|friendsofcems.org/MemoryHill].''

__AMICALOLA FALLS__

Every now and then we tire of the "convenience" of city life, with its 24-hour traffic jams, crowded shopping and two-hour restaurant waits. Sometimes, what we need is a return (or, for some, an introduction) to nature. Amicalola Falls' majestic cascade of water and brilliant rays of sunshine are pretty much like free Valium – not to mention the killer view on the way up to north Georgia. After you bust your ass on the trails, head over to Poole's BBQ, where the Texas toast alone is worth going a few miles out of the way. ''Amicalola Falls: 706-265-4703. [http://www.amicalolafalls.com/|www.amicalolafalls.com]. Poole's BBQ: 164 Craig St., East Ellijay. 706-635-4100. [http://www.poolesbarbq.com/|www.poolesbarbq.com].''

__BLUE WILLOW INN__

Southern charm, hospitality and food bloom here like the many flowers lining the grounds of Social Circle's Blue Willow Inn. Special touches surround the turn-of-the-century Greek Revival mansion, including an elegant three-tiered fountain out front and a large koi pond out back. Margaret Mitchell frequently visited the home's original inhabitants, the Upshaws, during a courtship with one Redd Upshaw. But that was before the buffet. Now people come from miles for the restaurant's moderately priced traditional Southern fare. Can't miss items: fried green tomatoes and Blue Willow Bars. Reservations highly recommended. ''294 N. Cherokee Road, Social Circle. 770-464-2131. [http://www.bluewillowinn.com/|www.bluewillowinn.com].''

__HOWARD FINSTER'S PARADISE GARDENS__

God told Howard Finster to make art and he did. And it was good. Nestled a few blocks off Highway 27 north in a quiet Summerville neighborhood is Paradise Gardens Park & Museum. The home-turned-reliquary of the late legendary Georgia folk artist is a labyrinth of sculptures, mosiacs, signs and outbuildings, including the massive Folk Art Chapel, all made in the name of God. The self-taught Finster began garnering widespread acclaim in the '80s after creating album art for bands such as R.E.M. (''Reckoning'') and the Talking Heads (''Little Creatures''). Yes, you can see the giant tangle of bicycles shown in the video for R.E.M.'s "Radio Free Europe," but you'll be more fascinated by the sheer quantity, intricacies, humor and pathos of Finster's work. Paradise Gardens is kinda dusty, moldy and muddy, but that's part of its charm (bring bug spray). Unfortunately, some parts have fallen into disrepair over the years, including the chapel. Donations are encouraged and benefit the grounds' restoration. Oh! Make sure to stop and chat with Finster's grandson if he's there. He's full of enlightening tales about "Paw-paw." ''84 Knox St., Summerville. 205-587-3090. [http://finstersparadisegardens.org/|finstersparadisegardens.org].''

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  string(7038) " Amicalola Falls Amicalola Falls. Photo credit: Courtesy of Amicalola Falls State Park 2019-10-22T18:33:19+00:00 Amicalola_Falls-1024x512New.jpg    road trip Haunted hills, a literary farm and rock 'n' roll 25180  2010-05-19T08:00:00+00:00 Roadside attractions jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris CL Staff  2010-05-19T08:00:00+00:00  GEORGIA GUIDESTONES

Elberton's granite monument two hours outside of Atlanta is the closest thing Georgia has to Stonehenge. Built in 1980 by a man (or group of men) known as "Robert Christian," the six 20-foot-tall slabs inscribed with so-called "principles" – ordering a global population capped at 500 million people and mandating healthy living and harmony with nature – have drawn plenty of conspiracy theorists. Skeptics claim it was a brilliant PR campaign to generate interest in the area's granite industry, while black helicopter aficionados say it's a clue to the shadow elite's plan for a New World Order. 1065 Guidestones Road, Elberton. www.radioliberty.com/stones.htm.

BOOGER HILL

Attracting ghost hunters, skeptics and local high schoolers for decades, Booger Hill is one of the so-called "gravity hills." According to Internet lore, the area between two oak trees along a Forsyth County road is haunted either by the ghosts of lynched slaves or children who died in a tragic school bus accident. Those who've visited the spooky site say cars in neutral between the trees will be "pushed" uphill by spirits. Some say it's an optical illusion, while others swear it's a frightening way to communicate with the dead. 2108 Bettis Tribble Gap Road, Cumming.

GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME

Macon is ground zero for the Peach State's rich musical legacy, and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame houses the state's largest cache of music memorabilia. The permanent collection of photographs, album covers and historical ephemera hanging on the walls encompasses a history lesson on everything from Otis Redding to R.E.M. to OutKast and all points between. There are plenty of interactive exhibits as well, and a play area to stow away the kids while you check out the in-house Skillet Licker Café, the Vintage Vinyl Record Store or the rotating show of the season. 200 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Macon. 478-751-3334. www.georgiamusic.org.

THE ROAD TO TARA

Whether you're the authority on every Civil War skirmish, or can't stop imagining a Rhett Butler sweeping you off your feet, maybe you should inject a little Southern charm into your life. Just 35 minutes south of Atlanta is the two-square-mile town of Jonesboro that served as inspiration for Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. Simple pleasures and Southern manners run abundant in this tiny town touched little by time or modernity. Start by browsing the Road to Tara Museum, which houses GWTW memorabilia, then visit Stately Oaks Plantation right down the road to experience Old South traditions, with themed events throughout the year and an annual battle reenactment. Road to Tara Museum: 104 N. Main St., Jonesboro. 770-478-4800. www.visitscarlett.com/gonewiththewind. Stately Oaks Plantation: 100 Carriage Lane at Jodeco Road, Jonesboro. www.historicaljonesboro.org.

ANDALUSIA FARM

Despite popular belief, Milledgeville isn't all insane asylums and ghost tours. Named by USA Today as one of the country's 10 important literary destinations, Milledgeville is also home to writer Flannery O'Connor's estate, Andalusia Farm. O'Connor rose to prominence with her two novels and 32 short stories steeped in Southern Gothic style, with slightly grotesque characters and intense religious reflections – something in no short supply in mid-20th century Georgia. O'Connor died at age 39 in Milledgeville, but her battle with lupus didn't stop her from completing some of her best-known works at the 544-acre farm, replete with its resident peacock and peahens. Close to Andalusia is Georgia College and State University, which houses the Flannery O'Connor Collection, and the Memory Hill Cemetery, where O'Connor is buried. Andalusia Farm: 2628 N. Columbia St., Milledgeville. 478-454-4029. andalusiafarm.org. GCSU: 231 W. Hancock St., Milledgeville. 478-445-5004. gcsu.edu. Memory Hill Cemetery: friendsofcems.org/MemoryHill.

AMICALOLA FALLS

Every now and then we tire of the "convenience" of city life, with its 24-hour traffic jams, crowded shopping and two-hour restaurant waits. Sometimes, what we need is a return (or, for some, an introduction) to nature. Amicalola Falls' majestic cascade of water and brilliant rays of sunshine are pretty much like free Valium – not to mention the killer view on the way up to north Georgia. After you bust your ass on the trails, head over to Poole's BBQ, where the Texas toast alone is worth going a few miles out of the way. Amicalola Falls: 706-265-4703. www.amicalolafalls.com. Poole's BBQ: 164 Craig St., East Ellijay. 706-635-4100. www.poolesbarbq.com.

BLUE WILLOW INN

Southern charm, hospitality and food bloom here like the many flowers lining the grounds of Social Circle's Blue Willow Inn. Special touches surround the turn-of-the-century Greek Revival mansion, including an elegant three-tiered fountain out front and a large koi pond out back. Margaret Mitchell frequently visited the home's original inhabitants, the Upshaws, during a courtship with one Redd Upshaw. But that was before the buffet. Now people come from miles for the restaurant's moderately priced traditional Southern fare. Can't miss items: fried green tomatoes and Blue Willow Bars. Reservations highly recommended. 294 N. Cherokee Road, Social Circle. 770-464-2131. www.bluewillowinn.com.

HOWARD FINSTER'S PARADISE GARDENS

God told Howard Finster to make art and he did. And it was good. Nestled a few blocks off Highway 27 north in a quiet Summerville neighborhood is Paradise Gardens Park & Museum. The home-turned-reliquary of the late legendary Georgia folk artist is a labyrinth of sculptures, mosiacs, signs and outbuildings, including the massive Folk Art Chapel, all made in the name of God. The self-taught Finster began garnering widespread acclaim in the '80s after creating album art for bands such as R.E.M. (Reckoning) and the Talking Heads (Little Creatures). Yes, you can see the giant tangle of bicycles shown in the video for R.E.M.'s "Radio Free Europe," but you'll be more fascinated by the sheer quantity, intricacies, humor and pathos of Finster's work. Paradise Gardens is kinda dusty, moldy and muddy, but that's part of its charm (bring bug spray). Unfortunately, some parts have fallen into disrepair over the years, including the chapel. Donations are encouraged and benefit the grounds' restoration. Oh! Make sure to stop and chat with Finster's grandson if he's there. He's full of enlightening tales about "Paw-paw." 84 Knox St., Summerville. 205-587-3090. finstersparadisegardens.org.


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Explore Attractions, Summer Guide

Wednesday May 19, 2010 04:00 am EDT
Haunted hills, a literary farm and rock 'n' roll | more...

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Music, Explore Attractions

Monday October 21, 2019 03:08 pm EDT
Explore these rap-related cultural landmarks in Atlanta | more...
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Explore Attractions, Explore Outdoor Activities

Monday October 21, 2019 03:26 pm EDT
Explore the history and mystery of these cultural landmark cemeteries. | more...
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Explore Attractions

Wednesday October 23, 2019 10:45 am EDT
Explore these must-visit attractions in the metro Atlanta area | more...


Explore Arts & Culture

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Since its founding more than 40 years ago, 7 Stages Theatre — www.7stages.org —has been devoted to producing provocative material and confronting difficult subjects..."
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  string(23751) "!!7 Stages
Since its founding more than 40 years ago, 7 Stages Theatre — www.7stages.org —has been devoted to producing provocative material and confronting difficult subjects. At press time, 7 Stages was not ready to announce the production company’s 2019-2020 season schedule. However, three productions by other companies will take place in the 7 Stages Theater in Little Five Points during the next two months. Each play poses tough questions, and focuses on characters facing severe physical, emotional, and moral challenges.

::::
With "Grounded" (August 3-17), Atlanta Theater Club (ATC) – www.atlantatheatreclub.com – is back with another intensely emotional work produced and directed by company founder Rebeca Robles. "Grounded" takes audiences into the mind and soul of a former ace fighter pilot operating military drones from a windowless trailer outside Las Vegas. The Pilot (actress Courtney Moors) watches screens to hunt and kill terrorists all day long and returns to her family each night. As the pressure to track a high-profile target mounts, the boundaries begin to blur between the desert in which she lives and the one she patrols half a world away. Robles, Moors, and seven of ATL’s most accomplished female theater artists are in control of every aspect of this Atlanta premiere including video and projection design, sound and lighting, scenic design, and wardrobe.

For the past seven seasons, Aris — “Atlanta’s stage for Celtic culture” — has brought the Celtic theatrical and literary traditions, mythology, and storytelling from the British Isles to Atlanta. Next month, Aris – Aristheatre.org – presents the Atlanta premiere of "Woman and Scarecrow" by celebrated Irish playwright Marina Carr. Emory University professor Jon Ammerman directs this very intimate play set in a dying woman’s bedroom. In the face of her death, the woman threshes out her life’s truths, sparring with a ridiculous aunt, a cheating husband, and a slippery alter ego. 

On Friday, September 27, The Object Group and 7 Stages Theatre present a sneak peek presentation of Michael Haverty’s adaptation of Albert Camus’ "L’Etranger" (The Outsider). Puppetry and noir/new wave-inspired projected cinema are integrated in an absurd investigation of Camus’ cautionary tale. The original 1942 novel is riddled with messy conflicts between existential philosophy and privileged oppression, sometimes to the apparent blindness of the author. This multimedia experience explodes the story onto stage and screen, allowing insight while tickling the mind and senses. 

!!Actor’s Express
“We seek to jumpstart individual transformations through the shared adventure of our live performances, which range from daringly provocative to audaciously hilarious.” That sentence from the mission statement for Actor’s Express Theatre — www.actors-express.com — says a lot about them — and not just what they want to accomplish as a theatre, but how. The theatre has been pushing emotional envelopes since Chris Coleman founded Actor’s Express in the basement of a church on Clairmont Road 31 years ago. Freddie Ashley has been artistic director since 2007, and few Atlanta theaters are as successful at reflecting the passion, intelligence, and geniality and flair of their leadership.

Ashley also directs most AE dramas, comedies, and musicals that attract sold-out houses night after night. Here are just some of AE’s bravest and most entertaining work of the past dozen seasons: "Stupid Fucking Bird," "Bad Jews," "Murder Ballad," "The Rocky Horror Show," "Six Degrees of Separation," "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "The Motherfucker with the Hat," "Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them," "Spring Awakening," "Slasher," "Grey Gardens," and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

Next month, Ashley and another smart AE cast will unveil their 31st season with "Skintight." The Atlanta premiere of "Bad Jews," playwright Joshua Harmon’s latest comedy, pokes fun at America’s obsession with youth, sex, and physical beauty. When Jodi Isaac flies across the country to visit her famous fashion mogul father for his 70th birthday, she finds that her dad’s new boyfriend is a 20-year-old porn star. OK! "Skintight" sounds like a perfect fit for Actor’s Express. 

!!Alliance Theatre
Elton John’s "Aida." "Bring It On: The Musical." "The Color Purple." "The Last Night of Ballyhoo." "The Prom." "Sister Act: The Musical." Twyla Tharp’s "Come Fly Away." 

Can you guess what all these (and many more) hit plays and musicals have in common? They were all first performed at the Alliance Theatre — www.alliancetheatre.org — right here in ATL. Over the past 51 years, the Alliance has premiered more than 100 original productions, launching important American musicals with a strong track record of Broadway, touring, and subsequent productions, including several Tony Award winners. In fact, in 2007, the Alliance won a special Tony Award as Best Regional Theater in America. 

2019-2020 will be their first full season in their lavishly renovated main stage space, which opened late last year. In "Becoming Nancy," the next big musical to premiere at the Alliance, David, a talented high school senior tries out for the school play and is cast as the female lead. It’s 1979, and everyone in his small English suburb is shocked, including David. Should he play the part? Just wait and see. Another sign that "Becoming Nancy" is set to be the Alliance’s next big hit is its director, Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, whose past musical hits include "Pretty Woman," "Kinky Boots," "Legally Blonde," "La Cage Aux Folles," and "Hairspray."

Alliance Artistic Director Susan Booth directs the Off-Broadway hit comedy "Small Mouth Sounds," to be performed downstairs at the Woodruff Arts Center on the intimate Hertz Stage. The play, running from October 4–27, follows six strangers at a five-day silent wellness retreat in the woods. Guided by an unseen guru, each one wrestles with their personal demons as their vows of silence clash with the irresistible human need to connect.

!!Center for Puppetry Arts
It’s hard to think of another Atlanta-based theatrical organization with a greater reputation for excellence and creativity than the Center for Puppetry Arts — www.puppet.org. Just a few years after puppeteer Vincent Anthony stood with Muppet master Jim Henson as they cut the opening-day ribbon in September 1978, the Puppetry Center became one of the most respected and revered creative hives for puppetry in the world. CPA has hosted  dozens of the best puppeteers and puppet theater companies from across Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. The Center’s Museum is now the home of the Henson Collection and its iconic puppets from "Sesame Street," "Labyrinth," "The Dark Crystal," "Fraggle Rock," and Emmet Otter’s "Jug-Band Christmas." 

The fantastic puppet productions conceived and created at CPA have played to sold-out audiences across North America, and Artistic Director Jon Ludwig is widely considered one of the geniuses of the ancient and timeless art form. The shows range from super sweet and cute to deadly serious, even tragic. Some are strange and weird. But no matter what the show or the exhibit or the workshop, kids and grownups of all ages have a blast every time they set foot inside.

This fall, CPA lifts off with "SPACE!," Ludwig’s 2016 song-filled puppet adventure about the cosmos. "SPACE!" employs shadow puppets, hand and rod puppets, black lights, computer animation, and crystal-clear images from NASA and a rap and rock score to explain the entire universe, more or less. From red dwarf stars to the planet Neptune, from comets to black holes, and beyond, Ludwig’s latest rock opera is the perfect way for anyone of any age to celebrate the autumnal equinox.

!!Essential Theatre Play Festival
Since 1999, the annual Essential Theatre Play Festival – www.essentialtheatre.com – which was founded by Atlanta playwright-director Peter Hardy, has premiered 34 new works by 25 different Georgia writers, with many works being restaged by other Atlanta theaters and across the country. The 2019 Festival (July 25–August 24) features three full productions plus four new scripts being heard for the first time in the Bare Essentials Play Reading Series. All performances and readings take place at the West End Performing Arts Center.

July 25-August 24: Peter Hardy directs "Slaying Holofernes" by Emily McClain. The play upsets notions of past/present, fact/fiction, and personal/political as it explores the quest for justice by two women.

August 1-25: Written by Ben Thorpe and directed by Shannon Eubanks, "Babyshower for the Antichrist" takes place on the night of ‘Hell Feast’ as a small, isolated cult prepares for the birth of the Antichrist. Viewer beware: This world premiere contains moments of blood and violence, plus a talking goat.

Thursday, August 15 and Friday, August 16: In "The Attic, creator/performer Aaron Gotlieb explores the things we hold onto and those we leave behind. "

The Bare Essentials Play Reading Series includes "Day of Saturn" by Leviticus Jelks III, directed by Najah Ali (August 3); "Darger Takes a Walk" by Rosalind Sullivan-Lovett, directed by Natalie Fox (August 6); "Waiting for Big Stuff" by Allan Dodson, directed by Kati Grace Brown (August 12); and "The Odds Against Death" by Ted Westby and John D. Babcock III, directed by Bill Murphey (August 21).

!!Horizon Theatre
Eternally young Horizon Theatre — www.horizontheatre.com — founders Lisa and Jeff Adler founded their small (172 cozy seats), independent theater in 1983 and have stayed busy ever since. Year in, year out, they offer a mainstage season of six to eight contemporary plays (almost always local or regional premieres) for diverse Atlanta audiences, a family series for younger audiences, a free outdoor musical in Piedmont Park, and free outdoor performances with Little Five Arts Alive from April through October. They also create new plays from, for, and about Atlanta through their New South Play Festival program, and reach out to new audiences through their New South Young Playwrights Contest and Festival, the Horizon In-School Playwriting Workshops, the Horizon Apprentice Company (early career professionals), the Intern Program (for college students) and the high school theatre program at The New School.

From September 20 through October 27, Horizon will stage one of the most honored plays of the past decade, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." Four years ago, the Broadway production won the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama League Award, and five Tony Awards, including Best Play. Lisa Adler and Justin Anderson will co-direct the story of an autistic teenager who’s better at solving equations than navigating a world that’s out of sync with how his mind works. After being wrongly accused of murdering his neighbor’s dog, he resolves to find the real culprit. When his investigation uncovers painful truths about his family, he strikes out on his own, embarking on a daring train ride to London to confront his parent’s past.

!!Kenny Leon’s True Colors
This season will mark a major turning point in the story of another beloved Atlanta theater company. Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon is departing the role of artistic director of the company that he co-founded and that now bears his name. Associate Artistic Director Jamil Jude will take over the position at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company — www.truecolorstheatre.org. Since Leon established True Colors with Jane Bishop in 2002, the theatre has produced over three dozen productions with a focus on black storytelling. They’ve presented several of the best plays by, or adapted from works by, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, Pearl Cleage, and Dominique Morisseau, among many others. 

True Colors’ dedication to black voices in the theater continues September 24 through October 20, when they present the Atlanta premiere of "Paradise Blue," the third play the company has mounted in Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit Trilogy, which includes "Detroit ’67," and "Skeleton Crew." In "Paradise Blue," set in 1949, when Detroit’s white mayor pushed to move African Americans out of Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood, a musician named Blue considers selling his family’s once-thriving jazz club. Against a backdrop of gentrification and displacement, Paradise Blue encompasses the pain and suffering that accompany the erasure of black history.

!!Orange Box Theater
In Tucker, a 1,600-square-foot converted warehouse space that seats about 80 people is the staging venue for Orange Box Theater at Mark SQared Studios – www.orangeboxtheater.marksquaredstudiosatlanta.com – which presents innovative takes on classic and new theatrical works by African American artists using nontraditional casting and multimedia effects. In recent years, creative director Karlotta Washington has overseen productions of George C. Wolf’s "The Colored Museum," Michael Frayn’s "Noises Off," and "Purlie," the Tony Award-winning musical comedy based on a play by Ossie Davis.

On multiple days between October 11 and 27, Orange Box Theater will present "Sunset Baby" by Dominique Morisseau. A MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” recipient and Obie-award winning playwright, Morisseau recently became the first African-American woman nominated for a Tony Award in a musical category in 20 years for the Broadway hit "Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations." 

Described in a 2013 New York Times review as a “smart and bracing new play about two generations of urban outlaws,” "Sunset Baby" explores the relationship between Nina, a tough, uncompromising street hustler, and her estranged father, a former black revolutionary who shows up one day seeking reconciliation and a series of letters left with Nina by her mother.

!!Out of Box Theatre
In 2012, Carolyn Choe started Out of Box Theatre – www.outofboxtheatre.com – with the goal of producing superior quality shows without exceeding a smart, practical budget. Taking advantage of the talent and resources at hand in Marietta and the greater metro community, during the past few seasons, Out of Box Theater has established a reputation for challenging, offbeat, and daring theater productions, as well as for developing programs, such as the unBOXed Comedy Class and an internship for college graduates.

This fall, Out of Box Theatre presents "Entertaining Lesbians" (August 2-17), written and directed by the always amusing and topical Topher Payne. The play follows the exploits of Rowena Tuttle, described by Payne as “a cisgender heterosexual white woman who no one finds interesting anymore” as she tries to gain admission to an elite school for her daughter by buddying up with Atlanta’s most powerful lesbian couple.

Running October 4-20, "Evil Dead: The Musical" offers a lyrical take on the notoriously absurd, cult classic horror film by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man Trilogy). For readers unfamiliar with the source material, "Evil Dead" recounts the tribulations of a group of college students who, while spending the weekend in an abandoned cabin in the woods, unwittingly unleash an evil terror, which tries and largely succeeds in killing everyone in unspeakably gruesome ways. Perfect fodder for a musical.

From November 8–17, Topher Payne returns to direct Jordan Harrison’s "The Grown Up," a play about a boy who is given a magical crystal doorknob, which enables him to travel through space and time to see his future life.

!!PULP
Owner Will Eiseman opened the original PULP – www.pulpatlanta.com – a bookstore and gallery specializing in pop culture books and zines, original artwork, cinema art and ephemera, and photography, in Charleston, South Carolina. Since relocating to Midtown Atlanta in the summer of 2018, PULP has hosted exhibitions of cryptozoological art and large-scale street art and murals. In collaboration with Videodrome, rare films are screened on Sundays, while original theatrical performances and live comedy are staged in the store’s Black Box Theatre.

Highlights from the Black Box fall performance season include:

August 23-September 1: "The One Act Spectacular" features four of Atlanta’s top casting agents each directing a one-act play with local film and TV actors.

September 26-28: ATL Sketchfest comprises three separate comedy sketches per night staged over three consecutive nights with a cash prize awarded to “Best in Show” chosen by five anonymous judges. Organizers are also accepting comedy video shorts, which will be shown between live performances.

October 2-17: World premiere of a new stage adaptation of Roger Corman’s ’50s schlock sci-fi classic film, "Attack of the Giant Leeches," written and directed by John Babcock. 

October 25-26: The Phantom Film Festival features a horror-themed short film night of works by local filmmakers on Friday followed on Saturday by a one-night only live stage adaptation of Brian DePalma’s horror musical classic "Phantom of the Paradise."

!!Synchronicity
Synchronicity — www.synchrotheatre.com — produces theatre to spark community connections and uplift the voices of women and girls. Founded in 1997 by four women, Synchronicity presents plays for adults (Bold Voices) and families (Family Series) and offers a wide range of educational programming, including Playmaking for Kids (PFK) summer camps and after-school programs, and their award-winning Playmaking for Girls (PFG) program. Now in its fourth year, the organization’s Stripped Bare: Arts Incubator Project gives artists a space to create and present new work. The series focuses on projects that emphasize words and ideas, with minimal technical elements, and encourages young artists to think about the essentials of theatre (mostly) stripped of intricate sets, lights, props, sound design, and costumes.

From August 1–11, Synchronicity will host a revival of "2 the Left: A Tribute to the Life of Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes." Written and performed by Kerisse Hutchinson, and originally performed as part of the Stripped Bare Arts Incubator Project, this multimedia experience chronicles the life of the most controversial member of the ’90s pop music phenomenon TLC. Thomas W. Jones II directs. Sunday, August 4, there will be a talkback after "2 the Left" with the cast, crew, and members of Lopes’ family. Later this month, Synchronicity will announce two more Stripped Bare projects that will be performed September 10–12 and Nov 12–14. Tickets are free to all Stripped Bare performances, but reservations are required.

Synchronicity’s first full production of the new season is "MacBeth," Erica Schmidt’s bold adaptation of the Bard’s Scottish play running October 4–28. On an autumn afternoon, in an empty lot outside the city, seven girls meet up to perform "Macbeth," using Shakespeare’s original text. It’s not long before the blood fantasy of the play starts to seep into their real lives.

!!Theater Emory
Theater Emory – www.theater.emory.edu – is the Emory University theater department’s resident professional company and the producing organization for Theater Studies. Typically, Theater Emory presents four productions per year.

This fall’s production of "The Nether" (November 1–17), directed by Ibi Ovolabi, promises to be one of most provocative projects ever staged by Theater Emory. Jennifer Haley’s psychological crime thriller draws the audience into a detective’s investigation of a virtual world where pedophiles indulge their fantasies. The investigation sparks questions about ethical behavior as experienced in the imagination and practiced in the “real” world.

“‘The Nether’ questions the way we define something as ‘real,’ which is an idea that has fascinated philosophers for millennia,” says Brent Glenn, artistic director of Theater Emory. “As we approach a time when virtual reality may be as real as our daily lives, discomforting ethical conundrums rise to the surface. "The Nether" forces us to face that discomfort.”

!!Theatrical Outfit
::::
Founded in a converted Virginia Highlands laundromat 43 years ago, Theatrical Outfit — www.theatricaloutfit.org — is Atlanta’s second oldest professional theatre company. The Outfit produced some of its boldest, most provocative work in the ’80s out of the (now long gone) Kress Five & Dime building in Midtown, before it moved downtown in 1999 to the site of the former Herren’s Restaurant, now the Balzer Theatre. 2019-2020 marks another milestone as Atlanta theater legend Tom Key will be stepping down from the position of artistic director after 25 years. Since 1995, Key and The Outfit have had critical and popular success presenting dozens of regional and world premieres, classics, and musicals that explore diversity, equality, ethnicity, race, and faith. Key has taken great pride in programming plays by many of the best writers of the American South, including Ernest Gaines, Horton Foote, Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, and Tennessee Williams.

Theatrical Outfit begins “Tom’s Farewell Season” with "Our Town" and "The Laramie Project" in repertory from August 27 to September 29. Considered by many to be the greatest American play, Thornton Wilder’s "Our Town" depicts the town of Grover’s Corners in three acts: “Daily Life,” “Love and Marriage,” and “Death and Eternity.” Narrated by a stage manager character and performed with minimal props and sets, Wilder’s classic chronicles the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry, and eventually die. David Crowe will direct.  

In 1998, a university student named Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, and tied to a prairie fence outside Laramie, Wyoming. When he died days later, the world learned Shepard was targeted because he was gay. In its review of the original production, the New York Times observed, “‘The Laramie Project’ is ‘Our Town’ with a question mark, as in, ‘Could this be our town? It can’t happen here,’ followed immediately by ‘And yet it has.’” Clifton Guterman will direct "The Laramie Project," a play that strives to find the light in a tragedy and to reveal examples of profound compassion in its wake.

!!The Windmill Arts Center
Opened in late 2017, the Windmill Arts Center – www.thewindmillatl.com – in East Point contains an 80-seat “black box” theater plus a 40-seat “white box” space for rent as a gallery, rehearsal space, yoga studio, classroom, or for special events. Converted from a gas station/garage, the arts center now serves as the East Coast headquarters for Vanguard Repertory Company (VanguardRep), which was formed in Los Angeles in 2008 by husband and wife Sam and Elizabeth Ross (who previously lived in Atlanta), Matthew Burgos, and Elisa Blandford. 

From August 2–18, VanguardRep presents the Atlanta premiere of "Br'er Cotton," a contemporary fable about systemic racism by playwright Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm and directed by Burgos. Later in the month (August 29–September 1), The Tiny Theater Company will premiere a one-act adaptation of William Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" featuring live music and dance by an all-black cast with Tiny Theater founder Cydnei Prather directing.
Return to Fall Arts Preview 2019"
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Since its founding more than 40 years ago, 7 Stages Theatre — www.7stages.org —has been devoted to producing provocative material and confronting difficult subjects. At press time, 7 Stages was not ready to announce the production company’s 2019-2020 season schedule. However, three productions by other companies will take place in the 7 Stages Theater in Little Five Points during the next two months. Each play poses tough questions, and focuses on characters facing severe physical, emotional, and moral challenges.

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With "Grounded" (August 3-17), Atlanta Theater Club (ATC) – www.atlantatheatreclub.com – is back with another intensely emotional work produced and directed by company founder Rebeca Robles. "Grounded" takes audiences into the mind and soul of a former ace fighter pilot operating military drones from a windowless trailer outside Las Vegas. The Pilot (actress Courtney Moors) watches screens to hunt and kill terrorists all day long and returns to her family each night. As the pressure to track a high-profile target mounts, the boundaries begin to blur between the desert in which she lives and the one she patrols half a world away. Robles, Moors, and seven of ATL’s most accomplished female theater artists are in control of every aspect of this Atlanta premiere including video and projection design, sound and lighting, scenic design, and wardrobe.

For the past seven seasons, Aris — “Atlanta’s stage for Celtic culture” — has brought the Celtic theatrical and literary traditions, mythology, and storytelling from the British Isles to Atlanta. Next month, Aris – Aristheatre.org – presents the Atlanta premiere of "Woman and Scarecrow" by celebrated Irish playwright Marina Carr. Emory University professor Jon Ammerman directs this very intimate play set in a dying woman’s bedroom. In the face of her death, the woman threshes out her life’s truths, sparring with a ridiculous aunt, a cheating husband, and a slippery alter ego. 

On Friday, September 27, The Object Group and 7 Stages Theatre present a sneak peek presentation of Michael Haverty’s adaptation of Albert Camus’ "L’Etranger" (The Outsider). Puppetry and noir/new wave-inspired projected cinema are integrated in an absurd investigation of Camus’ cautionary tale. The original 1942 novel is riddled with messy conflicts between existential philosophy and privileged oppression, sometimes to the apparent blindness of the author. This multimedia experience explodes the story onto stage and screen, allowing insight while tickling the mind and senses. 

!!__Actor’s Express__
“We seek to jumpstart individual transformations through the shared adventure of our live performances, which range from daringly provocative to audaciously hilarious.” That sentence from the mission statement for Actor’s Express Theatre — www.actors-express.com — says a lot about them — and not just what they want to accomplish as a theatre, but how. The theatre has been pushing emotional envelopes since Chris Coleman founded Actor’s Express in the basement of a church on Clairmont Road 31 years ago. Freddie Ashley has been artistic director since 2007, and few Atlanta theaters are as successful at reflecting the passion, intelligence, and geniality and flair of their leadership.

Ashley also directs most AE dramas, comedies, and musicals that attract sold-out houses night after night. Here are just some of AE’s bravest and most entertaining work of the past dozen seasons: "Stupid Fucking Bird," "Bad Jews," "Murder Ballad," "The Rocky Horror Show," "Six Degrees of Separation," "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "The Motherfucker with the Hat," "Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them," "Spring Awakening," "Slasher," "Grey Gardens," and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

Next month, Ashley and another smart AE cast will unveil their 31st season with "Skintight." The Atlanta premiere of "Bad Jews," playwright Joshua Harmon’s latest comedy, pokes fun at America’s obsession with youth, sex, and physical beauty. When Jodi Isaac flies across the country to visit her famous fashion mogul father for his 70th birthday, she finds that her dad’s new boyfriend is a 20-year-old porn star. OK! "Skintight" sounds like a perfect fit for Actor’s Express. 

!!__Alliance Theatre__
Elton John’s "Aida." "Bring It On: The Musical." "The Color Purple." "The Last Night of Ballyhoo." "The Prom." "Sister Act: The Musical." Twyla Tharp’s "Come Fly Away." 

Can you guess what all these (and many more) hit plays and musicals have in common? They were all first performed at the Alliance Theatre — www.alliancetheatre.org — right here in ATL. Over the past 51 years, the Alliance has premiered more than 100 original productions, launching important American musicals with a strong track record of Broadway, touring, and subsequent productions, including several Tony Award winners. In fact, in 2007, the Alliance won a special Tony Award as Best Regional Theater in America. 

2019-2020 will be their first full season in their lavishly renovated main stage space, which opened late last year. In "Becoming Nancy," the next big musical to premiere at the Alliance, David, a talented high school senior tries out for the school play and is cast as the ''female'' lead. It’s 1979, and everyone in his small English suburb is shocked, including David. Should he play the part? Just wait and see. Another sign that "Becoming Nancy" is set to be the Alliance’s next big hit is its director, Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, whose past musical hits include "Pretty Woman," "Kinky Boots," "Legally Blonde," "La Cage Aux Folles," and "Hairspray."

Alliance Artistic Director Susan Booth directs the Off-Broadway hit comedy "Small Mouth Sounds," to be performed downstairs at the Woodruff Arts Center on the intimate Hertz Stage. The play, running from October 4–27, follows six strangers at a five-day silent wellness retreat in the woods. Guided by an unseen guru, each one wrestles with their personal demons as their vows of silence clash with the irresistible human need to connect.

!!__Center for Puppetry Arts__
It’s hard to think of another Atlanta-based theatrical organization with a greater reputation for excellence and creativity than the Center for Puppetry Arts — www.puppet.org. Just a few years after puppeteer Vincent Anthony stood with Muppet master Jim Henson as they cut the opening-day ribbon in September 1978, the Puppetry Center became one of the most respected and revered creative hives for puppetry in the world. CPA has hosted  dozens of the best puppeteers and puppet theater companies from across Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. The Center’s Museum is now the home of the Henson Collection and its iconic puppets from "Sesame Street," "Labyrinth," "The Dark Crystal," "Fraggle Rock," and Emmet Otter’s "Jug-Band Christmas." 

The fantastic puppet productions conceived and created at CPA have played to sold-out audiences across North America, and Artistic Director Jon Ludwig is widely considered one of the geniuses of the ancient and timeless art form. The shows range from super sweet and cute to deadly serious, even tragic. Some are strange and weird. But no matter what the show or the exhibit or the workshop, kids and grownups of all ages have a blast every time they set foot inside.

This fall, CPA lifts off with "SPACE!," Ludwig’s 2016 song-filled puppet adventure about the cosmos. "SPACE!" employs shadow puppets, hand and rod puppets, black lights, computer animation, and crystal-clear images from NASA and a rap and rock score to explain the entire universe, more or less. From red dwarf stars to the planet Neptune, from comets to black holes, and beyond, Ludwig’s latest rock opera is the perfect way for anyone of any age to celebrate the autumnal equinox.

!!__Essential Theatre Play Festival__
Since 1999, the annual Essential Theatre Play Festival – www.essentialtheatre.com – which was founded by Atlanta playwright-director Peter Hardy, has premiered 34 new works by 25 different Georgia writers, with many works being restaged by other Atlanta theaters and across the country. The 2019 Festival (July 25–August 24) features three full productions plus four new scripts being heard for the first time in the Bare Essentials Play Reading Series. All performances and readings take place at the West End Performing Arts Center.

July 25-August 24: Peter Hardy directs "Slaying Holofernes" by Emily McClain. The play upsets notions of past/present, fact/fiction, and personal/political as it explores the quest for justice by two women.

August 1-25: Written by Ben Thorpe and directed by Shannon Eubanks, "Babyshower for the Antichrist" takes place on the night of ‘Hell Feast’ as a small, isolated cult prepares for the birth of the Antichrist. Viewer beware: This world premiere contains moments of blood and violence, plus a talking goat.

Thursday, August 15 and Friday, August 16: In "The Attic, creator/performer Aaron Gotlieb explores the things we hold onto and those we leave behind. "

The Bare Essentials Play Reading Series includes "Day of Saturn" by Leviticus Jelks III, directed by Najah Ali (August 3); "Darger Takes a Walk" by Rosalind Sullivan-Lovett, directed by Natalie Fox (August 6); "Waiting for Big Stuff" by Allan Dodson, directed by Kati Grace Brown (August 12); and "The Odds Against Death" by Ted Westby and John D. Babcock III, directed by Bill Murphey (August 21).

!!__Horizon Theatre__
Eternally young Horizon Theatre — www.horizontheatre.com — founders Lisa and Jeff Adler founded their small (172 cozy seats), independent theater in 1983 and have stayed busy ever since. Year in, year out, they offer a mainstage season of six to eight contemporary plays (almost always local or regional premieres) for diverse Atlanta audiences, a family series for younger audiences, a free outdoor musical in Piedmont Park, and free outdoor performances with Little Five Arts Alive from April through October. They also create new plays from, for, and about Atlanta through their New South Play Festival program, and reach out to new audiences through their New South Young Playwrights Contest and Festival, the Horizon In-School Playwriting Workshops, the Horizon Apprentice Company (early career professionals), the Intern Program (for college students) and the high school theatre program at The New School.

From September 20 through October 27, Horizon will stage one of the most honored plays of the past decade, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." Four years ago, the Broadway production won the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama League Award, and five Tony Awards, including Best Play. Lisa Adler and Justin Anderson will co-direct the story of an autistic teenager who’s better at solving equations than navigating a world that’s out of sync with how his mind works. After being wrongly accused of murdering his neighbor’s dog, he resolves to find the real culprit. When his investigation uncovers painful truths about his family, he strikes out on his own, embarking on a daring train ride to London to confront his parent’s past.

!!__Kenny Leon’s True Colors__
This season will mark a major turning point in the story of another beloved Atlanta theater company. Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon is departing the role of artistic director of the company that he co-founded and that now bears his name. Associate Artistic Director Jamil Jude will take over the position at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company — www.truecolorstheatre.org. Since Leon established True Colors with Jane Bishop in 2002, the theatre has produced over three dozen productions with a focus on black storytelling. They’ve presented several of the best plays by, or adapted from works by, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, Pearl Cleage, and Dominique Morisseau, among many others. 

True Colors’ dedication to black voices in the theater continues September 24 through October 20, when they present the Atlanta premiere of "Paradise Blue," the third play the company has mounted in Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit Trilogy, which includes "Detroit ’67," and "Skeleton Crew." In "Paradise Blue," set in 1949, when Detroit’s white mayor pushed to move African Americans out of Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood, a musician named Blue considers selling his family’s once-thriving jazz club. Against a backdrop of gentrification and displacement, Paradise Blue encompasses the pain and suffering that accompany the erasure of black history.

!!__Orange Box Theater__
In Tucker, a 1,600-square-foot converted warehouse space that seats about 80 people is the staging venue for Orange Box Theater at Mark SQared Studios – www.orangeboxtheater.marksquaredstudiosatlanta.com – which presents innovative takes on classic and new theatrical works by African American artists using nontraditional casting and multimedia effects. In recent years, creative director Karlotta Washington has overseen productions of George C. Wolf’s "The Colored Museum," Michael Frayn’s "Noises Off," and "Purlie," the Tony Award-winning musical comedy based on a play by Ossie Davis.

On multiple days between October 11 and 27, Orange Box Theater will present "Sunset Baby" by Dominique Morisseau. A MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” recipient and Obie-award winning playwright, Morisseau recently became the first African-American woman nominated for a Tony Award in a musical category in 20 years for the Broadway hit "Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations." 

Described in a 2013 ''New York Times'' review as a “smart and bracing new play about two generations of urban outlaws,” "Sunset Baby" explores the relationship between Nina, a tough, uncompromising street hustler, and her estranged father, a former black revolutionary who shows up one day seeking reconciliation and a series of letters left with Nina by her mother.

!!__Out of Box Theatre__
In 2012, Carolyn Choe started Out of Box Theatre – www.outofboxtheatre.com – with the goal of producing superior quality shows without exceeding a smart, practical budget. Taking advantage of the talent and resources at hand in Marietta and the greater metro community, during the past few seasons, Out of Box Theater has established a reputation for challenging, offbeat, and daring theater productions, as well as for developing programs, such as the unBOXed Comedy Class and an internship for college graduates.

This fall, Out of Box Theatre presents "Entertaining Lesbians" (August 2-17), written and directed by the always amusing and topical Topher Payne. The play follows the exploits of Rowena Tuttle, described by Payne as “a cisgender heterosexual white woman who no one finds interesting anymore” as she tries to gain admission to an elite school for her daughter by buddying up with Atlanta’s most powerful lesbian couple.

Running October 4-20, "Evil Dead: The Musical" offers a lyrical take on the notoriously absurd, cult classic horror film by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man Trilogy). For readers unfamiliar with the source material, "Evil Dead" recounts the tribulations of a group of college students who, while spending the weekend in an abandoned cabin in the woods, unwittingly unleash an evil terror, which tries and largely succeeds in killing everyone in unspeakably gruesome ways. Perfect fodder for a musical.

From November 8–17, Topher Payne returns to direct Jordan Harrison’s "The Grown Up," a play about a boy who is given a magical crystal doorknob, which enables him to travel through space and time to see his future life.

!!__PULP__
Owner Will Eiseman opened the original PULP – www.pulpatlanta.com – a bookstore and gallery specializing in pop culture books and zines, original artwork, cinema art and ephemera, and photography, in Charleston, South Carolina. Since relocating to Midtown Atlanta in the summer of 2018, PULP has hosted exhibitions of cryptozoological art and large-scale street art and murals. In collaboration with Videodrome, rare films are screened on Sundays, while original theatrical performances and live comedy are staged in the store’s Black Box Theatre.

Highlights from the Black Box fall performance season include:

August 23-September 1: "The One Act Spectacular" features four of Atlanta’s top casting agents each directing a one-act play with local film and TV actors.

September 26-28: __ATL Sketchfest__ comprises three separate comedy sketches per night staged over three consecutive nights with a cash prize awarded to “Best in Show” chosen by five anonymous judges. Organizers are also accepting comedy video shorts, which will be shown between live performances.

October 2-17: World premiere of a new stage adaptation of Roger Corman’s ’50s schlock sci-fi classic film, "Attack of the Giant Leeches," written and directed by John Babcock. 

October 25-26: The Phantom Film Festival features a horror-themed short film night of works by local filmmakers on Friday followed on Saturday by a one-night only live stage adaptation of Brian DePalma’s horror musical classic "Phantom of the Paradise."

!!__Synchronicity__
Synchronicity — www.synchrotheatre.com — produces theatre to spark community connections and uplift the voices of women and girls. Founded in 1997 by four women, Synchronicity presents plays for adults (Bold Voices) and families (Family Series) and offers a wide range of educational programming, including Playmaking for Kids (PFK) summer camps and after-school programs, and their award-winning Playmaking for Girls (PFG) program. Now in its fourth year, the organization’s Stripped Bare: Arts Incubator Project gives artists a space to create and present new work. The series focuses on projects that emphasize words and ideas, with minimal technical elements, and encourages young artists to think about the essentials of theatre (mostly) stripped of intricate sets, lights, props, sound design, and costumes.

From August 1–11, Synchronicity will host a revival of "2 the Left: A Tribute to the Life of Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes." Written and performed by Kerisse Hutchinson, and originally performed as part of the Stripped Bare Arts Incubator Project, this multimedia experience chronicles the life of the most controversial member of the ’90s pop music phenomenon TLC. Thomas W. Jones II directs. Sunday, August 4, there will be a talkback after "2 the Left"'' ''with the cast, crew, and members of Lopes’ family. Later this month, Synchronicity will announce two more Stripped Bare projects that will be performed September 10–12 and Nov 12–14. Tickets are free to all Stripped Bare performances, but reservations are required.

Synchronicity’s first full production of the new season is "MacBeth," Erica Schmidt’s bold adaptation of the Bard’s Scottish play running October 4–28. On an autumn afternoon, in an empty lot outside the city, seven girls meet up to perform "Macbeth," using Shakespeare’s original text. It’s not long before the blood fantasy of the play starts to seep into their real lives.

!!__Theater Emory__
Theater Emory – www.theater.emory.edu – is the Emory University theater department’s resident professional company and the producing organization for Theater Studies. Typically, Theater Emory presents four productions per year.

This fall’s production of "The Nether" (November 1–17), directed by Ibi Ovolabi, promises to be one of most provocative projects ever staged by Theater Emory. Jennifer Haley’s psychological crime thriller draws the audience into a detective’s investigation of a virtual world where pedophiles indulge their fantasies. The investigation sparks questions about ethical behavior as experienced in the imagination and practiced in the “real” world.

“‘The Nether’ questions the way we define something as ‘real,’ which is an idea that has fascinated philosophers for millennia,” says Brent Glenn, artistic director of Theater Emory. “As we approach a time when virtual reality may be as real as our daily lives, discomforting ethical conundrums rise to the surface. "The Nether" forces us to face that discomfort.”

!!__Theatrical Outfit__
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Founded in a converted Virginia Highlands laundromat 43 years ago, Theatrical Outfit — www.theatricaloutfit.org — is Atlanta’s second oldest professional theatre company. The Outfit produced some of its boldest, most provocative work in the ’80s out of the (now long gone) Kress Five & Dime building in Midtown, before it moved downtown in 1999 to the site of the former Herren’s Restaurant, now the Balzer Theatre. 2019-2020 marks another milestone as Atlanta theater legend Tom Key will be stepping down from the position of artistic director after 25 years. Since 1995, Key and The Outfit have had critical and popular success presenting dozens of regional and world premieres, classics, and musicals that explore diversity, equality, ethnicity, race, and faith. Key has taken great pride in programming plays by many of the best writers of the American South, including Ernest Gaines, Horton Foote, Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, and Tennessee Williams.

Theatrical Outfit begins “Tom’s Farewell Season” with "Our Town" and "The Laramie Project" in repertory from August 27 to September 29. Considered by many to be the greatest American play, Thornton Wilder’s "Our Town" depicts the town of Grover’s Corners in three acts: “Daily Life,” “Love and Marriage,” and “Death and Eternity.” Narrated by a stage manager character and performed with minimal props and sets, Wilder’s classic chronicles the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry, and eventually die. David Crowe will direct.  

In 1998, a university student named Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, and tied to a prairie fence outside Laramie, Wyoming. When he died days later, the world learned Shepard was targeted because he was gay. In its review of the original production, the ''New York Times'' observed, “‘The Laramie Project’ is ‘Our Town’ with a question mark, as in, ‘Could this be our town? It can’t happen here,’ followed immediately by ‘And yet it has.’” Clifton Guterman will direct "The Laramie Project," a play that strives to find the light in a tragedy and to reveal examples of profound compassion in its wake.

!!__The Windmill Arts Center__
Opened in late 2017, the Windmill Arts Center – www.thewindmillatl.com – in East Point contains an 80-seat “black box” theater plus a 40-seat “white box” space for rent as a gallery, rehearsal space, yoga studio, classroom, or for special events. Converted from a gas station/garage, the arts center now serves as the East Coast headquarters for Vanguard Repertory Company (VanguardRep), which was formed in Los Angeles in 2008 by husband and wife Sam and Elizabeth Ross (who previously lived in Atlanta), Matthew Burgos, and Elisa Blandford. 

From August 2–18, VanguardRep presents the Atlanta premiere of "Br'er Cotton," a contemporary fable about systemic racism by playwright Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm and directed by Burgos. Later in the month (August 29–September 1), The Tiny Theater Company will premiere a one-act adaptation of William Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" featuring live music and dance by an all-black cast with Tiny Theater founder Cydnei Prather directing.
((fall arts preview 2019|Return to Fall Arts Preview 2019))"
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  string(24364) " Spotlight&Masks  2019-08-03T01:57:29+00:00 Spotlight&Masks.jpg    fall arts preview 2019 theatre Onstage and off, with actors and puppets, dealing in reality and escape 21516  2019-08-03T01:36:16+00:00 Fall Arts Preview 2019: Theater jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Edward McNally  2019-08-03T01:36:16+00:00 7 Stages

Since its founding more than 40 years ago, 7 Stages Theatre — www.7stages.org —has been devoted to producing provocative material and confronting difficult subjects... !!7 Stages
Since its founding more than 40 years ago, 7 Stages Theatre — www.7stages.org —has been devoted to producing provocative material and confronting difficult subjects. At press time, 7 Stages was not ready to announce the production company’s 2019-2020 season schedule. However, three productions by other companies will take place in the 7 Stages Theater in Little Five Points during the next two months. Each play poses tough questions, and focuses on characters facing severe physical, emotional, and moral challenges.

::::
With "Grounded" (August 3-17), Atlanta Theater Club (ATC) – www.atlantatheatreclub.com – is back with another intensely emotional work produced and directed by company founder Rebeca Robles. "Grounded" takes audiences into the mind and soul of a former ace fighter pilot operating military drones from a windowless trailer outside Las Vegas. The Pilot (actress Courtney Moors) watches screens to hunt and kill terrorists all day long and returns to her family each night. As the pressure to track a high-profile target mounts, the boundaries begin to blur between the desert in which she lives and the one she patrols half a world away. Robles, Moors, and seven of ATL’s most accomplished female theater artists are in control of every aspect of this Atlanta premiere including video and projection design, sound and lighting, scenic design, and wardrobe.

For the past seven seasons, Aris — “Atlanta’s stage for Celtic culture” — has brought the Celtic theatrical and literary traditions, mythology, and storytelling from the British Isles to Atlanta. Next month, Aris – Aristheatre.org – presents the Atlanta premiere of "Woman and Scarecrow" by celebrated Irish playwright Marina Carr. Emory University professor Jon Ammerman directs this very intimate play set in a dying woman’s bedroom. In the face of her death, the woman threshes out her life’s truths, sparring with a ridiculous aunt, a cheating husband, and a slippery alter ego. 

On Friday, September 27, The Object Group and 7 Stages Theatre present a sneak peek presentation of Michael Haverty’s adaptation of Albert Camus’ "L’Etranger" (The Outsider). Puppetry and noir/new wave-inspired projected cinema are integrated in an absurd investigation of Camus’ cautionary tale. The original 1942 novel is riddled with messy conflicts between existential philosophy and privileged oppression, sometimes to the apparent blindness of the author. This multimedia experience explodes the story onto stage and screen, allowing insight while tickling the mind and senses. 

!!Actor’s Express
“We seek to jumpstart individual transformations through the shared adventure of our live performances, which range from daringly provocative to audaciously hilarious.” That sentence from the mission statement for Actor’s Express Theatre — www.actors-express.com — says a lot about them — and not just what they want to accomplish as a theatre, but how. The theatre has been pushing emotional envelopes since Chris Coleman founded Actor’s Express in the basement of a church on Clairmont Road 31 years ago. Freddie Ashley has been artistic director since 2007, and few Atlanta theaters are as successful at reflecting the passion, intelligence, and geniality and flair of their leadership.

Ashley also directs most AE dramas, comedies, and musicals that attract sold-out houses night after night. Here are just some of AE’s bravest and most entertaining work of the past dozen seasons: "Stupid Fucking Bird," "Bad Jews," "Murder Ballad," "The Rocky Horror Show," "Six Degrees of Separation," "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "The Motherfucker with the Hat," "Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them," "Spring Awakening," "Slasher," "Grey Gardens," and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

Next month, Ashley and another smart AE cast will unveil their 31st season with "Skintight." The Atlanta premiere of "Bad Jews," playwright Joshua Harmon’s latest comedy, pokes fun at America’s obsession with youth, sex, and physical beauty. When Jodi Isaac flies across the country to visit her famous fashion mogul father for his 70th birthday, she finds that her dad’s new boyfriend is a 20-year-old porn star. OK! "Skintight" sounds like a perfect fit for Actor’s Express. 

!!Alliance Theatre
Elton John’s "Aida." "Bring It On: The Musical." "The Color Purple." "The Last Night of Ballyhoo." "The Prom." "Sister Act: The Musical." Twyla Tharp’s "Come Fly Away." 

Can you guess what all these (and many more) hit plays and musicals have in common? They were all first performed at the Alliance Theatre — www.alliancetheatre.org — right here in ATL. Over the past 51 years, the Alliance has premiered more than 100 original productions, launching important American musicals with a strong track record of Broadway, touring, and subsequent productions, including several Tony Award winners. In fact, in 2007, the Alliance won a special Tony Award as Best Regional Theater in America. 

2019-2020 will be their first full season in their lavishly renovated main stage space, which opened late last year. In "Becoming Nancy," the next big musical to premiere at the Alliance, David, a talented high school senior tries out for the school play and is cast as the female lead. It’s 1979, and everyone in his small English suburb is shocked, including David. Should he play the part? Just wait and see. Another sign that "Becoming Nancy" is set to be the Alliance’s next big hit is its director, Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, whose past musical hits include "Pretty Woman," "Kinky Boots," "Legally Blonde," "La Cage Aux Folles," and "Hairspray."

Alliance Artistic Director Susan Booth directs the Off-Broadway hit comedy "Small Mouth Sounds," to be performed downstairs at the Woodruff Arts Center on the intimate Hertz Stage. The play, running from October 4–27, follows six strangers at a five-day silent wellness retreat in the woods. Guided by an unseen guru, each one wrestles with their personal demons as their vows of silence clash with the irresistible human need to connect.

!!Center for Puppetry Arts
It’s hard to think of another Atlanta-based theatrical organization with a greater reputation for excellence and creativity than the Center for Puppetry Arts — www.puppet.org. Just a few years after puppeteer Vincent Anthony stood with Muppet master Jim Henson as they cut the opening-day ribbon in September 1978, the Puppetry Center became one of the most respected and revered creative hives for puppetry in the world. CPA has hosted  dozens of the best puppeteers and puppet theater companies from across Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. The Center’s Museum is now the home of the Henson Collection and its iconic puppets from "Sesame Street," "Labyrinth," "The Dark Crystal," "Fraggle Rock," and Emmet Otter’s "Jug-Band Christmas." 

The fantastic puppet productions conceived and created at CPA have played to sold-out audiences across North America, and Artistic Director Jon Ludwig is widely considered one of the geniuses of the ancient and timeless art form. The shows range from super sweet and cute to deadly serious, even tragic. Some are strange and weird. But no matter what the show or the exhibit or the workshop, kids and grownups of all ages have a blast every time they set foot inside.

This fall, CPA lifts off with "SPACE!," Ludwig’s 2016 song-filled puppet adventure about the cosmos. "SPACE!" employs shadow puppets, hand and rod puppets, black lights, computer animation, and crystal-clear images from NASA and a rap and rock score to explain the entire universe, more or less. From red dwarf stars to the planet Neptune, from comets to black holes, and beyond, Ludwig’s latest rock opera is the perfect way for anyone of any age to celebrate the autumnal equinox.

!!Essential Theatre Play Festival
Since 1999, the annual Essential Theatre Play Festival – www.essentialtheatre.com – which was founded by Atlanta playwright-director Peter Hardy, has premiered 34 new works by 25 different Georgia writers, with many works being restaged by other Atlanta theaters and across the country. The 2019 Festival (July 25–August 24) features three full productions plus four new scripts being heard for the first time in the Bare Essentials Play Reading Series. All performances and readings take place at the West End Performing Arts Center.

July 25-August 24: Peter Hardy directs "Slaying Holofernes" by Emily McClain. The play upsets notions of past/present, fact/fiction, and personal/political as it explores the quest for justice by two women.

August 1-25: Written by Ben Thorpe and directed by Shannon Eubanks, "Babyshower for the Antichrist" takes place on the night of ‘Hell Feast’ as a small, isolated cult prepares for the birth of the Antichrist. Viewer beware: This world premiere contains moments of blood and violence, plus a talking goat.

Thursday, August 15 and Friday, August 16: In "The Attic, creator/performer Aaron Gotlieb explores the things we hold onto and those we leave behind. "

The Bare Essentials Play Reading Series includes "Day of Saturn" by Leviticus Jelks III, directed by Najah Ali (August 3); "Darger Takes a Walk" by Rosalind Sullivan-Lovett, directed by Natalie Fox (August 6); "Waiting for Big Stuff" by Allan Dodson, directed by Kati Grace Brown (August 12); and "The Odds Against Death" by Ted Westby and John D. Babcock III, directed by Bill Murphey (August 21).

!!Horizon Theatre
Eternally young Horizon Theatre — www.horizontheatre.com — founders Lisa and Jeff Adler founded their small (172 cozy seats), independent theater in 1983 and have stayed busy ever since. Year in, year out, they offer a mainstage season of six to eight contemporary plays (almost always local or regional premieres) for diverse Atlanta audiences, a family series for younger audiences, a free outdoor musical in Piedmont Park, and free outdoor performances with Little Five Arts Alive from April through October. They also create new plays from, for, and about Atlanta through their New South Play Festival program, and reach out to new audiences through their New South Young Playwrights Contest and Festival, the Horizon In-School Playwriting Workshops, the Horizon Apprentice Company (early career professionals), the Intern Program (for college students) and the high school theatre program at The New School.

From September 20 through October 27, Horizon will stage one of the most honored plays of the past decade, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." Four years ago, the Broadway production won the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama League Award, and five Tony Awards, including Best Play. Lisa Adler and Justin Anderson will co-direct the story of an autistic teenager who’s better at solving equations than navigating a world that’s out of sync with how his mind works. After being wrongly accused of murdering his neighbor’s dog, he resolves to find the real culprit. When his investigation uncovers painful truths about his family, he strikes out on his own, embarking on a daring train ride to London to confront his parent’s past.

!!Kenny Leon’s True Colors
This season will mark a major turning point in the story of another beloved Atlanta theater company. Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon is departing the role of artistic director of the company that he co-founded and that now bears his name. Associate Artistic Director Jamil Jude will take over the position at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company — www.truecolorstheatre.org. Since Leon established True Colors with Jane Bishop in 2002, the theatre has produced over three dozen productions with a focus on black storytelling. They’ve presented several of the best plays by, or adapted from works by, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, Pearl Cleage, and Dominique Morisseau, among many others. 

True Colors’ dedication to black voices in the theater continues September 24 through October 20, when they present the Atlanta premiere of "Paradise Blue," the third play the company has mounted in Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit Trilogy, which includes "Detroit ’67," and "Skeleton Crew." In "Paradise Blue," set in 1949, when Detroit’s white mayor pushed to move African Americans out of Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood, a musician named Blue considers selling his family’s once-thriving jazz club. Against a backdrop of gentrification and displacement, Paradise Blue encompasses the pain and suffering that accompany the erasure of black history.

!!Orange Box Theater
In Tucker, a 1,600-square-foot converted warehouse space that seats about 80 people is the staging venue for Orange Box Theater at Mark SQared Studios – www.orangeboxtheater.marksquaredstudiosatlanta.com – which presents innovative takes on classic and new theatrical works by African American artists using nontraditional casting and multimedia effects. In recent years, creative director Karlotta Washington has overseen productions of George C. Wolf’s "The Colored Museum," Michael Frayn’s "Noises Off," and "Purlie," the Tony Award-winning musical comedy based on a play by Ossie Davis.

On multiple days between October 11 and 27, Orange Box Theater will present "Sunset Baby" by Dominique Morisseau. A MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” recipient and Obie-award winning playwright, Morisseau recently became the first African-American woman nominated for a Tony Award in a musical category in 20 years for the Broadway hit "Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations." 

Described in a 2013 New York Times review as a “smart and bracing new play about two generations of urban outlaws,” "Sunset Baby" explores the relationship between Nina, a tough, uncompromising street hustler, and her estranged father, a former black revolutionary who shows up one day seeking reconciliation and a series of letters left with Nina by her mother.

!!Out of Box Theatre
In 2012, Carolyn Choe started Out of Box Theatre – www.outofboxtheatre.com – with the goal of producing superior quality shows without exceeding a smart, practical budget. Taking advantage of the talent and resources at hand in Marietta and the greater metro community, during the past few seasons, Out of Box Theater has established a reputation for challenging, offbeat, and daring theater productions, as well as for developing programs, such as the unBOXed Comedy Class and an internship for college graduates.

This fall, Out of Box Theatre presents "Entertaining Lesbians" (August 2-17), written and directed by the always amusing and topical Topher Payne. The play follows the exploits of Rowena Tuttle, described by Payne as “a cisgender heterosexual white woman who no one finds interesting anymore” as she tries to gain admission to an elite school for her daughter by buddying up with Atlanta’s most powerful lesbian couple.

Running October 4-20, "Evil Dead: The Musical" offers a lyrical take on the notoriously absurd, cult classic horror film by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man Trilogy). For readers unfamiliar with the source material, "Evil Dead" recounts the tribulations of a group of college students who, while spending the weekend in an abandoned cabin in the woods, unwittingly unleash an evil terror, which tries and largely succeeds in killing everyone in unspeakably gruesome ways. Perfect fodder for a musical.

From November 8–17, Topher Payne returns to direct Jordan Harrison’s "The Grown Up," a play about a boy who is given a magical crystal doorknob, which enables him to travel through space and time to see his future life.

!!PULP
Owner Will Eiseman opened the original PULP – www.pulpatlanta.com – a bookstore and gallery specializing in pop culture books and zines, original artwork, cinema art and ephemera, and photography, in Charleston, South Carolina. Since relocating to Midtown Atlanta in the summer of 2018, PULP has hosted exhibitions of cryptozoological art and large-scale street art and murals. In collaboration with Videodrome, rare films are screened on Sundays, while original theatrical performances and live comedy are staged in the store’s Black Box Theatre.

Highlights from the Black Box fall performance season include:

August 23-September 1: "The One Act Spectacular" features four of Atlanta’s top casting agents each directing a one-act play with local film and TV actors.

September 26-28: ATL Sketchfest comprises three separate comedy sketches per night staged over three consecutive nights with a cash prize awarded to “Best in Show” chosen by five anonymous judges. Organizers are also accepting comedy video shorts, which will be shown between live performances.

October 2-17: World premiere of a new stage adaptation of Roger Corman’s ’50s schlock sci-fi classic film, "Attack of the Giant Leeches," written and directed by John Babcock. 

October 25-26: The Phantom Film Festival features a horror-themed short film night of works by local filmmakers on Friday followed on Saturday by a one-night only live stage adaptation of Brian DePalma’s horror musical classic "Phantom of the Paradise."

!!Synchronicity
Synchronicity — www.synchrotheatre.com — produces theatre to spark community connections and uplift the voices of women and girls. Founded in 1997 by four women, Synchronicity presents plays for adults (Bold Voices) and families (Family Series) and offers a wide range of educational programming, including Playmaking for Kids (PFK) summer camps and after-school programs, and their award-winning Playmaking for Girls (PFG) program. Now in its fourth year, the organization’s Stripped Bare: Arts Incubator Project gives artists a space to create and present new work. The series focuses on projects that emphasize words and ideas, with minimal technical elements, and encourages young artists to think about the essentials of theatre (mostly) stripped of intricate sets, lights, props, sound design, and costumes.

From August 1–11, Synchronicity will host a revival of "2 the Left: A Tribute to the Life of Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes." Written and performed by Kerisse Hutchinson, and originally performed as part of the Stripped Bare Arts Incubator Project, this multimedia experience chronicles the life of the most controversial member of the ’90s pop music phenomenon TLC. Thomas W. Jones II directs. Sunday, August 4, there will be a talkback after "2 the Left" with the cast, crew, and members of Lopes’ family. Later this month, Synchronicity will announce two more Stripped Bare projects that will be performed September 10–12 and Nov 12–14. Tickets are free to all Stripped Bare performances, but reservations are required.

Synchronicity’s first full production of the new season is "MacBeth," Erica Schmidt’s bold adaptation of the Bard’s Scottish play running October 4–28. On an autumn afternoon, in an empty lot outside the city, seven girls meet up to perform "Macbeth," using Shakespeare’s original text. It’s not long before the blood fantasy of the play starts to seep into their real lives.

!!Theater Emory
Theater Emory – www.theater.emory.edu – is the Emory University theater department’s resident professional company and the producing organization for Theater Studies. Typically, Theater Emory presents four productions per year.

This fall’s production of "The Nether" (November 1–17), directed by Ibi Ovolabi, promises to be one of most provocative projects ever staged by Theater Emory. Jennifer Haley’s psychological crime thriller draws the audience into a detective’s investigation of a virtual world where pedophiles indulge their fantasies. The investigation sparks questions about ethical behavior as experienced in the imagination and practiced in the “real” world.

“‘The Nether’ questions the way we define something as ‘real,’ which is an idea that has fascinated philosophers for millennia,” says Brent Glenn, artistic director of Theater Emory. “As we approach a time when virtual reality may be as real as our daily lives, discomforting ethical conundrums rise to the surface. "The Nether" forces us to face that discomfort.”

!!Theatrical Outfit
::::
Founded in a converted Virginia Highlands laundromat 43 years ago, Theatrical Outfit — www.theatricaloutfit.org — is Atlanta’s second oldest professional theatre company. The Outfit produced some of its boldest, most provocative work in the ’80s out of the (now long gone) Kress Five & Dime building in Midtown, before it moved downtown in 1999 to the site of the former Herren’s Restaurant, now the Balzer Theatre. 2019-2020 marks another milestone as Atlanta theater legend Tom Key will be stepping down from the position of artistic director after 25 years. Since 1995, Key and The Outfit have had critical and popular success presenting dozens of regional and world premieres, classics, and musicals that explore diversity, equality, ethnicity, race, and faith. Key has taken great pride in programming plays by many of the best writers of the American South, including Ernest Gaines, Horton Foote, Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, and Tennessee Williams.

Theatrical Outfit begins “Tom’s Farewell Season” with "Our Town" and "The Laramie Project" in repertory from August 27 to September 29. Considered by many to be the greatest American play, Thornton Wilder’s "Our Town" depicts the town of Grover’s Corners in three acts: “Daily Life,” “Love and Marriage,” and “Death and Eternity.” Narrated by a stage manager character and performed with minimal props and sets, Wilder’s classic chronicles the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry, and eventually die. David Crowe will direct.  

In 1998, a university student named Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, and tied to a prairie fence outside Laramie, Wyoming. When he died days later, the world learned Shepard was targeted because he was gay. In its review of the original production, the New York Times observed, “‘The Laramie Project’ is ‘Our Town’ with a question mark, as in, ‘Could this be our town? It can’t happen here,’ followed immediately by ‘And yet it has.’” Clifton Guterman will direct "The Laramie Project," a play that strives to find the light in a tragedy and to reveal examples of profound compassion in its wake.

!!The Windmill Arts Center
Opened in late 2017, the Windmill Arts Center – www.thewindmillatl.com – in East Point contains an 80-seat “black box” theater plus a 40-seat “white box” space for rent as a gallery, rehearsal space, yoga studio, classroom, or for special events. Converted from a gas station/garage, the arts center now serves as the East Coast headquarters for Vanguard Repertory Company (VanguardRep), which was formed in Los Angeles in 2008 by husband and wife Sam and Elizabeth Ross (who previously lived in Atlanta), Matthew Burgos, and Elisa Blandford. 

From August 2–18, VanguardRep presents the Atlanta premiere of "Br'er Cotton," a contemporary fable about systemic racism by playwright Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm and directed by Burgos. Later in the month (August 29–September 1), The Tiny Theater Company will premiere a one-act adaptation of William Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" featuring live music and dance by an all-black cast with Tiny Theater founder Cydnei Prather directing.
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The Arts Issue, Explore Arts & Culture

Friday August 2, 2019 09:36 pm EDT
Onstage and off, with actors and puppets, dealing in reality and escape | more...
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SIDEBAR: Atlanta’s airport art gallery

Same as it ever was, the visual arts scene in Atlanta is in a state of flux, particularly at the street level where the West and Southwest flanks of downtown mark the next major front for the newest of the new to appear. With the Goat Farm closing and morphing into who-knows-what; the construction of The MET continuing apace and attracting entities like MINT and Mammal Gallery; and The Bakery executing its inspiring, if sometimes bewilderingly eclectic, strategy with characteristic DIY aplomb (while facing a move in the next year, as the lease on the arts center’s Warner Street building will not be renewed), the west side is the best side for seeking out the edges of Atlanta’s art/art music/art performance scene.

“Atlanta’s strong suit for the 40-something years I’ve been here is how incredibly active the grassroots community is,” says Louise Shaw, curator of the Senser Museum at the Centers for Disease Control and cofounder of Idea Capital, an arts funding group. “People, particularly young people, are continually trying to reinvent the art scene.”

Otherwise, the more things change, the more stalwart venues, such as the High Museum, Atlanta Contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the major arts institutions and fine art galleries, keep moving forward with their respective missions. At the same time, public art, street art, mural painting, and graffiti are exerting a particular influence on the Atlanta art scene for which the city is becoming increasingly recognized nationally and internationally.

“The street art trend is really exciting,” says Shaw. “The work along Edgewood and in Cabbagetown, the Krog Tunnel, these works that stay up for a few months and are then replaced by new work — this kind of activity creates a vibrancy and excitement lacking in many cities.” 

From gleaming white halls and walls to sandblasted slabs of brick and concrete to just about any flat accessible surface with a sightline, Atlanta’s visual artists, curators and gallery owners use whatever means are available to satisfy the muse. That’s how it works.

!!Atlanta Celebrates Photography
Entering its third decade, Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP) — www.acpinfo.org — is both an annual festival and the name of the organization responsible for staging the event. Billed as the largest community photography event in America, the 2019 edition of the ACP festival, which begins in mid-September and runs through the end of October, features more than 100 happenings including five lectures, three professional development workshops, a photobook fair, a film series, and numerous exhibits. This panoply of activity takes place at site-specific outdoor installations including the BeltLine, arts facilities, museums, galleries, retail businesses, and special venues spread across metro Atlanta.

“The ACP festival provides a comprehensive platform not only for people to experience our events, but to participate as creators,” says ACP Executive Director Amy Miller. “This allows for a true celebration of all that photography can be — a multifaceted art form with the power to change lives and connect people.”

The ACP has no event facility to call its own. All exhibits, lectures, screenings, and sundry programs are arranged through partnerships with other organizations and institutions. “The beauty of this business model is that the entire city becomes our venue,” Miller says. “The ACP festival raises awareness of arts venues and cultural organizations throughout the city, which creates a rising tide that, hopefully, lifts all boats.”

!!!Highlights of the 2019 Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival include:
The FENCE (Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail): This truly mega-outdoor photo exhibition returns to Atlanta with more than 40 photographers from around the world, selected by a jury of 40 experts from a  global call for entries, spreading the joy of their craft along a 700+-foot-long fence.

ACP Auction Gala (Saturday, September 14): Cocktail reception, open bar, dinner, plus a silent auction at The Landmark honoring Dr. Sarah Kennel, newly installed curator of photography at the High Museum of Art. The auction serves as the primary fundraising event for ACP and the 2019 ACP Festival.

ACP Special Exhibition: Teen Spirit at Mason Fine Art – www.masonfineartandevents.com – (Artists Reception, Thursday, September 19, 6-9 p.m., Exhibition September 19-October 11, free and open to the public). Volunteer photographers, led by ACP co-founder Corinne Adams, guide teens at Scottish Rite and Egleston hospitals in an exploration of identity, including (or in spite of) their diagnosis, through writing and photographic self-portraiture. This exhibition showcases the creative work produced by the teens during the past 12 months.

Photobook Fair (October 4-5): The photo book event of the Southeast at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. For the complete list of exhibitors, artist talks, and book-signings, please visit ACPinfo.org 

Chris Verene’s “Home Movies” (Thursday, October 10): The Landmark Midtown Art Cinema hosts a one-night-only screening of “home movies” (video clips) shot by renowned photographer Chris Verene during the course of documenting his family’s life in rural Illinois, which has been the former Atlantan’s primary subject for the past three decades. A post-screening panel discussion will feature photographer Ashley Reid and Mona Bennett, ambassador of the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, moderated by Felicia Feaster.

In conjunction with the Landmark screening of “Home Movies,” Marcia Wood Gallery – www.marciawoodgallery.com – which represents Verene, will be exhibiting a large selection of the artist’s photographs during the ACP Festival. Verene will be in attendance at the gallery opening in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood on September 18 and closing reception on October 12.

!!Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center
In 2015, the Atlanta Contemporary dropped the “Arts Center” from its name and fully embraced the institutionalized practice of “free admission, every day.” Today, Atlanta Contemporary – www.atlantacontemporary.org – occupies a special position in the arts community not only because of the price of admission to the facility, but also by virtue of its varied offerings, which include showcasing and commissioning new work by emerging artists; diverse educational programs, such as Contemporary Kids, Contemporary Cocktails, and Contemporary Talks; and on-site subsidized studio space for working artists through the Studio Artist Program. Atlanta Contemporary, incidentally, also throws great art parties and openings.

“Any city that is a beacon for tourism and advancement in technology, any city that wants to be recognized as a destination, needs a contemporary art center that advocates for what’s happening today,” says Executive Director Veronica Kessenich.

With the departure of curator Daniel Fuller at the end of June, Kessenich is moving forward with a full slate of previously scheduled fall exhibitions and looking with anticipation toward a new chapter in the evolution of the Westside arts center.

“Daniel was such an integral part of Atlanta Contemporary over the last four and a half years,” says Kessenich. “We will surely miss him and thank him for his leadership and service to Atlanta Contemporary.”

On tap between Saturday, August 24, and Sunday, December 22, are solo exhibitions by Bryan Graf and Emma McMillan, plus Contemporary On-Site projects featuring Coco Hunday, an artist-run exhibition space in Tampa, Florida; Atlanta-based artist Wihro Kim; and Bailey Scieszka who lives and works in Detroit.

In “Landlines,” Bryan Graf explores a range of photographic approaches and subjects, seeking balance or an equivalence between conceptual, visceral, and narrative elements. “The photographs in this show are notes, recordings, observations, and questions from specific places and times,” notes the Atlanta Contemporary press release. “This is an optical research into the debris of the days; a self-portrait of the dust that sculpts us.”

Emma McMillan’s “Project X” is inspired by the work of Atlanta architect John Portman, whose influence on the contours of the Atlanta skyline can scarcely be understated. Appropriating the name of an unrealized 1969 utopian residential building, Project X conjures up the architect’s design theory and manifest legacy in a series of large oil and aquarelle paintings, which are displayed across aluminum scaffolding, creating an immersive environment reminiscent of Portman’s iconic downtown Atlanta structures.

!!EBD4
Coinciding with the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival, EBD4 – www.EBD4.com – an industrial space for creatives in Chamblee, is staging a special “ACP at EBD4” exhibition. “1980’s ATL Portraits of Drag Queens & Club Kids (think RuPaul)” by Al Clayton showcases Clayton’s chronicling of the intersectional-before-it-was-cool club scene in Atlanta back when the local celebrity head count included RuPaul, Larry Tee, LaHoma, Sable Chanel, Charlie Brown, and Spike, among others. 

The exhibition will also display images from Clayton’s landmark 1969 book, Still Hungry in America, along with select images of Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Townes van Zandt, Tammy Wynette and other luminaries from Ken Burns’ documentary Country Music. The Clayton family will have prints from the photographer’s personal collection available, as well as limited edition prints.

Opening: Saturday, October 19, 2019, 6:30. Dance party starts at 8:30, admission $10.

Open House: Wednesday, October 23–Saturday, October 26, 1–5 p.m. or by appointment.

!!Gallery 72
It may come as a surprise to some that the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs has its own art gallery. Opened in 2014, Gallery 72 — www.ocaatlanta.com — is located downtown on the first floor of the 72 Marietta Street building. During the past five years, Gallery 72 has hosted a variety of exhibitions addressing relevant topics ranging from human trafficking, civil and human rights, memory and ritual, to the growth of local arts organizations (e.g., Wonderroot, The Creatives Project) and the rise of hip-hop. 

“Gallery 72 is a space where artists can push the experimental aesthetics of their work, which they may not choose to pursue in more commercial venues,” says gallery director Kevin Sipp. “It is also important that the gallery represents Atlanta as it is now, which is a melting pot of vibrant cultures, political views, and ideas.”

Gallery 72 will host two exhibitions in the fall: In “Reclaim/Proclaim Blandtown” (October 10-November 22), Gregor Turk takes up the subject of a long-neglected Westside Atlanta neighborhood. In the 1950s, the African-American community of Blandtown, which once boasted more than 200 houses, was rezoned to heavy industrial without proper public review. Today, much of the area, which is bisected by the BeltLine, is being rezoned back to residential for rapid redevelopment. Of the four original remaining houses, one was converted by Turk in 2003 into his studio. Comprising wall-mounted sculpture and photography, “Reclaim/Proclaim Blandtown” is part history lesson, part manifesto, and part civic rousing. In 2017, Turk received an Idea Capital grant for developing this project followed by an Artist Project Grant the next year from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

"Contrapunto: A Latin American Art Collective in Atlanta" (November 28-February 7) celebrates the work of a Latin art collective founded in 2008 by Carlos Solis. In addition to Solis, Contrapunto members, all of whom are based in Atlanta, included in the exhibition are Jorge Arcos, Pedro Fuertes, Catalina Gomez Beuth, Dora López, and Graciela Núñez Bedoya, Their work ranges from surrealist, cubist, and abstract to realist and naturalistic. In Spanish, “contrapunto” usually refers to the musical practice of joining two or more melodies to create harmony while maintaining the individual quality of each player’s contribution.

Says Sipp, “The narratives that fuel Atlanta and its present growth have expanded beyond past narratives to include transcendent global perspectives from all corners of the world.”

!!Hathaway Gallery
::::


Established in 2015 in what is now a thriving Westside neighborhood jam-packed with live-work spaces, restaurants, and entertainment venues, Hathaway Gallery – www.hathawaygallery.com  – strives to “foster and expand the contemporary art collector base in the Southeast through inclusivity and education.” Hathaway’s fall exhibition schedule includes:

“No Place Like Home” (July 20–September 7): A three-person exhibition of works by Jaime Bull, In Kyoung Chun, and Maryam Palizgir. Each of the artists brings a distinctly expressive technique and vision to bear on the idea of “home.” 

“Changing Tides” (September 14–November 9): A solo exhibition featuring the highly kinetic, vividly colorful abstract paintings of Fran O’Neill. 

!!High Museum
In the realm of mainstream visual arts, every major metropolitan city has its leader of the pack. The museum with the largest and deepest collection, the curatorial punch, and the financial wherewithal to make things happen that other institutions can’t and, truth be told, don’t need to match.

In Atlanta, the High Museum of Art – www.high.org – has filled that role since the founding of the Atlanta Art Association (the museum’s organizational precursor) in 1905. In 2019, the sensually curvaceous, gleaming white structure, situated on a gently rising grassy slope at the corner of Peachtree and 16th streets, stands alongside the Alliance Theater and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as one of three pillars girding the Woodruff Arts Center.

In 2018, the High undertook a total reconfiguration of its almost 94,000 square feet of gallery space. The massive makeover allowed for the rearrangement of artwork from the museum’s 16,000-piece permanent collection and the inclusion of a trove of never-before-exhibited artistic treasure. Among those treasures were selections from a 2017 acquisition of visionary folk art from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, which shone new light on the art of Thornton Dial, Sr., Lonnie Holley, Henry Church, Mary T. Smith, and the fabulous quilts created by the women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama.


At the end of last year, the High Museum presented Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrors,” a wildly popular exhibition seen by 136,000 people before closing in February. For a minute at least, it seemed like Kusama-mania had imbued the museum with a rejuvenating hipness, tagging the joint as being worthy of regular visitation by a new generation or two of art-curious fans.


“We’re always committed to presenting the finest examples of artistic achievement we can get our hands on,” says High Museum director Rand Suffolk.

!!!Three exhibitions distinguish the High Museum’s fall calendar:
“Something Over Something Else,” Romare Bearden’s Profile Series (Sept. 14, 2019– Feb. 2, 2020):

Organized by the High, this touring exhibition brings together dozens of works from Romare Bearden’s “Profile” series for the first time since its debut nearly 40 years ago. A series of collages conjures up the original presentations from 1978 and 1981, which featured accompanying wall texts written by Bearden (who died in 1988) in collaboration with essayist, jazz critic, and novelist Albert Murray.

“A Thousand Crossings,” Sally Mann (Oct. 19, 2019–Feb. 2, 2020): 


One of the preeminent art photographers of the last half-century, Sally Mann (American, born 1951) is a Virginia native whose work is often deeply, sometimes defiantly, rooted in her journey as a Southerner. Notes the High’s press preview: “The exhibition is both a sweeping overview of Mann’s artistic achievement over the past four decades and a focused exploration of how the South emerges in her work as a powerful and provocative force…”


“Figures of Speech,” Virgil Abloh (Nov. 9, 2019–March 8, 2020): 

Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, where it debuted in June, “Figures of Speech” showcases the work of Virgil Abloh, the 39-year-old creative operator at the console of a thoroughly modern matrix enveloping art, music, fashion, and celebrity. The exhibition includes clothing designs for Louis Vuitton (Abloh is the first person of African descent to lead the Parisian fashion house’s ready-to-wear line for men); videos of fashion shows, which have garnered no small amount of viral online attention; and Abloh’s distinctive furniture designs (some for IKEA) and graphic art.

“Each exhibition also complements our permanent collection, adding context and insight across multiple collecting areas,” says Suffolk. “Presenting one of these shows would be exceptional.  Having all three here this fall is extraordinary.”

!!Jackson Fine Art
Widely recognized as one of the most important supporters of contemporary fine art photography in Atlanta and beyond, Jackson Fine Art – www.jacksonfineart.com – caters to artists, collectors, museums and corporate clients with services ranging from curating and managing collections to framing and installing.

For the fall season, Jackson Fine Art is showcasing a large selection of photographs by Sally Mann to supplement her retrospective at the High Museum (see above). Specifically, the exhibit (October 18–December 21) draws heavily from “Remembered Light,” a series that produced a book of photographs documenting painter-sculptor Cy Twombly’s studio in Lexington, Virginia, where both artists grew up.

!!Michael C. Carlos Museum
2019 marks the centennial celebration of the formal establishment of a museum to house Emory University’s collection of art and antiquities, which was relocated in 1919 from the original campus in Oxford, Georgia, to the main campus in Atlanta. In 1985, with the support of local philanthropist Michael C. Carlos, the museum moved into the old law school building following a complete renovation by architect Michael Graves. In 1993, an expanded museum and new conservation laboratory, which also benefited from Carlos’s largesse and Graves’ architectural acumen, opened as the Michael C. Carlos Museum – www.carlos.emory.edu.

Today, the Carlos Museum serves as a repository for more than 16,000 works, including what is arguably the largest ancient art collection in the Southeast. In addition to ancient artifacts from Rome, Egypt, Greece, the Near East, and the Americas; works of Asian art and sub-Saharan African art from the 19th and 20th centuries; and works on paper from the Middle Ages to the present, the museum also presents special exhibitions and educational events open to students of all ages and the general public. “The Carlos Museum’s collection of ancient art is unique in Atlanta and the Southeast, but we’re so much more than mummies,” says Allison Hutton, director of communications and marketing. “The oldest piece in our collection was created around 6,500-6,000 BC and the ‘youngest,’ a print by Tom Hück, was created in 2018, so we have quite a range.”

The museum recently launched SmARTy Packs, which lets families learn about art together in the galleries through hands-on projects. This fall, in conjunction with the exhibition “Through a Glass, Darkly” (see below), the museum will host an engraving workshop with artist Andrew Raftery. 

“Through a Glass, Darkly: Allegory and Faith in Netherlandish Prints from Lucas van Leyden to Rembrandt” (August 31-December 1) considers the form, function, and meaning of allegorical prints produced in the Low Countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) between the 16th and 18th centuries.

“Minor White Unburdened: Photographs from the Collection of Lindsay W. Marshall” (October 12-December 15) features works by Minor White alongside photographs by friends and colleagues including Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Rose Mandel. Accompanying the photographs will be a selection of White’s writings in which he reflects upon his career and lifelong personal struggles with religion, sexuality, and the constitution of the spirit.

!!MODA
In 2011, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) – www.museumofdesign.org – celebrated its grand relocation to the sleek, stylish, ground-floor confines of Perkins + Will, a renowned architecture firm on Peachtree Street across from the High Museum, with an exhibit titled “Passione Italiana: Design of the Italian Motorcycle.” Since then, MODA has pursued its mission “to advance the understanding and appreciation of design as the convergence of creativity and functionality.”

“MODA is the only design museum in the Southeastern United States, which makes us different from institutions in Atlanta and far beyond,” says Executive Director Laura Flusche. “Our exhibitions and our programs demonstrate that design can inspire change, transform lives, and make the world a better place.”

MODA has mounted exhibitions that celebrate beautiful products (espresso machines, motorcycles), graphic designers and architects (Paul Rand, Eero Saarinen, Louise Fili), wearable technology (biofeedback devices), activist art and craft, urban design, landscape architecture, and food production techniques and distribution methodology. The museum organizes public lectures and educational programs that tackle serious topics and engage the imagination.

“Attendance at MODA has skyrocketed in the past 18 months,” says Flusche. “We’re attracting a young, diverse group of design-lovers who are passionate about social justice and human rights issues and the ways that design can address those things.”

On display at the gallery through Sunday, September 29, is “Wire & Wood: Designing Iconic Guitars”, which explores the basics of guitar design and construction alongside the ways in which musicians use the instrument to shape their public image. Included in the exhibition, curated and designed by W. Todd Vaught, are a number of instruments which have acquired legendary status by virtue of the musicians who wielded them on concert stages around the world.

Among the famed axes on display in “Wire & Wood” are Bo Diddley’s Gretsch 6138, Buck Owens’ Harmony Acoustic, Derek Trucks’ Gibson SG, Jack White’s Diddley Bow (from It Might Get Loud), Junior Brown’s Custom Guit-Steel, Kurt Cobain’s Fender Stratocaster, Steve Vai’s Ibanez EVO, and St. Vincent’s Signature Ernie Ball Music Man.

“Wire & Wood” confronts the age-old conundrum of whether form follows function or vice-versa by first presenting the guitar in its simplest form along with information about the ways in which traditional design elements and materials affect sound. The exhibit then discusses advancements in the luthier’s art, including mass manufacturing and alternative materials, accompanied by stories explaining how and why certain modern guitars are endowed with a status beyond their mere existence.

!!Museum of Contemporary Art  of Georgia
It’s right there in the name: The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) — www.mocaga.org — collects and archives significant, contemporary works by artists who hail from or reside in the state of Georgia. That said, to provide context and accommodate relational concepts, the museum’s exhibitions include Georgia artists and artists from around the world. 

Co-founded in 2000 by David S. Golden, then president of CGR Advisors, and Annette Cone-Skelton, an accomplished Georgia artist and now President/CEO/Director of MOCA GA, the museum’s collection includes more than 1,000 works by 330 Georgia artists in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, and installation.

“Before MOCA GA, much of the work being exhibited locally was by artists imported from other urban centers, which did not necessarily acknowledge the narratives that were important to this area,” says Cone-Skelton. “This left a tremendous void in the landscape of arts institutions in Atlanta.”

Consequently, the Atlanta arts community experienced an exodus of talent to cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. MOCA GA stepped into the void with a mission based on programs that create a forum for interchange between artists and the community, and a platform from which to launch local artists and their works into the orbit of the global arts community.  

Recently, Atlanta Contemporary announced Cone-Skelton and Atlanta mixed-media artist Kevin Cole as recipients of the 2019 Nexus Award. The award recognizes “individuals, groups, or organizations that have made significant contributions to the contemporary arts landscape and celebrates local leaders who are instrumental in making Atlanta an exceptionally vibrant arts community.” 

!!!MOCA GA fall schedule:
Tuesday, August 13: Working Artist Project (WAP) Fellow Krista Clark artist talk for “Base Line of Appraisal” exhibition, 6:30-8:30 pm

Thursday, September 5: “Dorothy O’Connor: Scenes” opening reception, 6:30-8:30 pm

Friday, September 6: Public panel and reception for the Latin American Association exhibition (unnamed at press time), 6-9 pm

Friday, September 13: WAP Fellow Myra Greene’s opening reception (unnamed at press time), 6:30-8:30 pm

Tuesday, October 1: WAP Fellow Myra Greene artist talk, 6:30-8:30 pm

Friday & Saturday, October 4-5: MOCA GA hosts the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Photobook Fair

Friday, October 18: MOCA GA hosts the Atlanta Photography Group panel

Friday, November 15: WAP Fellow Cosmo Whyte’s opening reception (unnamed at press time), 6:30-8:30 pm

::::
!!
Opened in 2010 and curated by writer and filmmaker, Robin Bernat, Poem88 – www.poem88.net  – declared a reorganization of its roster of artists. Consequently, 70 percent of the artists on the Poem 88 roster are women while approximately 28 percent represent ethnic or cultural minorities and 42 percent are 50 years of age or older. As a woman-owned business, Poem 88 is committed to supporting and nurturing “a community that is frequently sidelined in today’s contemporary art world.”

“Raymond Goins: Infallible Beauty” (Saturday, September 7–Saturday, October 19): This exhibition will provide an unadorned and decontextualized view of the work of Raymond Goins, a self-taught artist who moves fluidly between the realms of interior design, decorative art, and fine art. 

!!Sandler Hudson Gallery
Established in 1989 by Georgia-born owners Debbie Hudson and Robin Sandler, Sandler Hudson www.sandlerhudson.com  — Gallery specializes in innovative and provocative contemporary art that spans a multitude of disciplines including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video, and new media. For the fall season, Sandler Hudson is presenting three exhibitions:

“Recent Drawings” (June 28–September 14): A group exhibition featuring works by Krista Clark, William Downs, Yanique Norman, and Rocío Rodríguez, “Recent Drawings” explores a variety of mark-making using various instruments, techniques, and mediums.

“JET” (September 20–October 19): Los Angeles-based artist Erin D. Garcia brings his vibrant and colorful paintings to the south for the first time. “JET” will present Garcia’s distinctly rendered varicolored gradient shapes on his largest canvases to date, along with multiple works on paper.

“Blue Distant” (October 25–November 30): A solo exhibition of new paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by Savannah artist Namwon Choi. Choi’s elegantly offbeat works fuse conceptual notions of Eastern and Western art into a wondrously personal vision.

!!SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film
The Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) opened its Midtown Atlanta campus in 2005. Among its prominent facilities is the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film – www.scadfash.org. With nearly 10,000 square feet of exhibition space, SCAD FASH serves as a teaching museum for students and a platform for public presentations of fashion-focused designs, films, gallery talks, and lectures.

“SCAD FASH’s exhibitions and programs are curated in collaboration with world-renowned designers and artists, and are developed to inspire and engage visitors with varied backgrounds, not only fashionistas!” says SCAD’s public relations director Jeanette McWilliams. 

Past exhibitions have featured fashion luminaries, such as Oscar de la Renta, Guo Pei, Mary Katrantzou and Carolina Herrera, and fashionable work including costumes from The Handmaid’s Tale television series (SCAD exhibit ends August 12).

“The public’s interest in fashion has never been more ardent and continues to grow,” says McWilliams. “Last May, our first-ever student runway show sold out almost as quickly as the tickets went online.”

!!!During the fall season, SCAD FASH is hosting three exhibitions:
“Aura and Invention: Alternative Processes in Photography” (September 26–November 14) showcases works by SCAD students and recent alumni from the Atlanta and Savannah campuses. According to a SCAD press release, “Works in this exhibition were chosen for their inventiveness in process and design, by young artists who are pushing the limits and potential for photography in an image-saturated society. Through alternative perspectives in the composition of photography, these artists challenge modes of reproduction, and offer alternatives to a culture of instant production and dissemination of images.”

“Form & Function: Shoe Art by Chris Francis” (August 13–December 8) puts the spotlight on the Los Angeles-based street artist-turned-shoe-designer who learned his trade by consulting with and acquiring vintage machines and tools from immigrant cobblers. Francis credits the punk movement for inspiring the independent design house where he crafts small batches of wildly stylized shoes, many of which have been worn by rock stars including Mötley Crüe’s Mick Mars, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, and former Runaways guitarist Lita Ford.

Isabelle de Borchgrave exhibition: “w” (October 22–January 12) explores five centuries of fashion through the trompe l’oeil masterpieces of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. Using paper and paint, de Borchgrave creates sculptural replicas of garments found in early European paintings and collections. The exhibition includes de Borchgrave’s series “Les Ballet Russes,” which interprets costumes designed by Léon Bakst, Giorgio de Chirico, and Pablo Picasso, as well as her “Kaftans” series, which was inspired by the Silk Road textiles of central Asia. The exhibition also includes work by eccentric early 20th-century artist Mariano Fortuny, whose famous Delphos gown debuted in 1907.

!!Whitespace
In a converted 1893 carriage house on Edgewood Avenue behind her Inman Park Victorian residence, Whitespace – ww.whitespace814.com – owner Susan Bridges stages exhibitions of contemporary art along with the occasional chamber ensemble performance. Opened in 2007, Whitespace was the Creative Loafing Reader’s Choice for Best Gallery in 2013.

“On Singing the Body Formless and Electric” (Friday, August 2–Saturday, August 31): In the spirit of poet Walt Whitman’s “I sing the body electric,” Whitespace hosts a tripartite exhibition curated by Atlanta native Lisa Alembik, assistant professor at Perimeter College of Georgia State University on the Clarkston campus. The main gallery will feature eight artist or artist groups, which include Carrie Hawks, Catherine Lucky Chang, Eleanor Aldrich, Hannah Adair, Hannah Ehrlich, Larkin Ford & Joe Hadden, Michelle Laxalt, and Parker Thornton. In the Whitespec space, the two-artist collaborative of Pinky/MM Bass and Carolyn DeMeritt will display their work, while Amanda Britton commandeers Shedspace. 

“7th Annual Short Shorts 2019, Jiffy Louvre: Leave Worry Behind” (Thursday, August 29, 7:30-9 p.m.): An evening of one- to five-minute films selected by guest juror, painter, sculptor, and animator Joseph Peragine, director of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design at Georgia State University.

!!ZUCKERMAN MUSEUM OF ART
Opened in 2014, the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art (ZMA) — www.arts.kennesaw.edu/zuckerman — on the Kennesaw State University campus encompasses three exhibition galleries, a collection research center, and a two-story-high glass atrium, which is the most striking feature of the 9,200-square-foot facility designed by Stanley Beaman & Sears. The museum regularly presents works from the university’s 6,000-piece permanent collection along with exhibitions of contemporary works by local, national, and international artists. The ZMA's Fine Arts Satellite Gallery in the Wilson Building features faculty, student, and alumni projects.

“The ZMA team, which has significantly altered in the past year, is proud of what we accomplished in the institution's first five years,” says Teresa Bramlette Reeves, director of curatorial affairs, who will have resigned from her position by the time this article is published. “We routinely presented exhibitions of depth and variety, supported local artists, shared the work of nationally and internationally recognized artists, and produced associated brochures and catalogues.”

The ZMA’s two main fall exhibitions open on Saturday, August 24, with a free reception and special programming from 3-5 p.m. 

"Painting Who?" (through December 15) presents a series of paintings by multiple artists, which serve multiple roles and stretch the definition and traditional boundaries of painting. “I see them as alive,” wrote Moira Dryer (1957-1992) about her work, which is featured in the show. “I see them as walking away from the wall. It’s a feeling I have that the work is active, active in our own world, not separate.” The other artists showcased in “Painting Who?” are Jeff Conefry, Gracie Devito, Chris Hood and Wihro Kim.

"Fruitful Labors" (through November 10) focuses on strategies and tactics for coping, according to a ZMA press release. Ranging from the absurd to the essential, the tactics include conversation, repetitive labor, intergenerational storytelling, and healing practices. The artwork “reflects our innate fear of uncertainty and the unknown while simultaneously valuing the power of belief in the face of struggle.” Featured artists include Lenka Clayton, Harry Dodge/Stanya Kahn, Shanequa Gay, Stanya Kahn, Michelle Laxalt, Shana Moulton, and Kaitlynn Redell.


 


Return to Fall Arts Preview 2019"
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Same as it ever was, the visual arts scene in Atlanta is in a state of flux, particularly at the street level where the West and Southwest flanks of downtown mark the next major front for the newest of the new to appear. With the Goat Farm closing and morphing into who-knows-what; the construction of The MET continuing apace and attracting entities like MINT and Mammal Gallery; and The Bakery executing its inspiring, if sometimes bewilderingly eclectic, strategy with characteristic DIY aplomb (while facing a move in the next year, as the lease on the arts center’s Warner Street building will not be renewed), the west side is the best side for seeking out the edges of Atlanta’s art/art music/art performance scene.

“Atlanta’s strong suit for the 40-something years I’ve been here is how incredibly active the grassroots community is,” says Louise Shaw, curator of the Senser Museum at the Centers for Disease Control and cofounder of Idea Capital, an arts funding group. “People, particularly young people, are continually trying to reinvent the art scene.”

Otherwise, the more things change, the more stalwart venues, such as the High Museum, Atlanta Contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the major arts institutions and fine art galleries, keep moving forward with their respective missions. At the same time, public art, street art, mural painting, and graffiti are exerting a particular influence on the Atlanta art scene for which the city is becoming increasingly recognized nationally and internationally.

“The street art trend is really exciting,” says Shaw. “The work along Edgewood and in Cabbagetown, the Krog Tunnel, these works that stay up for a few months and are then replaced by new work — this kind of activity creates a vibrancy and excitement lacking in many cities.” 

From gleaming white halls and walls to sandblasted slabs of brick and concrete to just about any flat accessible surface with a sightline, Atlanta’s visual artists, curators and gallery owners use whatever means are available to satisfy the muse. That’s how it works.

!!__Atlanta Celebrates Photography__
Entering its third decade, Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP) — www.acpinfo.org — is both an annual festival and the name of the organization responsible for staging the event. Billed as the largest community photography event in America, the 2019 edition of the ACP festival, which begins in mid-September and runs through the end of October, features more than 100 happenings including five lectures, three professional development workshops, a photobook fair, a film series, and numerous exhibits. This panoply of activity takes place at site-specific outdoor installations including the BeltLine, arts facilities, museums, galleries, retail businesses, and special venues spread across metro Atlanta.

“The ACP festival provides a comprehensive platform not only for people to experience our events, but to participate as creators,” says ACP Executive Director Amy Miller. “This allows for a true celebration of all that photography can be — a multifaceted art form with the power to change lives and connect people.”

The ACP has no event facility to call its own. All exhibits, lectures, screenings, and sundry programs are arranged through partnerships with other organizations and institutions. “The beauty of this business model is that the entire city becomes our venue,” Miller says. “The ACP festival raises awareness of arts venues and cultural organizations throughout the city, which creates a rising tide that, hopefully, lifts all boats.”

!!!Highlights of the 2019 Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival include:
__The FENCE (Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail):__ This truly mega-outdoor photo exhibition returns to Atlanta with more than 40 photographers from around the world, selected by a jury of 40 experts from a  global call for entries, spreading the joy of their craft along a 700+-foot-long fence.

__ACP Auction Gala__ (Saturday, September 14): Cocktail reception, open bar, dinner, plus a silent auction at The Landmark honoring Dr. Sarah Kennel, newly installed curator of photography at the High Museum of Art. The auction serves as the primary fundraising event for ACP and the 2019 ACP Festival.

__ACP Special Exhibition: Teen Spirit at Mason Fine Art__ – www.masonfineartandevents.com – (Artists Reception, Thursday, September 19, 6-9 p.m., Exhibition September 19-October 11, free and open to the public). Volunteer photographers, led by ACP co-founder Corinne Adams, guide teens at Scottish Rite and Egleston hospitals in an exploration of identity, including (or in spite of) their diagnosis, through writing and photographic self-portraiture. This exhibition showcases the creative work produced by the teens during the past 12 months.

__Photobook Fair__ (October 4-5): ''The'' photo book event of the Southeast at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. For the complete list of exhibitors, artist talks, and book-signings, please visit ACPinfo.org 

__Chris Verene’s “Home Movies”__ (Thursday, October 10): The Landmark Midtown Art Cinema hosts a one-night-only screening of “home movies” (video clips) shot by renowned photographer Chris Verene during the course of documenting his family’s life in rural Illinois, which has been the former Atlantan’s primary subject for the past three decades. A post-screening panel discussion will feature photographer Ashley Reid and Mona Bennett, ambassador of the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, moderated by Felicia Feaster.

In conjunction with the Landmark screening of “Home Movies,” Marcia Wood Gallery – www.marciawoodgallery.com – which represents Verene, will be exhibiting a large selection of the artist’s photographs during the ACP Festival. Verene will be in attendance at the gallery opening in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood on September 18 and closing reception on October 12.

!!Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center
In 2015, the Atlanta Contemporary dropped the “Arts Center” from its name and fully embraced the institutionalized practice of “free admission, every day.” Today, Atlanta Contemporary – www.atlantacontemporary.org – occupies a special position in the arts community not only because of the price of admission to the facility, but also by virtue of its varied offerings, which include showcasing and commissioning new work by emerging artists; diverse educational programs, such as Contemporary Kids, Contemporary Cocktails, and Contemporary Talks; and on-site subsidized studio space for working artists through the Studio Artist Program. Atlanta Contemporary, incidentally, also throws great art parties and openings.

“Any city that is a beacon for tourism and advancement in technology, any city that wants to be recognized as a destination, needs a contemporary art center that advocates for what’s happening today,” says Executive Director Veronica Kessenich.

With the departure of curator Daniel Fuller at the end of June, Kessenich is moving forward with a full slate of previously scheduled fall exhibitions and looking with anticipation toward a new chapter in the evolution of the Westside arts center.

“Daniel was such an integral part of Atlanta Contemporary over the last four and a half years,” says Kessenich. “We will surely miss him and thank him for his leadership and service to Atlanta Contemporary.”

On tap between Saturday, August 24, and Sunday, December 22, are solo exhibitions by Bryan Graf and Emma McMillan, plus Contemporary On-Site projects featuring Coco Hunday, an artist-run exhibition space in Tampa, Florida; Atlanta-based artist Wihro Kim; and Bailey Scieszka who lives and works in Detroit.

In “__Landlines__,” Bryan Graf explores a range of photographic approaches and subjects, seeking balance or an equivalence between conceptual, visceral, and narrative elements. “The photographs in this show are notes, recordings, observations, and questions from specific places and times,” notes the Atlanta Contemporary press release. “This is an optical research into the debris of the days; a self-portrait of the dust that sculpts us.”

Emma McMillan’s “__Project X__” is inspired by the work of Atlanta architect John Portman, whose influence on the contours of the Atlanta skyline can scarcely be understated. Appropriating the name of an unrealized 1969 utopian residential building, Project X conjures up the architect’s design theory and manifest legacy in a series of large oil and aquarelle paintings, which are displayed across aluminum scaffolding, creating an immersive environment reminiscent of Portman’s iconic downtown Atlanta structures.

!!EBD4
Coinciding with the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival, EBD4 – www.EBD4.com – an industrial space for creatives in Chamblee, is staging a special “ACP at EBD4” exhibition. “__1980’s ATL Portraits of Drag Queens & Club Kids (think RuPaul)__” by Al Clayton showcases Clayton’s chronicling of the intersectional-before-it-was-cool club scene in Atlanta back when the local celebrity head count included RuPaul, Larry Tee, LaHoma, Sable Chanel, Charlie Brown, and Spike, among others. 

The exhibition will also display images from Clayton’s landmark 1969 book, ''Still Hungry in America'', along with select images of Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Townes van Zandt, Tammy Wynette and other luminaries from Ken Burns’ documentary ''Country Music''. The Clayton family will have prints from the photographer’s personal collection available, as well as limited edition prints.

Opening: Saturday, October 19, 2019, 6:30. Dance party starts at 8:30, admission $10.

Open House: Wednesday, October 23–Saturday, October 26, 1–5 p.m. or by appointment.

!!Gallery 72
It may come as a surprise to some that the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs has its own art gallery. Opened in 2014, Gallery 72 — www.ocaatlanta.com — is located downtown on the first floor of the 72 Marietta Street building. During the past five years, Gallery 72 has hosted a variety of exhibitions addressing relevant topics ranging from human trafficking, civil and human rights, memory and ritual, to the growth of local arts organizations (e.g., Wonderroot, The Creatives Project) and the rise of hip-hop. 

“Gallery 72 is a space where artists can push the experimental aesthetics of their work, which they may not choose to pursue in more commercial venues,” says gallery director Kevin Sipp. “It is also important that the gallery represents Atlanta as it is now, which is a melting pot of vibrant cultures, political views, and ideas.”

Gallery 72 will host two exhibitions in the fall: In “__Reclaim/Proclaim Blandtown__” (October 10-November 22), Gregor Turk takes up the subject of a long-neglected Westside Atlanta neighborhood. In the 1950s, the African-American community of Blandtown, which once boasted more than 200 houses, was rezoned to heavy industrial without proper public review. Today, much of the area, which is bisected by the BeltLine, is being rezoned back to residential for rapid redevelopment. Of the four original remaining houses, one was converted by Turk in 2003 into his studio. Comprising wall-mounted sculpture and photography, “Reclaim/Proclaim Blandtown” is part history lesson, part manifesto, and part civic rousing. In 2017, Turk received an Idea Capital grant for developing this project followed by an Artist Project Grant the next year from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

"__Contrapunto: A Latin American Art Collective in Atlanta__" (November 28-February 7) celebrates the work of a Latin art collective founded in 2008 by Carlos Solis. In addition to Solis, Contrapunto members, all of whom are based in Atlanta, included in the exhibition are Jorge Arcos, Pedro Fuertes, Catalina Gomez Beuth, Dora López, and Graciela Núñez Bedoya, Their work ranges from surrealist, cubist, and abstract to realist and naturalistic. In Spanish, “contrapunto” usually refers to the musical practice of joining two or more melodies to create harmony while maintaining the individual quality of each player’s contribution.

Says Sipp, “The narratives that fuel Atlanta and its present growth have expanded beyond past narratives to include transcendent global perspectives from all corners of the world.”

!!Hathaway Gallery
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Established in 2015 in what is now a thriving Westside neighborhood jam-packed with live-work spaces, restaurants, and entertainment venues, Hathaway Gallery – www.hathawaygallery.com  – strives to “foster and expand the contemporary art collector base in the Southeast through inclusivity and education.” Hathaway’s fall exhibition schedule includes:

“__No Place Like Home__” (July 20–September 7): A three-person exhibition of works by Jaime Bull, In Kyoung Chun, and Maryam Palizgir. Each of the artists brings a distinctly expressive technique and vision to bear on the idea of “home.” 

“__Changing Tides__” (September 14–November 9): A solo exhibition featuring the highly kinetic, vividly colorful abstract paintings of Fran O’Neill. 

!!High Museum
In the realm of mainstream visual arts, every major metropolitan city has its leader of the pack. The museum with the largest and deepest collection, the curatorial punch, and the financial wherewithal to make things happen that other institutions can’t and, truth be told, don’t need to match.

In Atlanta, the High Museum of Art – www.high.org – has filled that role since the founding of the Atlanta Art Association (the museum’s organizational precursor) in 1905. In 2019, the sensually curvaceous, gleaming white structure, situated on a gently rising grassy slope at the corner of Peachtree and 16th streets, stands alongside the Alliance Theater and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as one of three pillars girding the Woodruff Arts Center.

In 2018, the High undertook a total reconfiguration of its almost 94,000 square feet of gallery space. The massive makeover allowed for the rearrangement of artwork from the museum’s 16,000-piece permanent collection and the inclusion of a trove of never-before-exhibited artistic treasure. Among those treasures were selections from a 2017 acquisition of visionary folk art from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, which shone new light on the art of Thornton Dial, Sr., Lonnie Holley, Henry Church, Mary T. Smith, and the fabulous quilts created by the women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama.

{img fileId="21489" stylebox="float: right; margin-left:25px;" desc="desc" max="600"}
At the end of last year, the High Museum presented Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrors,” a wildly popular exhibition seen by 136,000 people before closing in February. For a minute at least, it seemed like Kusama-mania had imbued the museum with a rejuvenating hipness, tagging the joint as being worthy of regular visitation by a new generation or two of art-curious fans.


“We’re always committed to presenting the finest examples of artistic achievement we can get our hands on,” says High Museum director Rand Suffolk.

!!!Three exhibitions distinguish the High Museum’s fall calendar:
“__Something Over Something Else,__” Romare Bearden’s Profile Series (Sept. 14, 2019– Feb. 2, 2020):

Organized by the High, this touring exhibition brings together dozens of works from Romare Bearden’s “Profile” series for the first time since its debut nearly 40 years ago. A series of collages conjures up the original presentations from 1978 and 1981, which featured accompanying wall texts written by Bearden (who died in 1988) in collaboration with essayist, jazz critic, and novelist Albert Murray.

“__A Thousand Crossings__,” Sally Mann (Oct. 19, 2019–Feb. 2, 2020): 

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One of the preeminent art photographers of the last half-century, Sally Mann (American, born 1951) is a Virginia native whose work is often deeply, sometimes defiantly, rooted in her journey as a Southerner. Notes the High’s press preview: “The exhibition is both a sweeping overview of Mann’s artistic achievement over the past four decades and a focused exploration of how the South emerges in her work as a powerful and provocative force…”


“__Figures of Speech__,” Virgil Abloh (Nov. 9, 2019–March 8, 2020): 

Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, where it debuted in June, “Figures of Speech” showcases the work of Virgil Abloh, the 39-year-old creative operator at the console of a thoroughly modern matrix enveloping art, music, fashion, and celebrity. The exhibition includes clothing designs for Louis Vuitton (Abloh is the first person of African descent to lead the Parisian fashion house’s ready-to-wear line for men); videos of fashion shows, which have garnered no small amount of viral online attention; and Abloh’s distinctive furniture designs (some for IKEA) and graphic art.

“Each exhibition also complements our permanent collection, adding context and insight across multiple collecting areas,” says Suffolk. “Presenting one of these shows would be exceptional.  Having all three here this fall is extraordinary.”

!!Jackson Fine Art
Widely recognized as one of the most important supporters of contemporary fine art photography in Atlanta and beyond, Jackson Fine Art – www.jacksonfineart.com – caters to artists, collectors, museums and corporate clients with services ranging from curating and managing collections to framing and installing.

For the fall season, Jackson Fine Art is showcasing a large selection of photographs by Sally Mann to supplement her retrospective at the High Museum (see above). Specifically, the exhibit (October 18–December 21) draws heavily from “Remembered Light,” a series that produced a book of photographs documenting painter-sculptor Cy Twombly’s studio in Lexington, Virginia, where both artists grew up.

!!Michael C. Carlos Museum
2019 marks the centennial celebration of the formal establishment of a museum to house Emory University’s collection of art and antiquities, which was relocated in 1919 from the original campus in Oxford, Georgia, to the main campus in Atlanta. In 1985, with the support of local philanthropist Michael C. Carlos, the museum moved into the old law school building following a complete renovation by architect Michael Graves. In 1993, an expanded museum and new conservation laboratory, which also benefited from Carlos’s largesse and Graves’ architectural acumen, opened as the Michael C. Carlos Museum – www.carlos.emory.edu.

Today, the Carlos Museum serves as a repository for more than 16,000 works, including what is arguably the largest ancient art collection in the Southeast. In addition to ancient artifacts from Rome, Egypt, Greece, the Near East, and the Americas; works of Asian art and sub-Saharan African art from the 19th and 20th centuries; and works on paper from the Middle Ages to the present, the museum also presents special exhibitions and educational events open to students of all ages and the general public. “The Carlos Museum’s collection of ancient art is unique in Atlanta and the Southeast, but we’re so much more than mummies,” says Allison Hutton, director of communications and marketing. “The oldest piece in our collection was created around 6,500-6,000 BC and the ‘youngest,’ a print by Tom Hück, was created in 2018, so we have quite a range.”

The museum recently launched SmARTy Packs, which lets families learn about art together in the galleries through hands-on projects. This fall, in conjunction with the exhibition “Through a Glass, Darkly” (see below), the museum will host an engraving workshop with artist Andrew Raftery. 

“__Through a Glass, Darkly: Allegory and Faith in Netherlandish Prints from Lucas van Leyden to Rembrandt__” (August 31-December 1) considers the form, function, and meaning of allegorical prints produced in the Low Countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) between the 16th and 18th centuries.

“__Minor White Unburdened: Photographs from the Collection of Lindsay W. Marshall__” (October 12-December 15) features works by Minor White alongside photographs by friends and colleagues including Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Rose Mandel. Accompanying the photographs will be a selection of White’s writings in which he reflects upon his career and lifelong personal struggles with religion, sexuality, and the constitution of the spirit.

!!MODA
In 2011, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) – www.museumofdesign.org – celebrated its grand relocation to the sleek, stylish, ground-floor confines of Perkins + Will, a renowned architecture firm on Peachtree Street across from the High Museum, with an exhibit titled “Passione Italiana: Design of the Italian Motorcycle.” Since then, MODA has pursued its mission “to advance the understanding and appreciation of design as the convergence of creativity and functionality.”

“MODA is the only design museum in the Southeastern United States, which makes us different from institutions in Atlanta and far beyond,” says Executive Director Laura Flusche. “Our exhibitions and our programs demonstrate that design can inspire change, transform lives, and make the world a better place.”

MODA has mounted exhibitions that celebrate beautiful products (espresso machines, motorcycles), graphic designers and architects (Paul Rand, Eero Saarinen, Louise Fili), wearable technology (biofeedback devices), activist art and craft, urban design, landscape architecture, and food production techniques and distribution methodology. The museum organizes public lectures and educational programs that tackle serious topics and engage the imagination.

“Attendance at MODA has skyrocketed in the past 18 months,” says Flusche. “We’re attracting a young, diverse group of design-lovers who are passionate about social justice and human rights issues and the ways that design can address those things.”

On display at the gallery through Sunday, September 29, is “Wire & Wood: Designing Iconic Guitars”, which explores the basics of guitar design and construction alongside the ways in which musicians use the instrument to shape their public image. Included in the exhibition, curated and designed by W. Todd Vaught, are a number of instruments which have acquired legendary status by virtue of the musicians who wielded them on concert stages around the world.

Among the famed axes on display in “__Wire & Wood__” are Bo Diddley’s Gretsch 6138, Buck Owens’ Harmony Acoustic, Derek Trucks’ Gibson SG, Jack White’s Diddley Bow (from ''It'' ''Might Get Loud''), Junior Brown’s Custom Guit-Steel, Kurt Cobain’s Fender Stratocaster, Steve Vai’s Ibanez EVO, and St. Vincent’s Signature Ernie Ball Music Man.

“Wire & Wood” confronts the age-old conundrum of whether form follows function or vice-versa by first presenting the guitar in its simplest form along with information about the ways in which traditional design elements and materials affect sound. The exhibit then discusses advancements in the luthier’s art, including mass manufacturing and alternative materials, accompanied by stories explaining how and why certain modern guitars are endowed with a status beyond their mere existence.

!!Museum of Contemporary Art  of Georgia
It’s right there in the name: The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) — www.mocaga.org — collects and archives significant, contemporary works by artists who hail from or reside in the state of Georgia. That said, to provide context and accommodate relational concepts, the museum’s exhibitions include Georgia artists and artists from around the world. 

Co-founded in 2000 by David S. Golden, then president of CGR Advisors, and Annette Cone-Skelton, an accomplished Georgia artist and now President/CEO/Director of MOCA GA, the museum’s collection includes more than 1,000 works by 330 Georgia artists in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, and installation.

“Before MOCA GA, much of the work being exhibited locally was by artists imported from other urban centers, which did not necessarily acknowledge the narratives that were important to this area,” says Cone-Skelton. “This left a tremendous void in the landscape of arts institutions in Atlanta.”

Consequently, the Atlanta arts community experienced an exodus of talent to cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. MOCA GA stepped into the void with a mission based on programs that create a forum for interchange between artists and the community, and a platform from which to launch local artists and their works into the orbit of the global arts community.  

Recently, Atlanta Contemporary announced Cone-Skelton and Atlanta mixed-media artist Kevin Cole as recipients of the 2019 Nexus Award. The award recognizes “individuals, groups, or organizations that have made significant contributions to the contemporary arts landscape and celebrates local leaders who are instrumental in making Atlanta an exceptionally vibrant arts community.” 

!!!MOCA GA fall schedule:
__Tuesday, August 13:__ Working Artist Project (WAP) Fellow Krista Clark artist talk for “__Base Line of Appraisal__” exhibition, 6:30-8:30 pm

__Thursday, September 5:__ “__Dorothy O’Connor: Scenes__” opening reception, 6:30-8:30 pm

__Friday, September 6:__ Public panel and reception for the Latin American Association exhibition (unnamed at press time), 6-9 pm

__Friday, September 13:__ WAP Fellow Myra Greene’s opening reception (unnamed at press time), 6:30-8:30 pm

__Tuesday, October 1:__ WAP Fellow Myra Greene artist talk, 6:30-8:30 pm

__Friday & Saturday, October 4-5:__ MOCA GA hosts the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Photobook Fair

__Friday, October 18:__ MOCA GA hosts the Atlanta Photography Group panel

__Friday, November 15:__ WAP Fellow Cosmo Whyte’s opening reception (unnamed at press time), 6:30-8:30 pm

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!!{Poem 88}
Opened in 2010 and curated by writer and filmmaker, Robin Bernat, Poem88 – www.poem88.net  – declared a reorganization of its roster of artists. Consequently, 70 percent of the artists on the Poem 88 roster are women while approximately 28 percent represent ethnic or cultural minorities and 42 percent are 50 years of age or older. As a woman-owned business, Poem 88 is committed to supporting and nurturing “a community that is frequently sidelined in today’s contemporary art world.”

“__Raymond Goins: Infallible Beauty__” (Saturday, September 7–Saturday, October 19): This exhibition will provide an unadorned and decontextualized view of the work of Raymond Goins, a self-taught artist who moves fluidly between the realms of interior design, decorative art, and fine art. 

!!Sandler Hudson Gallery
Established in 1989 by Georgia-born owners Debbie Hudson and Robin Sandler, Sandler Hudson www.sandlerhudson.com  — Gallery specializes in innovative and provocative contemporary art that spans a multitude of disciplines including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video, and new media. For the fall season, Sandler Hudson is presenting three exhibitions:

“__Recent Drawings__” (June 28–September 14): A group exhibition featuring works by Krista Clark, William Downs, Yanique Norman, and Rocío Rodríguez, “Recent Drawings” explores a variety of mark-making using various instruments, techniques, and mediums.

“__JET__” (September 20–October 19): Los Angeles-based artist Erin D. Garcia brings his vibrant and colorful paintings to the south for the first time. “JET” will present Garcia’s distinctly rendered varicolored gradient shapes on his largest canvases to date, along with multiple works on paper.

“__Blue Distant__” (October 25–November 30): A solo exhibition of new paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by Savannah artist Namwon Choi. Choi’s elegantly offbeat works fuse conceptual notions of Eastern and Western art into a wondrously personal vision.

!!SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film
The Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) opened its Midtown Atlanta campus in 2005. Among its prominent facilities is the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film – www.scadfash.org. With nearly 10,000 square feet of exhibition space, SCAD FASH serves as a teaching museum for students and a platform for public presentations of fashion-focused designs, films, gallery talks, and lectures.

“SCAD FASH’s exhibitions and programs are curated in collaboration with world-renowned designers and artists, and are developed to inspire and engage visitors with varied backgrounds, not only fashionistas!” says SCAD’s public relations director Jeanette McWilliams. 

Past exhibitions have featured fashion luminaries, such as Oscar de la Renta, Guo Pei, Mary Katrantzou and Carolina Herrera, and fashionable work including costumes from ''The'' ''Handmaid’s Tale'' television series (SCAD exhibit ends August 12).

“The public’s interest in fashion has never been more ardent and continues to grow,” says McWilliams. “Last May, our first-ever student runway show sold out almost as quickly as the tickets went online.”

!!!During the fall season, SCAD FASH is hosting three exhibitions:
“__Aura and Invention: Alternative Processes in Photography__” (September 26–November 14) showcases works by SCAD students and recent alumni from the Atlanta and Savannah campuses. According to a SCAD press release, “Works in this exhibition were chosen for their inventiveness in process and design, by young artists who are pushing the limits and potential for photography in an image-saturated society. Through alternative perspectives in the composition of photography, these artists challenge modes of reproduction, and offer alternatives to a culture of instant production and dissemination of images.”

“__Form & Function: Shoe Art by Chris Francis__” (August 13–December 8) puts the spotlight on the Los Angeles-based street artist-turned-shoe-designer who learned his trade by consulting with and acquiring vintage machines and tools from immigrant cobblers. Francis credits the punk movement for inspiring the independent design house where he crafts small batches of wildly stylized shoes, many of which have been worn by rock stars including Mötley Crüe’s Mick Mars, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, and former Runaways guitarist Lita Ford.

__Isabelle de Borchgrave exhibition:__ “__w__” (October 22–January 12) explores five centuries of fashion through the trompe l’oeil masterpieces of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. Using paper and paint, de Borchgrave creates sculptural replicas of garments found in early European paintings and collections. The exhibition includes de Borchgrave’s series “Les Ballet Russes,” which interprets costumes designed by Léon Bakst, Giorgio de Chirico, and Pablo Picasso, as well as her “Kaftans” series, which was inspired by the Silk Road textiles of central Asia. The exhibition also includes work by eccentric early 20th-century artist Mariano Fortuny, whose famous Delphos gown debuted in 1907.

!!Whitespace
In a converted 1893 carriage house on Edgewood Avenue behind her Inman Park Victorian residence, Whitespace – ww.whitespace814.com – owner Susan Bridges stages exhibitions of contemporary art along with the occasional chamber ensemble performance. Opened in 2007, Whitespace was the ''Creative Loafing'' Reader’s Choice for Best Gallery in 2013.

“__On Singing the Body Formless and Electric__” (Friday, August 2–Saturday, August 31): In the spirit of poet Walt Whitman’s “I sing the body electric,” Whitespace hosts a tripartite exhibition curated by Atlanta native Lisa Alembik, assistant professor at Perimeter College of Georgia State University on the Clarkston campus. The main gallery will feature eight artist or artist groups, which include Carrie Hawks, Catherine Lucky Chang, Eleanor Aldrich, Hannah Adair, Hannah Ehrlich, Larkin Ford & Joe Hadden, Michelle Laxalt, and Parker Thornton. In the Whitespec space, the two-artist collaborative of Pinky/MM Bass and Carolyn DeMeritt will display their work, while Amanda Britton commandeers Shedspace. 

“__7th Annual Short Shorts 2019, Jiffy Louvre: Leave Worry Behind__” (Thursday, August 29, 7:30-9 p.m.): An evening of one- to five-minute films selected by guest juror, painter, sculptor, and animator Joseph Peragine, director of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design at Georgia State University.

!!ZUCKERMAN MUSEUM OF ART
Opened in 2014, the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art (ZMA) — www.arts.kennesaw.edu/zuckerman — on the Kennesaw State University campus encompasses three exhibition galleries, a collection research center, and a two-story-high glass atrium, which is the most striking feature of the 9,200-square-foot facility designed by Stanley Beaman & Sears. The museum regularly presents works from the university’s 6,000-piece permanent collection along with exhibitions of contemporary works by local, national, and international artists. The ZMA's Fine Arts Satellite Gallery in the Wilson Building features faculty, student, and alumni projects.

“The ZMA team, which has significantly altered in the past year, is proud of what we accomplished in the institution's first five years,” says Teresa Bramlette Reeves, director of curatorial affairs, who will have resigned from her position by the time this article is published. “We routinely presented exhibitions of depth and variety, supported local artists, shared the work of nationally and internationally recognized artists, and produced associated brochures and catalogues.”

The ZMA’s two main fall exhibitions open on Saturday, August 24, with a free reception and special programming from 3-5 p.m. 

"__Painting Who?__" (through December 15) presents a series of paintings by multiple artists, which serve multiple roles and stretch the definition and traditional boundaries of painting. “I see them as alive,” wrote Moira Dryer (1957-1992) about her work, which is featured in the show. “I see them as walking away from the wall. It’s a feeling I have that the work is active, active in our own world, not separate.” The other artists showcased in ''“''Painting Who?” are Jeff Conefry, Gracie Devito, Chris Hood and Wihro Kim.

__"Fruitful Labors__" (through November 10) focuses on strategies and tactics for coping, according to a ZMA press release. Ranging from the absurd to the essential, the tactics include conversation, repetitive labor, intergenerational storytelling, and healing practices. The artwork “reflects our innate fear of uncertainty and the unknown while simultaneously valuing the power of belief in the face of struggle.” Featured artists include Lenka Clayton, Harry Dodge/Stanya Kahn, Shanequa Gay, Stanya Kahn, Michelle Laxalt, Shana Moulton, and Kaitlynn Redell.

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!!::~~#000000:Reject the Box~~::
!!!::~~#000000:Atlanta-based artist-musician Lonnie Holley ruminates on the journey from obscurity to notoriety in the art world.~~::
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{DIV(class="byline clearfix")}~~#000000:LONNIE HOLLEY~~{DIV}

~~#000000:We struggle too long and some give up.~~

~~#000000:Ridiculed.~~

~~#000000:Criticized.~~

~~#000000:Rejected.~~

~~#000000:Not appreciated in the world.~~

~~#000000:Not appreciated in the art world.~~

~~#000000:We weren’t invited into it.~~

~~#000000:We’ve never really been invited into it.~~

~~#000000:So we had to create our own way of making and seeing the world.~~

~~#000000:I just kept pushing the boundaries of what I thought I was capable of. I kept going.~~

~~#000000:I saw so much material out there that I couldn’t stop.~~

~~#000000:I had so many other issues I had to face in my life that I couldn’t focus on the rejection. Or the criticism. In some ways I had to keep ahead of the criticism.~~

~~#000000:I kept doing my art. And kept reminding myself that my art was the purpose. It was more important than me and my feelings. I had studied and learned so many things just by looking. And listening. And doing. And looking at what ''National Geographic'' and encyclopedias contained.~~

~~#000000:Which came first, the artist or the art?~~

~~#000000:I always say, “Which will you drop first, the baby or the bomb?”~~

~~#000000:Sometimes we are on a journey and we think we are alone. And it’s scary to be alone.~~

~~#000000:But then you find out you are not alone and it gives you power. It makes you work harder.~~

~~#000000:I was not alone. I was not even alone in Alabama. People like Thornton Dial did the same thing. They had to. Mose Tolliver. Arlonzia Pettway and Nettie Young and Mary Lee Bendolph and Rita Mae Pettway and so many others, in Gee’s Bend, did the same thing. They even taught their children, so you have Louisiana Bendolph and she was paying attention. Thornton Dial’s children looked and listened. I hope my children watched, too.~~

~~#000000:Jimmie Lee Sudduth used mud and his fingers to be heard.~~

~~#000000:Ronald Lockett cut tin.~~

~~#000000:Joe Minter, right in Birmingham, had to build an entire African Village in America, to call attention to the fact that he was there. His people were there. Like me, the city tried to condemn his land and make his call go away. He didn’t.~~

~~#000000:Purvis Young in Florida painted and painted and put his paintings on a big wall. Crying out to be heard. “I have a voice,” is all he was trying to say.~~

~~#000000:Ms. Mary T. Smith painted on whatever she could find, even after losing her real voice, and surrounded her house with her work. “HEY, I AM HERE. CAN YOU SEE ME?”~~

~~#000000:Joe Light in Memphis covered his house with paintings and signs. He had something to say.~~

~~#000000:Across town from him, Hawkins Bolden, who couldn’t even see but still wanted to be seen. Even if it was just the birds that would see him.~~

~~#000000:I cried out, too.~~

~~#000000:Sometimes it only takes a few people to listen and look and understand. Bill Arnett heard our calls. And he answered them. Our story exists because he, too, wanted us to be heard. And seen. And appreciated. I thank him all the time for seeing and understanding.~~

~~#000000:I want to be looked at as an American Artist. I didn’t want to be put in categories that made feel lesser than an artist.~~

~~#000000:I was called an outsider. Folk artist. Self-taught. An orphan in a storm. A passionate visionary. All these titles they were giving me, I didn’t want to be called those names. We were always called names.~~

~~#000000:All those names clung to me like an ill-fitting suit.~~

~~#000000:The trail that I took as an artist was pretty well like my whole life. Going up and down the ditches and the creeks. Playing and messing with the debris. Stacking the stones and broken glass. Moving things out of the creek so the water could continue to run. I was like the caretaker of something much bigger than me, when I was a child, and now that I’m an older man, I see the same ditches and walk the same railroad tracks, and I’m in the same alleys, but I see waste material so much different now. I can’t help but be drawn towards making a difference with the material. And hopefully teaching others about our wasteful ways.~~

~~#000000:At one time or another, we were all dismissed. Hopefully those days are over.~~

~~#000000:The artists I mentioned can now be seen all over the country and the world. Most of them are not alive anymore, but their lives and their art lives.~~

~~#000000:In the Metropolitan Museum. The Philadelphia Museum. The Whitney Museum (Joe Minter is in the Whitney Biennial right now). The de Young Museum. The LA County Museum. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. And maybe most importantly, in the High Museum, the Birmingham Museum, the New Orleans Museum, and the other museums in the region that once rejected us.~~

~~#000000:My message to young people trying to make art. Or music. Or write. Or dance. Or whatever. Is this: Believe in yourself. Be true to who you are. Be like a duck and let the water run right off your back. It may take time, but if you are doing something that makes you happy, don’t stop. It takes people time to change. If they want to put you in a box that you don’t fit in, reject the box.~~

~~#000000:And Thumbs Up for Mother Universe.~~
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!!::~~#000000:Atlanta’s airport art gallery~~::
!!!::~~#000000:A good place to be if your flight is delayed~~::

{DIV(class="byline clearfix")}~~#000000:KEVIN C. MADIGAN~~{DIV}
~~#000000:An exhibit to honor Georgia civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis is one of the first art installations you see when walking into the vast atrium at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Dedicated in April 2019, the “John Lewis — Good Trouble” wall display is a tribute to his life that includes artifacts, photographs, videos, and music. Above the display is a three-dimensional painting by Atlanta-based Cuban artist Alexi Torres titled “The Hero’s Journey” that employs an intricate “basket-weaving” style to portray famous faces and images from the Civil Rights Movement. 
That’s just for starters: Atlanta’s entire airport has become a rich environment for all kinds of art and artists, with multiple installations, displays, galleries, and sculptures throughout the facility, and plenty more are in the works.~~
{img fileId="21493" stylebox="float: left; margin-right:25px;" desc="desc" max="600"}~~#000000:Close to 270,000 passengers use Hartsfield every day. Benjamin Austin, co-manager of the Airport Art Program, told ''CL'' there are advantages to showing art in an airport. “It’s a massive audience that we have. We don’t have to worry if people are going to show up.” He added, “There are a lot of things that are stressful about traveling, and what we’re doing is providing some kind of alleviation from that.” 
An enormous, permanent installation called “Flight Paths” has proved popular with weary travelers. Conceived by the late artist Steven Waldeck and costing more than $4 million, it’s a multisensory walk through a Georgia forest, according to David Vogt, Austin’s colleague. “The sculptural canopy is mostly made of tin,” he said. “Trays of LED lights create the lights of the forest canopy. The sounds of the birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians are all indigenous to Georgia.” Effects include sun shafts, rain showers, and ceiling videos showing bird species, and the installation evolves as you continue through it, becoming “more reflective of Georgia mountains and deciduous forests,” Vogt said. “You’ll see red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, swallows, and then it transitions to Georgia’s wetlands with species such as ospreys, cranes, and black ducks.” 
He continued, “Part of what the artist was envisioning is the power of memory to connect people to experiences in nature that can soothe and lower blood pressure. The idea is to bring in a bit of nature and hopefully conjure a bit of awe. I think it’s been very successful at that.”
The Transportation Mall where “Flight Paths” is located hosts two other major projects: “Zimbabwe Culture: a Tradition in Stone” was installed in 2001 and features 20 different pieces by 12 prominent Zimbabwean sculptors, and Vogt calls it one of the most significant publicly held collections in the world for this type of art, second only to the country’s National Gallery in Harare. Traditional music accompanies the sculptures as well as images of local wildlife by South African photographer Denny Allen. Two of the works in this permanent exhibit are by Gedion Nyanhongo, a master of the traditional techniques and style of what Zimbabweans call Shona Sculpture. 
The third installation in this part of the airport is “A Walk Through Atlanta History,” a multimedia collaboration with the Atlanta History Center that depicts milestone events in the city’s past. Filmmaker Gary Moss created short historical-reenactment films that are part of the mix. “We were responding to the need to create a sense of place without resorting to cliches like images of the skyline. We wanted much more substance, ” said Vogt. “The History Center helped define the narrative of the chapters in Atlanta’s history.” The “walking museum” features wall murals and displays that showcase eight significant time periods in the life of Atlanta.  
{img fileId="21492" stylebox="float: right; margin-left:25px;" desc="desc" max="400"}Then there is “Youth Art,” one of two projects at the airport featuring art by Georgia students. Vogt said, “We get a lot of positive feedback about this. The work is playful, spontaneous, and over the years quite a few pieces have been purchased by passengers. It’s nice for the students to make a bit of money and get recognition at the world’s busiest airport.”      
“Pushing Portraiture” has been getting a lot of attention too. The rotating exhibits, displayed in four different corridors, combine work from four photographers — Manuel Archain, Rob MacInnis, Ulric Collette, and Laena Wilder — known for extending the limits of contemporary portraiture by using digital manipulation to create surreal or hyperreal effects in their work. Austin said they “wanted to focus on different photographers who all had a quirkier take on portraiture.” He conceded that some of the photos are “a little unsettling” but insisted any art at the airport “has to be visually arresting, otherwise people won’t notice it.” 
Special climate-controlled display cases are used to protect much of the art. “We have UV-laminated glass and filtration systems that create a positive airflow and don’t allow a lot of dust to enter the case. Our newer cases all have that system,” Austin said. 
The process of acquiring commission pieces for Hartsfield begins with identifying sites and then shortlisting artists, Austin said. “Then we’ll either ask those artists to submit proposals for that particular site or we’ll select artists based on past work and qualification. Then we convene a selection panel, and we interview the artists and select one based on their recommendation. For the rotating exhibit program, it’s a mix between getting proposals from entities and us reaching out to people and soliciting proposals from them.” 
Vogt and Austin are busily planning more exhibits for the coming months and years: “In October we’re going to be putting in an impressive exhibit of contemporary art from Haiti. That will run for one year in our display cases on Concourse E,” Vogt said. There will also be works from the late folk artist Eddie Owens Martin, who created a seven-acre art compound called Pasaquan in rural Georgia.
“Next year we will have an artist named Nancy Judd who makes clothing out of recycled materials,” Vogt said. “It’s a more environmentally-themed exhibit. The garments she makes are exquisite, but they are intended to focus on our wasteful consumerism.” 
Ned Kahn, a MacArthur “genius grant” recipient, does environmentally-based work too and has been commissioned to do a large kinetic wind-activated piece on the facade of a new parking deck in College Park. A recurring employee art show is scheduled for later this year, as is a photo exhibit in the atrium in conjunction with the annual Atlanta Celebrates Photography festival.  
Photographer Joel Sartore of National Geographic fame has embarked on a project to document every living species on the planet, and Vogt is hoping to land an exhibition of his work as well. 
As if all that wasn’t enough, Vogt added, “We just passed legislation to contract with artists to create a six-part sculptural installation for a tiered granite step that follows the up escalators to Concourse D.”~~
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  string(35936) " Visual Arts  2019-08-02T18:46:56+00:00 Visual Arts_sm.jpg    fall arts preview 2019 visual arts Galleries and gatherings, plastic and static, memories and narratives 21505  2019-08-04T03:49:21+00:00 Fall Arts Preview 2019: Visual Arts jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris DOUG DELOACH  2019-08-04T03:49:21+00:00 Same as it ever was, the visual arts scene in Atlanta is in a state of flux, particularly at the street level where the West and Southwest flanks of downtown mark the next major front for the newest of the new to appear. With the Goat Farm closing and morphing... SIDEBAR: Reject the Box

SIDEBAR: Atlanta’s airport art gallery

Same as it ever was, the visual arts scene in Atlanta is in a state of flux, particularly at the street level where the West and Southwest flanks of downtown mark the next major front for the newest of the new to appear. With the Goat Farm closing and morphing into who-knows-what; the construction of The MET continuing apace and attracting entities like MINT and Mammal Gallery; and The Bakery executing its inspiring, if sometimes bewilderingly eclectic, strategy with characteristic DIY aplomb (while facing a move in the next year, as the lease on the arts center’s Warner Street building will not be renewed), the west side is the best side for seeking out the edges of Atlanta’s art/art music/art performance scene.

“Atlanta’s strong suit for the 40-something years I’ve been here is how incredibly active the grassroots community is,” says Louise Shaw, curator of the Senser Museum at the Centers for Disease Control and cofounder of Idea Capital, an arts funding group. “People, particularly young people, are continually trying to reinvent the art scene.”

Otherwise, the more things change, the more stalwart venues, such as the High Museum, Atlanta Contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the major arts institutions and fine art galleries, keep moving forward with their respective missions. At the same time, public art, street art, mural painting, and graffiti are exerting a particular influence on the Atlanta art scene for which the city is becoming increasingly recognized nationally and internationally.

“The street art trend is really exciting,” says Shaw. “The work along Edgewood and in Cabbagetown, the Krog Tunnel, these works that stay up for a few months and are then replaced by new work — this kind of activity creates a vibrancy and excitement lacking in many cities.” 

From gleaming white halls and walls to sandblasted slabs of brick and concrete to just about any flat accessible surface with a sightline, Atlanta’s visual artists, curators and gallery owners use whatever means are available to satisfy the muse. That’s how it works.

!!Atlanta Celebrates Photography
Entering its third decade, Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP) — www.acpinfo.org — is both an annual festival and the name of the organization responsible for staging the event. Billed as the largest community photography event in America, the 2019 edition of the ACP festival, which begins in mid-September and runs through the end of October, features more than 100 happenings including five lectures, three professional development workshops, a photobook fair, a film series, and numerous exhibits. This panoply of activity takes place at site-specific outdoor installations including the BeltLine, arts facilities, museums, galleries, retail businesses, and special venues spread across metro Atlanta.

“The ACP festival provides a comprehensive platform not only for people to experience our events, but to participate as creators,” says ACP Executive Director Amy Miller. “This allows for a true celebration of all that photography can be — a multifaceted art form with the power to change lives and connect people.”

The ACP has no event facility to call its own. All exhibits, lectures, screenings, and sundry programs are arranged through partnerships with other organizations and institutions. “The beauty of this business model is that the entire city becomes our venue,” Miller says. “The ACP festival raises awareness of arts venues and cultural organizations throughout the city, which creates a rising tide that, hopefully, lifts all boats.”

!!!Highlights of the 2019 Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival include:
The FENCE (Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail): This truly mega-outdoor photo exhibition returns to Atlanta with more than 40 photographers from around the world, selected by a jury of 40 experts from a  global call for entries, spreading the joy of their craft along a 700+-foot-long fence.

ACP Auction Gala (Saturday, September 14): Cocktail reception, open bar, dinner, plus a silent auction at The Landmark honoring Dr. Sarah Kennel, newly installed curator of photography at the High Museum of Art. The auction serves as the primary fundraising event for ACP and the 2019 ACP Festival.

ACP Special Exhibition: Teen Spirit at Mason Fine Art – www.masonfineartandevents.com – (Artists Reception, Thursday, September 19, 6-9 p.m., Exhibition September 19-October 11, free and open to the public). Volunteer photographers, led by ACP co-founder Corinne Adams, guide teens at Scottish Rite and Egleston hospitals in an exploration of identity, including (or in spite of) their diagnosis, through writing and photographic self-portraiture. This exhibition showcases the creative work produced by the teens during the past 12 months.

Photobook Fair (October 4-5): The photo book event of the Southeast at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. For the complete list of exhibitors, artist talks, and book-signings, please visit ACPinfo.org 

Chris Verene’s “Home Movies” (Thursday, October 10): The Landmark Midtown Art Cinema hosts a one-night-only screening of “home movies” (video clips) shot by renowned photographer Chris Verene during the course of documenting his family’s life in rural Illinois, which has been the former Atlantan’s primary subject for the past three decades. A post-screening panel discussion will feature photographer Ashley Reid and Mona Bennett, ambassador of the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, moderated by Felicia Feaster.

In conjunction with the Landmark screening of “Home Movies,” Marcia Wood Gallery – www.marciawoodgallery.com – which represents Verene, will be exhibiting a large selection of the artist’s photographs during the ACP Festival. Verene will be in attendance at the gallery opening in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood on September 18 and closing reception on October 12.

!!Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center
In 2015, the Atlanta Contemporary dropped the “Arts Center” from its name and fully embraced the institutionalized practice of “free admission, every day.” Today, Atlanta Contemporary – www.atlantacontemporary.org – occupies a special position in the arts community not only because of the price of admission to the facility, but also by virtue of its varied offerings, which include showcasing and commissioning new work by emerging artists; diverse educational programs, such as Contemporary Kids, Contemporary Cocktails, and Contemporary Talks; and on-site subsidized studio space for working artists through the Studio Artist Program. Atlanta Contemporary, incidentally, also throws great art parties and openings.

“Any city that is a beacon for tourism and advancement in technology, any city that wants to be recognized as a destination, needs a contemporary art center that advocates for what’s happening today,” says Executive Director Veronica Kessenich.

With the departure of curator Daniel Fuller at the end of June, Kessenich is moving forward with a full slate of previously scheduled fall exhibitions and looking with anticipation toward a new chapter in the evolution of the Westside arts center.

“Daniel was such an integral part of Atlanta Contemporary over the last four and a half years,” says Kessenich. “We will surely miss him and thank him for his leadership and service to Atlanta Contemporary.”

On tap between Saturday, August 24, and Sunday, December 22, are solo exhibitions by Bryan Graf and Emma McMillan, plus Contemporary On-Site projects featuring Coco Hunday, an artist-run exhibition space in Tampa, Florida; Atlanta-based artist Wihro Kim; and Bailey Scieszka who lives and works in Detroit.

In “Landlines,” Bryan Graf explores a range of photographic approaches and subjects, seeking balance or an equivalence between conceptual, visceral, and narrative elements. “The photographs in this show are notes, recordings, observations, and questions from specific places and times,” notes the Atlanta Contemporary press release. “This is an optical research into the debris of the days; a self-portrait of the dust that sculpts us.”

Emma McMillan’s “Project X” is inspired by the work of Atlanta architect John Portman, whose influence on the contours of the Atlanta skyline can scarcely be understated. Appropriating the name of an unrealized 1969 utopian residential building, Project X conjures up the architect’s design theory and manifest legacy in a series of large oil and aquarelle paintings, which are displayed across aluminum scaffolding, creating an immersive environment reminiscent of Portman’s iconic downtown Atlanta structures.

!!EBD4
Coinciding with the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival, EBD4 – www.EBD4.com – an industrial space for creatives in Chamblee, is staging a special “ACP at EBD4” exhibition. “1980’s ATL Portraits of Drag Queens & Club Kids (think RuPaul)” by Al Clayton showcases Clayton’s chronicling of the intersectional-before-it-was-cool club scene in Atlanta back when the local celebrity head count included RuPaul, Larry Tee, LaHoma, Sable Chanel, Charlie Brown, and Spike, among others. 

The exhibition will also display images from Clayton’s landmark 1969 book, Still Hungry in America, along with select images of Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Townes van Zandt, Tammy Wynette and other luminaries from Ken Burns’ documentary Country Music. The Clayton family will have prints from the photographer’s personal collection available, as well as limited edition prints.

Opening: Saturday, October 19, 2019, 6:30. Dance party starts at 8:30, admission $10.

Open House: Wednesday, October 23–Saturday, October 26, 1–5 p.m. or by appointment.

!!Gallery 72
It may come as a surprise to some that the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs has its own art gallery. Opened in 2014, Gallery 72 — www.ocaatlanta.com — is located downtown on the first floor of the 72 Marietta Street building. During the past five years, Gallery 72 has hosted a variety of exhibitions addressing relevant topics ranging from human trafficking, civil and human rights, memory and ritual, to the growth of local arts organizations (e.g., Wonderroot, The Creatives Project) and the rise of hip-hop. 

“Gallery 72 is a space where artists can push the experimental aesthetics of their work, which they may not choose to pursue in more commercial venues,” says gallery director Kevin Sipp. “It is also important that the gallery represents Atlanta as it is now, which is a melting pot of vibrant cultures, political views, and ideas.”

Gallery 72 will host two exhibitions in the fall: In “Reclaim/Proclaim Blandtown” (October 10-November 22), Gregor Turk takes up the subject of a long-neglected Westside Atlanta neighborhood. In the 1950s, the African-American community of Blandtown, which once boasted more than 200 houses, was rezoned to heavy industrial without proper public review. Today, much of the area, which is bisected by the BeltLine, is being rezoned back to residential for rapid redevelopment. Of the four original remaining houses, one was converted by Turk in 2003 into his studio. Comprising wall-mounted sculpture and photography, “Reclaim/Proclaim Blandtown” is part history lesson, part manifesto, and part civic rousing. In 2017, Turk received an Idea Capital grant for developing this project followed by an Artist Project Grant the next year from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

"Contrapunto: A Latin American Art Collective in Atlanta" (November 28-February 7) celebrates the work of a Latin art collective founded in 2008 by Carlos Solis. In addition to Solis, Contrapunto members, all of whom are based in Atlanta, included in the exhibition are Jorge Arcos, Pedro Fuertes, Catalina Gomez Beuth, Dora López, and Graciela Núñez Bedoya, Their work ranges from surrealist, cubist, and abstract to realist and naturalistic. In Spanish, “contrapunto” usually refers to the musical practice of joining two or more melodies to create harmony while maintaining the individual quality of each player’s contribution.

Says Sipp, “The narratives that fuel Atlanta and its present growth have expanded beyond past narratives to include transcendent global perspectives from all corners of the world.”

!!Hathaway Gallery
::::


Established in 2015 in what is now a thriving Westside neighborhood jam-packed with live-work spaces, restaurants, and entertainment venues, Hathaway Gallery – www.hathawaygallery.com  – strives to “foster and expand the contemporary art collector base in the Southeast through inclusivity and education.” Hathaway’s fall exhibition schedule includes:

“No Place Like Home” (July 20–September 7): A three-person exhibition of works by Jaime Bull, In Kyoung Chun, and Maryam Palizgir. Each of the artists brings a distinctly expressive technique and vision to bear on the idea of “home.” 

“Changing Tides” (September 14–November 9): A solo exhibition featuring the highly kinetic, vividly colorful abstract paintings of Fran O’Neill. 

!!High Museum
In the realm of mainstream visual arts, every major metropolitan city has its leader of the pack. The museum with the largest and deepest collection, the curatorial punch, and the financial wherewithal to make things happen that other institutions can’t and, truth be told, don’t need to match.

In Atlanta, the High Museum of Art – www.high.org – has filled that role since the founding of the Atlanta Art Association (the museum’s organizational precursor) in 1905. In 2019, the sensually curvaceous, gleaming white structure, situated on a gently rising grassy slope at the corner of Peachtree and 16th streets, stands alongside the Alliance Theater and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as one of three pillars girding the Woodruff Arts Center.

In 2018, the High undertook a total reconfiguration of its almost 94,000 square feet of gallery space. The massive makeover allowed for the rearrangement of artwork from the museum’s 16,000-piece permanent collection and the inclusion of a trove of never-before-exhibited artistic treasure. Among those treasures were selections from a 2017 acquisition of visionary folk art from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, which shone new light on the art of Thornton Dial, Sr., Lonnie Holley, Henry Church, Mary T. Smith, and the fabulous quilts created by the women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama.


At the end of last year, the High Museum presented Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrors,” a wildly popular exhibition seen by 136,000 people before closing in February. For a minute at least, it seemed like Kusama-mania had imbued the museum with a rejuvenating hipness, tagging the joint as being worthy of regular visitation by a new generation or two of art-curious fans.


“We’re always committed to presenting the finest examples of artistic achievement we can get our hands on,” says High Museum director Rand Suffolk.

!!!Three exhibitions distinguish the High Museum’s fall calendar:
“Something Over Something Else,” Romare Bearden’s Profile Series (Sept. 14, 2019– Feb. 2, 2020):

Organized by the High, this touring exhibition brings together dozens of works from Romare Bearden’s “Profile” series for the first time since its debut nearly 40 years ago. A series of collages conjures up the original presentations from 1978 and 1981, which featured accompanying wall texts written by Bearden (who died in 1988) in collaboration with essayist, jazz critic, and novelist Albert Murray.

“A Thousand Crossings,” Sally Mann (Oct. 19, 2019–Feb. 2, 2020): 


One of the preeminent art photographers of the last half-century, Sally Mann (American, born 1951) is a Virginia native whose work is often deeply, sometimes defiantly, rooted in her journey as a Southerner. Notes the High’s press preview: “The exhibition is both a sweeping overview of Mann’s artistic achievement over the past four decades and a focused exploration of how the South emerges in her work as a powerful and provocative force…”


“Figures of Speech,” Virgil Abloh (Nov. 9, 2019–March 8, 2020): 

Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, where it debuted in June, “Figures of Speech” showcases the work of Virgil Abloh, the 39-year-old creative operator at the console of a thoroughly modern matrix enveloping art, music, fashion, and celebrity. The exhibition includes clothing designs for Louis Vuitton (Abloh is the first person of African descent to lead the Parisian fashion house’s ready-to-wear line for men); videos of fashion shows, which have garnered no small amount of viral online attention; and Abloh’s distinctive furniture designs (some for IKEA) and graphic art.

“Each exhibition also complements our permanent collection, adding context and insight across multiple collecting areas,” says Suffolk. “Presenting one of these shows would be exceptional.  Having all three here this fall is extraordinary.”

!!Jackson Fine Art
Widely recognized as one of the most important supporters of contemporary fine art photography in Atlanta and beyond, Jackson Fine Art – www.jacksonfineart.com – caters to artists, collectors, museums and corporate clients with services ranging from curating and managing collections to framing and installing.

For the fall season, Jackson Fine Art is showcasing a large selection of photographs by Sally Mann to supplement her retrospective at the High Museum (see above). Specifically, the exhibit (October 18–December 21) draws heavily from “Remembered Light,” a series that produced a book of photographs documenting painter-sculptor Cy Twombly’s studio in Lexington, Virginia, where both artists grew up.

!!Michael C. Carlos Museum
2019 marks the centennial celebration of the formal establishment of a museum to house Emory University’s collection of art and antiquities, which was relocated in 1919 from the original campus in Oxford, Georgia, to the main campus in Atlanta. In 1985, with the support of local philanthropist Michael C. Carlos, the museum moved into the old law school building following a complete renovation by architect Michael Graves. In 1993, an expanded museum and new conservation laboratory, which also benefited from Carlos’s largesse and Graves’ architectural acumen, opened as the Michael C. Carlos Museum – www.carlos.emory.edu.

Today, the Carlos Museum serves as a repository for more than 16,000 works, including what is arguably the largest ancient art collection in the Southeast. In addition to ancient artifacts from Rome, Egypt, Greece, the Near East, and the Americas; works of Asian art and sub-Saharan African art from the 19th and 20th centuries; and works on paper from the Middle Ages to the present, the museum also presents special exhibitions and educational events open to students of all ages and the general public. “The Carlos Museum’s collection of ancient art is unique in Atlanta and the Southeast, but we’re so much more than mummies,” says Allison Hutton, director of communications and marketing. “The oldest piece in our collection was created around 6,500-6,000 BC and the ‘youngest,’ a print by Tom Hück, was created in 2018, so we have quite a range.”

The museum recently launched SmARTy Packs, which lets families learn about art together in the galleries through hands-on projects. This fall, in conjunction with the exhibition “Through a Glass, Darkly” (see below), the museum will host an engraving workshop with artist Andrew Raftery. 

“Through a Glass, Darkly: Allegory and Faith in Netherlandish Prints from Lucas van Leyden to Rembrandt” (August 31-December 1) considers the form, function, and meaning of allegorical prints produced in the Low Countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) between the 16th and 18th centuries.

“Minor White Unburdened: Photographs from the Collection of Lindsay W. Marshall” (October 12-December 15) features works by Minor White alongside photographs by friends and colleagues including Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Rose Mandel. Accompanying the photographs will be a selection of White’s writings in which he reflects upon his career and lifelong personal struggles with religion, sexuality, and the constitution of the spirit.

!!MODA
In 2011, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) – www.museumofdesign.org – celebrated its grand relocation to the sleek, stylish, ground-floor confines of Perkins + Will, a renowned architecture firm on Peachtree Street across from the High Museum, with an exhibit titled “Passione Italiana: Design of the Italian Motorcycle.” Since then, MODA has pursued its mission “to advance the understanding and appreciation of design as the convergence of creativity and functionality.”

“MODA is the only design museum in the Southeastern United States, which makes us different from institutions in Atlanta and far beyond,” says Executive Director Laura Flusche. “Our exhibitions and our programs demonstrate that design can inspire change, transform lives, and make the world a better place.”

MODA has mounted exhibitions that celebrate beautiful products (espresso machines, motorcycles), graphic designers and architects (Paul Rand, Eero Saarinen, Louise Fili), wearable technology (biofeedback devices), activist art and craft, urban design, landscape architecture, and food production techniques and distribution methodology. The museum organizes public lectures and educational programs that tackle serious topics and engage the imagination.

“Attendance at MODA has skyrocketed in the past 18 months,” says Flusche. “We’re attracting a young, diverse group of design-lovers who are passionate about social justice and human rights issues and the ways that design can address those things.”

On display at the gallery through Sunday, September 29, is “Wire & Wood: Designing Iconic Guitars”, which explores the basics of guitar design and construction alongside the ways in which musicians use the instrument to shape their public image. Included in the exhibition, curated and designed by W. Todd Vaught, are a number of instruments which have acquired legendary status by virtue of the musicians who wielded them on concert stages around the world.

Among the famed axes on display in “Wire & Wood” are Bo Diddley’s Gretsch 6138, Buck Owens’ Harmony Acoustic, Derek Trucks’ Gibson SG, Jack White’s Diddley Bow (from It Might Get Loud), Junior Brown’s Custom Guit-Steel, Kurt Cobain’s Fender Stratocaster, Steve Vai’s Ibanez EVO, and St. Vincent’s Signature Ernie Ball Music Man.

“Wire & Wood” confronts the age-old conundrum of whether form follows function or vice-versa by first presenting the guitar in its simplest form along with information about the ways in which traditional design elements and materials affect sound. The exhibit then discusses advancements in the luthier’s art, including mass manufacturing and alternative materials, accompanied by stories explaining how and why certain modern guitars are endowed with a status beyond their mere existence.

!!Museum of Contemporary Art  of Georgia
It’s right there in the name: The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) — www.mocaga.org — collects and archives significant, contemporary works by artists who hail from or reside in the state of Georgia. That said, to provide context and accommodate relational concepts, the museum’s exhibitions include Georgia artists and artists from around the world. 

Co-founded in 2000 by David S. Golden, then president of CGR Advisors, and Annette Cone-Skelton, an accomplished Georgia artist and now President/CEO/Director of MOCA GA, the museum’s collection includes more than 1,000 works by 330 Georgia artists in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, and installation.

“Before MOCA GA, much of the work being exhibited locally was by artists imported from other urban centers, which did not necessarily acknowledge the narratives that were important to this area,” says Cone-Skelton. “This left a tremendous void in the landscape of arts institutions in Atlanta.”

Consequently, the Atlanta arts community experienced an exodus of talent to cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. MOCA GA stepped into the void with a mission based on programs that create a forum for interchange between artists and the community, and a platform from which to launch local artists and their works into the orbit of the global arts community.  

Recently, Atlanta Contemporary announced Cone-Skelton and Atlanta mixed-media artist Kevin Cole as recipients of the 2019 Nexus Award. The award recognizes “individuals, groups, or organizations that have made significant contributions to the contemporary arts landscape and celebrates local leaders who are instrumental in making Atlanta an exceptionally vibrant arts community.” 

!!!MOCA GA fall schedule:
Tuesday, August 13: Working Artist Project (WAP) Fellow Krista Clark artist talk for “Base Line of Appraisal” exhibition, 6:30-8:30 pm

Thursday, September 5: “Dorothy O’Connor: Scenes” opening reception, 6:30-8:30 pm

Friday, September 6: Public panel and reception for the Latin American Association exhibition (unnamed at press time), 6-9 pm

Friday, September 13: WAP Fellow Myra Greene’s opening reception (unnamed at press time), 6:30-8:30 pm

Tuesday, October 1: WAP Fellow Myra Greene artist talk, 6:30-8:30 pm

Friday & Saturday, October 4-5: MOCA GA hosts the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Photobook Fair

Friday, October 18: MOCA GA hosts the Atlanta Photography Group panel

Friday, November 15: WAP Fellow Cosmo Whyte’s opening reception (unnamed at press time), 6:30-8:30 pm

::::
!!
Opened in 2010 and curated by writer and filmmaker, Robin Bernat, Poem88 – www.poem88.net  – declared a reorganization of its roster of artists. Consequently, 70 percent of the artists on the Poem 88 roster are women while approximately 28 percent represent ethnic or cultural minorities and 42 percent are 50 years of age or older. As a woman-owned business, Poem 88 is committed to supporting and nurturing “a community that is frequently sidelined in today’s contemporary art world.”

“Raymond Goins: Infallible Beauty” (Saturday, September 7–Saturday, October 19): This exhibition will provide an unadorned and decontextualized view of the work of Raymond Goins, a self-taught artist who moves fluidly between the realms of interior design, decorative art, and fine art. 

!!Sandler Hudson Gallery
Established in 1989 by Georgia-born owners Debbie Hudson and Robin Sandler, Sandler Hudson www.sandlerhudson.com  — Gallery specializes in innovative and provocative contemporary art that spans a multitude of disciplines including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video, and new media. For the fall season, Sandler Hudson is presenting three exhibitions:

“Recent Drawings” (June 28–September 14): A group exhibition featuring works by Krista Clark, William Downs, Yanique Norman, and Rocío Rodríguez, “Recent Drawings” explores a variety of mark-making using various instruments, techniques, and mediums.

“JET” (September 20–October 19): Los Angeles-based artist Erin D. Garcia brings his vibrant and colorful paintings to the south for the first time. “JET” will present Garcia’s distinctly rendered varicolored gradient shapes on his largest canvases to date, along with multiple works on paper.

“Blue Distant” (October 25–November 30): A solo exhibition of new paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by Savannah artist Namwon Choi. Choi’s elegantly offbeat works fuse conceptual notions of Eastern and Western art into a wondrously personal vision.

!!SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film
The Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) opened its Midtown Atlanta campus in 2005. Among its prominent facilities is the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film – www.scadfash.org. With nearly 10,000 square feet of exhibition space, SCAD FASH serves as a teaching museum for students and a platform for public presentations of fashion-focused designs, films, gallery talks, and lectures.

“SCAD FASH’s exhibitions and programs are curated in collaboration with world-renowned designers and artists, and are developed to inspire and engage visitors with varied backgrounds, not only fashionistas!” says SCAD’s public relations director Jeanette McWilliams. 

Past exhibitions have featured fashion luminaries, such as Oscar de la Renta, Guo Pei, Mary Katrantzou and Carolina Herrera, and fashionable work including costumes from The Handmaid’s Tale television series (SCAD exhibit ends August 12).

“The public’s interest in fashion has never been more ardent and continues to grow,” says McWilliams. “Last May, our first-ever student runway show sold out almost as quickly as the tickets went online.”

!!!During the fall season, SCAD FASH is hosting three exhibitions:
“Aura and Invention: Alternative Processes in Photography” (September 26–November 14) showcases works by SCAD students and recent alumni from the Atlanta and Savannah campuses. According to a SCAD press release, “Works in this exhibition were chosen for their inventiveness in process and design, by young artists who are pushing the limits and potential for photography in an image-saturated society. Through alternative perspectives in the composition of photography, these artists challenge modes of reproduction, and offer alternatives to a culture of instant production and dissemination of images.”

“Form & Function: Shoe Art by Chris Francis” (August 13–December 8) puts the spotlight on the Los Angeles-based street artist-turned-shoe-designer who learned his trade by consulting with and acquiring vintage machines and tools from immigrant cobblers. Francis credits the punk movement for inspiring the independent design house where he crafts small batches of wildly stylized shoes, many of which have been worn by rock stars including Mötley Crüe’s Mick Mars, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, and former Runaways guitarist Lita Ford.

Isabelle de Borchgrave exhibition: “w” (October 22–January 12) explores five centuries of fashion through the trompe l’oeil masterpieces of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. Using paper and paint, de Borchgrave creates sculptural replicas of garments found in early European paintings and collections. The exhibition includes de Borchgrave’s series “Les Ballet Russes,” which interprets costumes designed by Léon Bakst, Giorgio de Chirico, and Pablo Picasso, as well as her “Kaftans” series, which was inspired by the Silk Road textiles of central Asia. The exhibition also includes work by eccentric early 20th-century artist Mariano Fortuny, whose famous Delphos gown debuted in 1907.

!!Whitespace
In a converted 1893 carriage house on Edgewood Avenue behind her Inman Park Victorian residence, Whitespace – ww.whitespace814.com – owner Susan Bridges stages exhibitions of contemporary art along with the occasional chamber ensemble performance. Opened in 2007, Whitespace was the Creative Loafing Reader’s Choice for Best Gallery in 2013.

“On Singing the Body Formless and Electric” (Friday, August 2–Saturday, August 31): In the spirit of poet Walt Whitman’s “I sing the body electric,” Whitespace hosts a tripartite exhibition curated by Atlanta native Lisa Alembik, assistant professor at Perimeter College of Georgia State University on the Clarkston campus. The main gallery will feature eight artist or artist groups, which include Carrie Hawks, Catherine Lucky Chang, Eleanor Aldrich, Hannah Adair, Hannah Ehrlich, Larkin Ford & Joe Hadden, Michelle Laxalt, and Parker Thornton. In the Whitespec space, the two-artist collaborative of Pinky/MM Bass and Carolyn DeMeritt will display their work, while Amanda Britton commandeers Shedspace. 

“7th Annual Short Shorts 2019, Jiffy Louvre: Leave Worry Behind” (Thursday, August 29, 7:30-9 p.m.): An evening of one- to five-minute films selected by guest juror, painter, sculptor, and animator Joseph Peragine, director of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design at Georgia State University.

!!ZUCKERMAN MUSEUM OF ART
Opened in 2014, the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art (ZMA) — www.arts.kennesaw.edu/zuckerman — on the Kennesaw State University campus encompasses three exhibition galleries, a collection research center, and a two-story-high glass atrium, which is the most striking feature of the 9,200-square-foot facility designed by Stanley Beaman & Sears. The museum regularly presents works from the university’s 6,000-piece permanent collection along with exhibitions of contemporary works by local, national, and international artists. The ZMA's Fine Arts Satellite Gallery in the Wilson Building features faculty, student, and alumni projects.

“The ZMA team, which has significantly altered in the past year, is proud of what we accomplished in the institution's first five years,” says Teresa Bramlette Reeves, director of curatorial affairs, who will have resigned from her position by the time this article is published. “We routinely presented exhibitions of depth and variety, supported local artists, shared the work of nationally and internationally recognized artists, and produced associated brochures and catalogues.”

The ZMA’s two main fall exhibitions open on Saturday, August 24, with a free reception and special programming from 3-5 p.m. 

"Painting Who?" (through December 15) presents a series of paintings by multiple artists, which serve multiple roles and stretch the definition and traditional boundaries of painting. “I see them as alive,” wrote Moira Dryer (1957-1992) about her work, which is featured in the show. “I see them as walking away from the wall. It’s a feeling I have that the work is active, active in our own world, not separate.” The other artists showcased in “Painting Who?” are Jeff Conefry, Gracie Devito, Chris Hood and Wihro Kim.

"Fruitful Labors" (through November 10) focuses on strategies and tactics for coping, according to a ZMA press release. Ranging from the absurd to the essential, the tactics include conversation, repetitive labor, intergenerational storytelling, and healing practices. The artwork “reflects our innate fear of uncertainty and the unknown while simultaneously valuing the power of belief in the face of struggle.” Featured artists include Lenka Clayton, Harry Dodge/Stanya Kahn, Shanequa Gay, Stanya Kahn, Michelle Laxalt, Shana Moulton, and Kaitlynn Redell.


 


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The Arts Issue, Explore Arts & Culture

Saturday August 3, 2019 11:49 pm EDT
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  string(262) "Atlanta Ballet
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet — www.atlantaballet.com — is considered one of the premier dance companies in the country. Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals..."
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!!Atlanta Ballet
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet — www.atlantaballet.com — is considered one of the premier dance companies in the country. Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals. In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education (CDE), which is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. The CDE serves over 23,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet’s roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city’s cultural growth.


“Love Fear Loss,” by Brazilian choreographer Ricardo Amarante, is the centerpiece work of the opening program of the company’s 90th season, It follows the love story of French singer Édith Piaf from the high of new love, through the fear of intimacy slipping away, to the tragedy of losing her lifelong partner. Amarante has described his work as a celebration of the human condition and the beauty that arises from even the darkest moments in life.  The program will also include a remounting of “Vespertine,” the hypnotic 2017 work by British choreographer Liam Scarlett, a world premiere commissioned work by New York-based Claudia Schreier and a guest performance by New York-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

 

!!Caló Gitano Dance Academy
Marianela “Malita” Belloso was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and has been dancing flamenco for practically her entire life. She started when she was only six years old. By the time she was nine, she was already performing on television and in major flamenco stage productions with Siudy Quintero Dance Academy, the largest flamenco dance academy in Venezuela. Malita arrived in Atlanta in 2000 and formed the flamenco performance company Caló Gitano – www.calogitano.com – now the largest flamenco academy in Georgia. After opening Caló Dance Studio in Kirkwood nine years ago, Malita trained a group of advanced flamenco dancers and formed partnerships with other artists and musicians to create large-scale theater works and original flamenco musical productions as Caló Theatre Company  

!!Core Dance
Core Dance – www.coredance.org  – was co-founded in 1980 in Houston, Texas, by dancer and choreographer Sue Schroeder and her sister, Kathy Russell. Five years later, the organization added Atlanta, Georgia, as a second home base. Over four decades, Core has performed 125 pieces of original choreography across the globe, collaborating with the renowned and the obscure. The company actively encourages participation and conversation with the community, sharing what they know about bodies and movement with those dealing with abuse, homelessness, language barriers, refugee status, substance abuse, aging, and HIV/AIDS.

“If… a memoir” is a love song written for humanity. Sue Schroeder in collaboration with the Dance Artists of Core Dance, Christian Meyer (composer), and Simon Gentry (cinematographer) will create an evening-length, physical theater choreo-poem. According to Schroeder, “this new work will draw from early 1950s Beat Generation culture and influences including jazz-inspired rhythm, improvisational spirit, rejection of standard narrative values and seeming disorganization with a deliberate effect.”

!!Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University is home to Georgia’s largest collegiate dance program and Atlanta’s first theater designed specifically for dance. Through the program’s academic and practical experiences, students develop a holistic understanding of dance as an art form while also investigating dance as a method of analysis, a mode of enquiry, and an aesthetic experience. The Department’s collaborative partnerships provide students with uniquely valuable opportunities. This year, KSU Dance launched a new partnership with Terminus Modern Ballet Theater, directly connecting students to the professional practice of dance. 

September 27, KSU Dance – www.arts.kennesaw.edu/dance – presents The Charlotte Ballet performing Johan Inger’s “Walking Mad,” a piece inspired by a quote from Socrates: “Our greatest gifts come to us in a state of madness.” KSU’s student dance company will premiere “Slang,” a new work in November.

!!Emory Dance
Emory Dance – www.dance.emory.edu –  presents a wide range of public programming each year, including Emory Dance Company concerts, the Friends of Dance Lecture Series, guest artists, dance on film presentations, and informal and site-specific performances and events. Through the Candler Concert Series, Emory Dance presents some of the finest modern dance choreographers and companies, including The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Monica Bill Barnes & Company, David Dorfoman Dance, Doug Varone and Dancers, Urban Bush Women, the José Limón Dance Company, and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.

September 19, the Emory Dance Program presents a Creativity Conversation with visiting artist Dafi Altebeb, a young Israeli musician, dancer, and choreographer who has performed throughout the world. Her original dance works have premiered in major international festivals, including Internationale Tanzmesse (Dusseldorf), Les Brigittines Centre d’Art Contemporain (Brussels), Chang Mu International Dance Festival (Seoul), Ballet Preljocaj – Pavillion Noir (France), ​and Napoli Theater Festival (Italy). 

As a child in his native Iran 40 years ago, Emory Dance faculty member George Staib witnessed up close the frightening reality of religious revolution. In October, he and his brilliant company Staibdance present “Fence,” their most political and socially driven dance work to date. “Fence” examines how “otherness” can take your power or fuel it. Staib blends intensely physical movement vocabulary with traditional Iranian dance, and uses original music, lighting, and digital effects to weave the audience directly into the work.

!!Ferst Center for the Arts
The Georgia Tech Office of the Arts operates the Ferst Center for the Arts – www.arts.gatech.edu/artstech-performance-series – which presents the Arts@Tech season of professional music, dance, theater, and multimedia performances from September to April. The Georgia Tech School of Music performs multiple concerts at the Center, and DramaTech, the student theater group, performs in the James E. Dull Theatre in the back of the building. Arts@Tech has brought some of the most innovative and exciting multimedia works to be seen in the city, showcasing the highest in music and dance talents along with cutting-edge digital technologies. The works explore and explode themes of disability/mobility design, interconnectivity, LGBTQ living, and cultural celebration.


The Ferst will be the site of two of the most exciting “Don’t Miss!” productions of 2019: “Dökk by fuse*” (October 4) and “Kinetic Light: DESCENT” (November 23).


“Dökk” blends light, sound, and movement into a mind-blowing, multidimensional universe created by fuse*, an Italian digital art studio and production company. Aerial dancer Elena Annovi moves through a sequence of 10 other-worldly environments created by software that synthesizes data from social media, the sound score, the dancer’s heartbeat, and her movements. 

“DESCENT” by Kinetic Light is an evening-length dance work, choreographed by Alice Sheppard in collaboration with disabled dancer Laurel Lawson and disabled lighting and video artist Michael Maag. Featuring a unique, architectural stage that acts as a partner in the choreography and storytelling, and performed on an architectural ramp with hills, curves and peaks, “DESCENT” celebrates the pleasure of reckless abandon. The ramp is a landscape that generates its own site-specific movement as dancers Laurel and Alice discover new experiences of acceleration, resistance, and momentum. Andromeda and Venus, reimagined as interracial lovers, claim their desire as their wheelchairs fly within inches of the ramp’s edges. The thrilling work challenges our assumptions about social justice, movement and embodiment, and art and architecture. 

!!Fly On A Wall
Since their inception in 2014, Fly on a Wall – www.flyonawall.buzz – has created a body of work which includes multimedia performance, installation, and dance for film. They have been presented by Dashboard, the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Contemporary, Art on the Atlanta BeltLine, Synchronicity Theatre, Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, the City of Duluth, and the Marietta Performing Arts Center. 

Fly on a Wall’s work best reveals itself through inventive theatrical elements that often manifest as performative structures. These elements are integral to the work and allow the audience new dimensions with which to view it. Performance structures that Fly on a Wall has created include: large plexiglass prisms for Art on the Atlanta Beltline, a tandem bicycle generating power for a light bulb in Dashboard’s “Shifting Scapes,” an abstract home made of 20-foot-high. floor-to-ceiling paper panels inside an abandoned castor factory. Once completed, each of these structures house Fly on a Wall’s unique blend of movement and theater.

This month, Fly on a Wall is bringing Anna Long from Chicago to teach three Gaga/dancers classes and one Gaga/people class throughout the weekend. Anyone interested may drop in to a single class or purchase class passes. Space is limited, it is recommended to register early.

On Sunday, August 25, stop by The Windmill Arts Center in East Point to celebrate Fly's one-year anniversary at the Windmill as artists-in-residence with Vanguard Repertory Company. Meet team members, hang out for free refreshments, and find out what Fly on a Wall has in store for the coming year.

!!glo
In 2009, dance/choreographer Lauri Stallings and her partner, production specialist Richard Carvlin, founded the Atlanta-based company glo –  www.gloatl.org. Today, glo’s “moving artists” include Kristina Brown, Noëlle Davé, Christina Kelly, Raina Mitchell, Cailan Orn, Mary Jane Pennington, and Mechelle Tunstall. Stallings and her dancers seem to be constantly performing all over metro Atlanta and Georgia and beyond, often in public spaces, including NYC’s Central Park. Over the past decade, glo has presented civic actions, world premiere performance experiments, an international curated live art series, and public art tours across the state. The company regularly collaborates with orchestral conductors, filmmakers, rappers, and fashion and visual artists to, in Stalling’s words, “help revitalize identity in the American South.” 

Stallings is uniquely obsessed with the ways choreography can identify and amplify the fluid nature of a city. The choreographer believes that movement with a social conscience is a critical component in creating group empathy and goodwill. That’s why she and glo’s movement artists love to construct “People Parades” for folks to come together in a public place to sit, skip, stand, kneel, walk-in 2’s, prance, waltz, spin, shuffle, be still, and twist.” 

Now, as Artist in Residence of the High Museum of Art, Lauri Stallings has constructed MAPPING: Public Choreographies to loop around the entire High Museum Campus. From 12:30–1:15 p.m., every Thursday and Saturday in August, Stallings and glo invite the Atlanta community to join them on the grass of the High Museum for MAPPING: Public Choreographies. For 45 minutes, anyone can come, watch ,or join however they want..

!!Rialto Center for the Arts
The Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University – www.rialto.gsu.edu – is located in one of the oldest parts of the city, downtown’s historic Fairlie-Poplar District. It opened a century ago as one of Atlanta’s first large movie houses, a decade before the Fabulous Fox. After major renovations for the 1996 Olympics, the Rialto became part of GSU’s ever-expanding campus. The annual Rialto (subscription) Series has presented an eclectic mix of world music, jazz, contemporary dance, and international programs. “Ailey II: The Next Generation of Dance” returns to the Rialto October 26. Artistic Director Troy Powell guides Ailey II’s signature pristine performances built on dynamic movement and brilliant technique.

!!Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre
The city we know as Atlanta was founded in the 1820s as Terminus. The five founding members of Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre – www.terminus-serenbe.com – came together to celebrate their shared home as a place where cultures intersect. Now in their second season, these experienced dance artists combine ballet and modern influences to create new theatrical dance works. 

On August 3, TMBT jump starts the school year and the return of their “pop up” open class series. Attend an open house at Westside Cultural Arts Center for free dance class offerings, light bites, door prizes, and a special presentation by Atlanta Optimal Performance Symposium.

Terminus opens its second season performing at Serenbe with “Lore,” the story of two siblings who share the collected heritage of their community. The work touches on the oral histories passed down through generations. TMBT invites audiences to gather around a fire as night falls in The Hollow at Serenbe to experience “Lore” October 11–20.

!!Zoetic Dance
::::
Since its first public performance in 2001, Zoetic Dance Ensemble – www.zoeticdance.org – has been a team of strong women, led by strong women. Zoetic’s dynamically athletic work embodies the feminine spirit and celebrates the power of the female body. Since 2001, their passion for female expression has attracted a range of creative women to share their visions, voices and stories of female empowerment. Zoetic, under the creative leadership of Mallory Baxley, enjoys a special partnership with Whitespace Gallery in Inman Park, which is where they’ll kick off their 2019-2020 season with a party and a preview of their upcoming work, “Saint.” The site for that December premiere will be Ambient+Studios, which began as a 109-year-old factory space near West End. “Saint” will feature original music by Xavier “Xay Zoleil” Lewis, costume design by Hannah James, and unique graphic design by Morgan Tanksley.



Return to Fall Arts Preview 2019 "
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!!Atlanta Ballet
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet — www.atlantaballet.com — is considered one of the premier dance companies in the country. Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals. In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education (CDE), which is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. The CDE serves over 23,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet’s roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city’s cultural growth.

{img fileId="21508" stylebox="float: left; margin-right:25px;" desc="desc" max="600"}
“Love Fear Loss,” by Brazilian choreographer Ricardo Amarante, is the centerpiece work of the opening program of the company’s 90th season, It follows the love story of French singer Édith Piaf from the high of new love, through the fear of intimacy slipping away, to the tragedy of losing her lifelong partner. Amarante has described his work as a celebration of the human condition and the beauty that arises from even the darkest moments in life.  The program will also include a remounting of “Vespertine,” the hypnotic 2017 work by British choreographer Liam Scarlett, a world premiere commissioned work by New York-based Claudia Schreier and a guest performance by New York-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

 

!!Caló Gitano Dance Academy
Marianela “Malita” Belloso was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and has been dancing flamenco for practically her entire life. She started when she was only six years old. By the time she was nine, she was already performing on television and in major flamenco stage productions with Siudy Quintero Dance Academy, the largest flamenco dance academy in Venezuela. Malita arrived in Atlanta in 2000 and formed the flamenco performance company Caló Gitano – www.calogitano.com – now the largest flamenco academy in Georgia. After opening Caló Dance Studio in Kirkwood nine years ago, Malita trained a group of advanced flamenco dancers and formed partnerships with other artists and musicians to create large-scale theater works and original flamenco musical productions as Caló Theatre Company  

!!Core Dance
Core Dance – www.coredance.org  – was co-founded in 1980 in Houston, Texas, by dancer and choreographer Sue Schroeder and her sister, Kathy Russell. Five years later, the organization added Atlanta, Georgia, as a second home base. Over four decades, Core has performed 125 pieces of original choreography across the globe, collaborating with the renowned and the obscure. The company actively encourages participation and conversation with the community, sharing what they know about bodies and movement with those dealing with abuse, homelessness, language barriers, refugee status, substance abuse, aging, and HIV/AIDS.

“If… a memoir” is a love song written for humanity. Sue Schroeder in collaboration with the Dance Artists of Core Dance, Christian Meyer (composer), and Simon Gentry (cinematographer) will create an evening-length, physical theater choreo-poem. According to Schroeder, “this new work will draw from early 1950s Beat Generation culture and influences including jazz-inspired rhythm, improvisational spirit, rejection of standard narrative values and seeming disorganization with a deliberate effect.”

!!Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University is home to Georgia’s largest collegiate dance program and Atlanta’s first theater designed specifically for dance. Through the program’s academic and practical experiences, students develop a holistic understanding of dance as an art form while also investigating dance as a method of analysis, a mode of enquiry, and an aesthetic experience. The Department’s collaborative partnerships provide students with uniquely valuable opportunities. This year, KSU Dance launched a new partnership with Terminus Modern Ballet Theater, directly connecting students to the professional practice of dance. 

September 27, KSU Dance – www.arts.kennesaw.edu/dance – presents The Charlotte Ballet performing Johan Inger’s “Walking Mad,” a piece inspired by a quote from Socrates: “Our greatest gifts come to us in a state of madness.” KSU’s student dance company will premiere “Slang,” a new work in November.

!!Emory Dance
Emory Dance – www.dance.emory.edu –  presents a wide range of public programming each year, including Emory Dance Company concerts, the Friends of Dance Lecture Series, guest artists, dance on film presentations, and informal and site-specific performances and events. Through the Candler Concert Series, Emory Dance presents some of the finest modern dance choreographers and companies, including The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Monica Bill Barnes & Company, David Dorfoman Dance, Doug Varone and Dancers, Urban Bush Women, the José Limón Dance Company, and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.

September 19, the Emory Dance Program presents a Creativity Conversation with visiting artist Dafi Altebeb, a young Israeli musician, dancer, and choreographer who has performed throughout the world. Her original dance works have premiered in major international festivals, including Internationale Tanzmesse (Dusseldorf), Les Brigittines Centre d’Art Contemporain (Brussels), Chang Mu International Dance Festival (Seoul), Ballet Preljocaj – Pavillion Noir (France), ​and Napoli Theater Festival (Italy). 

As a child in his native Iran 40 years ago, Emory Dance faculty member George Staib witnessed up close the frightening reality of religious revolution. In October, he and his brilliant company Staibdance present “Fence,” their most political and socially driven dance work to date. “Fence” examines how “otherness” can take your power or fuel it. Staib blends intensely physical movement vocabulary with traditional Iranian dance, and uses original music, lighting, and digital effects to weave the audience directly into the work.

!!Ferst Center for the Arts
The Georgia Tech Office of the Arts operates the Ferst Center for the Arts – www.arts.gatech.edu/artstech-performance-series – which presents the Arts@Tech season of professional music, dance, theater, and multimedia performances from September to April. The Georgia Tech School of Music performs multiple concerts at the Center, and DramaTech, the student theater group, performs in the James E. Dull Theatre in the back of the building. Arts@Tech has brought some of the most innovative and exciting multimedia works to be seen in the city, showcasing the highest in music and dance talents along with cutting-edge digital technologies. The works explore and explode themes of disability/mobility design, interconnectivity, LGBTQ living, and cultural celebration.

{img fileId="21485" stylebox="float: right; margin-left:25px;" desc="desc" max="600"}
The Ferst will be the site of two of the most exciting “Don’t Miss!” productions of 2019: “Dökk by fuse*” (October 4) and “Kinetic Light: DESCENT” (November 23).


“Dökk” blends light, sound, and movement into a mind-blowing, multidimensional universe created by fuse*, an Italian digital art studio and production company. Aerial dancer Elena Annovi moves through a sequence of 10 other-worldly environments created by software that synthesizes data from social media, the sound score, the dancer’s heartbeat, and her movements. 

“DESCENT” by Kinetic Light is an evening-length dance work, choreographed by Alice Sheppard in collaboration with disabled dancer Laurel Lawson and disabled lighting and video artist Michael Maag. Featuring a unique, architectural stage that acts as a partner in the choreography and storytelling, and performed on an architectural ramp with hills, curves and peaks, “DESCENT” celebrates the pleasure of reckless abandon. The ramp is a landscape that generates its own site-specific movement as dancers Laurel and Alice discover new experiences of acceleration, resistance, and momentum. Andromeda and Venus, reimagined as interracial lovers, claim their desire as their wheelchairs fly within inches of the ramp’s edges. The thrilling work challenges our assumptions about social justice, movement and embodiment, and art and architecture. 

!!Fly On A Wall
Since their inception in 2014, Fly on a Wall – www.flyonawall.buzz – has created a body of work which includes multimedia performance, installation, and dance for film. They have been presented by Dashboard, the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Contemporary, Art on the Atlanta BeltLine, Synchronicity Theatre, Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, the City of Duluth, and the Marietta Performing Arts Center. 

Fly on a Wall’s work best reveals itself through inventive theatrical elements that often manifest as performative structures. These elements are integral to the work and allow the audience new dimensions with which to view it. Performance structures that Fly on a Wall has created include: large plexiglass prisms for Art on the Atlanta Beltline, a tandem bicycle generating power for a light bulb in Dashboard’s “Shifting Scapes,” an abstract home made of 20-foot-high. floor-to-ceiling paper panels inside an abandoned castor factory. Once completed, each of these structures house Fly on a Wall’s unique blend of movement and theater.

This month, Fly on a Wall is bringing Anna Long from Chicago to teach three Gaga/dancers classes and one Gaga/people class throughout the weekend. Anyone interested may drop in to a single class or purchase class passes. Space is limited, it is recommended to register early.

On Sunday, August 25, stop by The Windmill Arts Center in East Point to celebrate Fly's one-year anniversary at the Windmill as artists-in-residence with Vanguard Repertory Company. Meet team members, hang out for free refreshments, and find out what Fly on a Wall has in store for the coming year.

!!glo
In 2009, dance/choreographer Lauri Stallings and her partner, production specialist Richard Carvlin, founded the Atlanta-based company glo –  www.gloatl.org. Today, glo’s “moving artists” include Kristina Brown, Noëlle Davé, Christina Kelly, Raina Mitchell, Cailan Orn, Mary Jane Pennington, and Mechelle Tunstall. Stallings and her dancers seem to be constantly performing all over metro Atlanta and Georgia and beyond, often in public spaces, including NYC’s Central Park. Over the past decade, glo has presented civic actions, world premiere performance experiments, an international curated live art series, and public art tours across the state. The company regularly collaborates with orchestral conductors, filmmakers, rappers, and fashion and visual artists to, in Stalling’s words, “help revitalize identity in the American South.” 

Stallings is uniquely obsessed with the ways choreography can identify and amplify the fluid nature of a city. The choreographer believes that movement with a social conscience is a critical component in creating group empathy and goodwill. That’s why she and glo’s movement artists love to construct “People Parades” for folks to come together in a public place to sit, skip, stand, kneel, walk-in 2’s, prance, waltz, spin, shuffle, be still, and twist.” 

Now, as Artist in Residence of the High Museum of Art, Lauri Stallings has constructed MAPPING: Public Choreographies to loop around the entire High Museum Campus. From 12:30–1:15 p.m., every Thursday and Saturday in August, Stallings and glo invite the Atlanta community to join them on the grass of the High Museum for MAPPING: Public Choreographies. For 45 minutes, anyone can come, watch ,or join however they want..

!!Rialto Center for the Arts
The Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University – www.rialto.gsu.edu – is located in one of the oldest parts of the city, downtown’s historic Fairlie-Poplar District. It opened a century ago as one of Atlanta’s first large movie houses, a decade before the Fabulous Fox. After major renovations for the 1996 Olympics, the Rialto became part of GSU’s ever-expanding campus. The annual Rialto (subscription) Series has presented an eclectic mix of world music, jazz, contemporary dance, and international programs. “Ailey II: The Next Generation of Dance” returns to the Rialto October 26. Artistic Director Troy Powell guides Ailey II’s signature pristine performances built on dynamic movement and brilliant technique.

!!Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre
The city we know as Atlanta was founded in the 1820s as Terminus. The five founding members of Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre – www.terminus-serenbe.com – came together to celebrate their shared home as a place where cultures intersect. Now in their second season, these experienced dance artists combine ballet and modern influences to create new theatrical dance works. 

On August 3, TMBT jump starts the school year and the return of their “pop up” open class series. Attend an open house at Westside Cultural Arts Center for free dance class offerings, light bites, door prizes, and a special presentation by Atlanta Optimal Performance Symposium.

Terminus opens its second season performing at Serenbe with “Lore,” the story of two siblings who share the collected heritage of their community. The work touches on the oral histories passed down through generations. TMBT invites audiences to gather around a fire as night falls in The Hollow at Serenbe to experience “Lore” October 11–20.

!!Zoetic Dance
::{img fileId="21484" desc="desc" max="1000"}::
Since its first public performance in 2001, Zoetic Dance Ensemble – www.zoeticdance.org – has been a team of strong women, led by strong women. Zoetic’s dynamically athletic work embodies the feminine spirit and celebrates the power of the female body. Since 2001, their passion for female expression has attracted a range of creative women to share their visions, voices and stories of female empowerment. Zoetic, under the creative leadership of Mallory Baxley, enjoys a special partnership with Whitespace Gallery in Inman Park, which is where they’ll kick off their 2019-2020 season with a party and a preview of their upcoming work, “Saint.” The site for that December premiere will be Ambient+Studios, which began as a 109-year-old factory space near West End. “Saint” will feature original music by Xavier “Xay Zoleil” Lewis, costume design by Hannah James, and unique graphic design by Morgan Tanksley.

{BOX( bg="#f47d5c" style="padding:15px;")}
!!::~~#000000:POISED FOR GREAT PERFORMANCES~~::
!!!::~~#000000:Emerging dance collectives on the rise~~::

{DIV(class="byline clearfix")}__~~#000000:ANGELA HARRIS~~__{DIV}
{img fileId="21486" stylebox="float: right; margin-left:25px;" desc="desc" max="600"}~~#000000:Atlanta continues to emerge and evolve as a vibrant dance city that supports the visions and dreams of professional artists. Although longstanding companies, such as the Atlanta Ballet, Ballethnic, Georgia Ballet, Full Radius, and CORE, will always have a strong presence deserving of audiences’ time and support, recently, there is a new and expanded focus on developing a fresh crop of professional dance artists in the city.~~
~~#000000:Poised to make its mark on the national dance landscape, Atlanta has caught the eye of national companies interested in moving, touring, or relocating. Ivan Pulinkala, the new dean of the College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University, envisioned the __KSU Dance Theater__ as an attractive presence for companies seeking to make a new footprint in the metro area. Last season, KSU welcomed BalletX and LA-based Body Traffic; this fall, Charlotte Ballet graces the KSU Dance Theatre stage.
As Atlanta receives more notoriety as a film hub, the ripple of national attention spreads out to the greater arts community. Atlanta native __Juel D. Lane__ — a dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, and artist — marked the spring season with stellar new works performed nationally by the Ailey II dance company. The fresh images of Lane’s dance films, ''The Maestro'' and ''PRISM'', received national acclaim. Atlanta audiences will have a chance to enjoy his films at the 2019 BronzeLens Film Festival in August.
Atlanta still has a way to go to support full-time salaries for professional dance artists. But what the city lacks in employment opportunities, it makes it up through the many companies providing outlets for professional artists to hone their skills. 
For 12 seasons running, Dance Canvas has been a leader in providing resources for emerging professional dance artists, enabling choreographers to premiere work and audiences to witness newly emerging voices in dance. The company serves as a launching platform for artists and their work, from the aforementioned films of Juel D. Lane and the work of Atlanta Dance Collective’s artistic director Sarah Stokes, to Atlanta’s newest professional dance company, The Tap Rebels.
__Dance Canvas__ currently has a call-out for artists with a deadline of August 15 for choreographers seeking an opportunity to develop new work; premieres of the selected works will take place in March 2020 at the Ferst Center for the Arts.
Recent years have witnessed the emergence of artist collectives within the dance community. Audiences should be on the lookout for exciting new work from __Terminus Modern Ballet Theater__, founded by five former Atlanta Ballet principal dancers. __Atlanta Dance Collective__ features the work of resident choreographers and boasts a strong company of a dozen contemporary dancers. __Kit Modus__, based out of Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, and __ImmerseATL__, under the direction of Sarah Hillmer, formerly of Atlanta Ballet, offer opportunities for artists to develop work and train in a collaborative space with local and nationally based guest artists. T-Lang has developed __‘The Movement Lab’__, a new studio and dance hub “intended to nurture growth and innovation.”
With the many dance artists and dance productions being dreamed up, workshopped, and presented in Atlanta this fall — from ballet and contemporary to tap and dance on film — there is something for every dance lover’s taste. I encourage readers to try something new, see all the dance that is blossoming in Atlanta, and rediscover Atlanta’s dance legacies. We are rich in tradition and brimming with new ideas.
''Angela Harris is the executive artistic director of Dance Canvas, Inc.''~~
{BOX}

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  string(15274) " Dancer  2019-08-02T18:46:02+00:00 Dancer_sm.jpg    dance fall arts preview 2019 Interpretative and ritual, modern and folk, ballet and bharatanatyam 21499  2019-08-05T16:51:25+00:00 Fall Arts Preview 2019: Dance jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Edward McNally  2019-08-05T16:51:25+00:00 Atlanta Ballet
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet — www.atlantaballet.com — is considered one of the premier dance companies in the country. Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals... SIDEBAR: POISED FOR GREAT PERFORMANCES

!!Atlanta Ballet
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet — www.atlantaballet.com — is considered one of the premier dance companies in the country. Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals. In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education (CDE), which is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. The CDE serves over 23,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet’s roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city’s cultural growth.


“Love Fear Loss,” by Brazilian choreographer Ricardo Amarante, is the centerpiece work of the opening program of the company’s 90th season, It follows the love story of French singer Édith Piaf from the high of new love, through the fear of intimacy slipping away, to the tragedy of losing her lifelong partner. Amarante has described his work as a celebration of the human condition and the beauty that arises from even the darkest moments in life.  The program will also include a remounting of “Vespertine,” the hypnotic 2017 work by British choreographer Liam Scarlett, a world premiere commissioned work by New York-based Claudia Schreier and a guest performance by New York-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

 

!!Caló Gitano Dance Academy
Marianela “Malita” Belloso was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and has been dancing flamenco for practically her entire life. She started when she was only six years old. By the time she was nine, she was already performing on television and in major flamenco stage productions with Siudy Quintero Dance Academy, the largest flamenco dance academy in Venezuela. Malita arrived in Atlanta in 2000 and formed the flamenco performance company Caló Gitano – www.calogitano.com – now the largest flamenco academy in Georgia. After opening Caló Dance Studio in Kirkwood nine years ago, Malita trained a group of advanced flamenco dancers and formed partnerships with other artists and musicians to create large-scale theater works and original flamenco musical productions as Caló Theatre Company  

!!Core Dance
Core Dance – www.coredance.org  – was co-founded in 1980 in Houston, Texas, by dancer and choreographer Sue Schroeder and her sister, Kathy Russell. Five years later, the organization added Atlanta, Georgia, as a second home base. Over four decades, Core has performed 125 pieces of original choreography across the globe, collaborating with the renowned and the obscure. The company actively encourages participation and conversation with the community, sharing what they know about bodies and movement with those dealing with abuse, homelessness, language barriers, refugee status, substance abuse, aging, and HIV/AIDS.

“If… a memoir” is a love song written for humanity. Sue Schroeder in collaboration with the Dance Artists of Core Dance, Christian Meyer (composer), and Simon Gentry (cinematographer) will create an evening-length, physical theater choreo-poem. According to Schroeder, “this new work will draw from early 1950s Beat Generation culture and influences including jazz-inspired rhythm, improvisational spirit, rejection of standard narrative values and seeming disorganization with a deliberate effect.”

!!Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University is home to Georgia’s largest collegiate dance program and Atlanta’s first theater designed specifically for dance. Through the program’s academic and practical experiences, students develop a holistic understanding of dance as an art form while also investigating dance as a method of analysis, a mode of enquiry, and an aesthetic experience. The Department’s collaborative partnerships provide students with uniquely valuable opportunities. This year, KSU Dance launched a new partnership with Terminus Modern Ballet Theater, directly connecting students to the professional practice of dance. 

September 27, KSU Dance – www.arts.kennesaw.edu/dance – presents The Charlotte Ballet performing Johan Inger’s “Walking Mad,” a piece inspired by a quote from Socrates: “Our greatest gifts come to us in a state of madness.” KSU’s student dance company will premiere “Slang,” a new work in November.

!!Emory Dance
Emory Dance – www.dance.emory.edu –  presents a wide range of public programming each year, including Emory Dance Company concerts, the Friends of Dance Lecture Series, guest artists, dance on film presentations, and informal and site-specific performances and events. Through the Candler Concert Series, Emory Dance presents some of the finest modern dance choreographers and companies, including The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Monica Bill Barnes & Company, David Dorfoman Dance, Doug Varone and Dancers, Urban Bush Women, the José Limón Dance Company, and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.

September 19, the Emory Dance Program presents a Creativity Conversation with visiting artist Dafi Altebeb, a young Israeli musician, dancer, and choreographer who has performed throughout the world. Her original dance works have premiered in major international festivals, including Internationale Tanzmesse (Dusseldorf), Les Brigittines Centre d’Art Contemporain (Brussels), Chang Mu International Dance Festival (Seoul), Ballet Preljocaj – Pavillion Noir (France), ​and Napoli Theater Festival (Italy). 

As a child in his native Iran 40 years ago, Emory Dance faculty member George Staib witnessed up close the frightening reality of religious revolution. In October, he and his brilliant company Staibdance present “Fence,” their most political and socially driven dance work to date. “Fence” examines how “otherness” can take your power or fuel it. Staib blends intensely physical movement vocabulary with traditional Iranian dance, and uses original music, lighting, and digital effects to weave the audience directly into the work.

!!Ferst Center for the Arts
The Georgia Tech Office of the Arts operates the Ferst Center for the Arts – www.arts.gatech.edu/artstech-performance-series – which presents the Arts@Tech season of professional music, dance, theater, and multimedia performances from September to April. The Georgia Tech School of Music performs multiple concerts at the Center, and DramaTech, the student theater group, performs in the James E. Dull Theatre in the back of the building. Arts@Tech has brought some of the most innovative and exciting multimedia works to be seen in the city, showcasing the highest in music and dance talents along with cutting-edge digital technologies. The works explore and explode themes of disability/mobility design, interconnectivity, LGBTQ living, and cultural celebration.


The Ferst will be the site of two of the most exciting “Don’t Miss!” productions of 2019: “Dökk by fuse*” (October 4) and “Kinetic Light: DESCENT” (November 23).


“Dökk” blends light, sound, and movement into a mind-blowing, multidimensional universe created by fuse*, an Italian digital art studio and production company. Aerial dancer Elena Annovi moves through a sequence of 10 other-worldly environments created by software that synthesizes data from social media, the sound score, the dancer’s heartbeat, and her movements. 

“DESCENT” by Kinetic Light is an evening-length dance work, choreographed by Alice Sheppard in collaboration with disabled dancer Laurel Lawson and disabled lighting and video artist Michael Maag. Featuring a unique, architectural stage that acts as a partner in the choreography and storytelling, and performed on an architectural ramp with hills, curves and peaks, “DESCENT” celebrates the pleasure of reckless abandon. The ramp is a landscape that generates its own site-specific movement as dancers Laurel and Alice discover new experiences of acceleration, resistance, and momentum. Andromeda and Venus, reimagined as interracial lovers, claim their desire as their wheelchairs fly within inches of the ramp’s edges. The thrilling work challenges our assumptions about social justice, movement and embodiment, and art and architecture. 

!!Fly On A Wall
Since their inception in 2014, Fly on a Wall – www.flyonawall.buzz – has created a body of work which includes multimedia performance, installation, and dance for film. They have been presented by Dashboard, the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Contemporary, Art on the Atlanta BeltLine, Synchronicity Theatre, Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, the City of Duluth, and the Marietta Performing Arts Center. 

Fly on a Wall’s work best reveals itself through inventive theatrical elements that often manifest as performative structures. These elements are integral to the work and allow the audience new dimensions with which to view it. Performance structures that Fly on a Wall has created include: large plexiglass prisms for Art on the Atlanta Beltline, a tandem bicycle generating power for a light bulb in Dashboard’s “Shifting Scapes,” an abstract home made of 20-foot-high. floor-to-ceiling paper panels inside an abandoned castor factory. Once completed, each of these structures house Fly on a Wall’s unique blend of movement and theater.

This month, Fly on a Wall is bringing Anna Long from Chicago to teach three Gaga/dancers classes and one Gaga/people class throughout the weekend. Anyone interested may drop in to a single class or purchase class passes. Space is limited, it is recommended to register early.

On Sunday, August 25, stop by The Windmill Arts Center in East Point to celebrate Fly's one-year anniversary at the Windmill as artists-in-residence with Vanguard Repertory Company. Meet team members, hang out for free refreshments, and find out what Fly on a Wall has in store for the coming year.

!!glo
In 2009, dance/choreographer Lauri Stallings and her partner, production specialist Richard Carvlin, founded the Atlanta-based company glo –  www.gloatl.org. Today, glo’s “moving artists” include Kristina Brown, Noëlle Davé, Christina Kelly, Raina Mitchell, Cailan Orn, Mary Jane Pennington, and Mechelle Tunstall. Stallings and her dancers seem to be constantly performing all over metro Atlanta and Georgia and beyond, often in public spaces, including NYC’s Central Park. Over the past decade, glo has presented civic actions, world premiere performance experiments, an international curated live art series, and public art tours across the state. The company regularly collaborates with orchestral conductors, filmmakers, rappers, and fashion and visual artists to, in Stalling’s words, “help revitalize identity in the American South.” 

Stallings is uniquely obsessed with the ways choreography can identify and amplify the fluid nature of a city. The choreographer believes that movement with a social conscience is a critical component in creating group empathy and goodwill. That’s why she and glo’s movement artists love to construct “People Parades” for folks to come together in a public place to sit, skip, stand, kneel, walk-in 2’s, prance, waltz, spin, shuffle, be still, and twist.” 

Now, as Artist in Residence of the High Museum of Art, Lauri Stallings has constructed MAPPING: Public Choreographies to loop around the entire High Museum Campus. From 12:30–1:15 p.m., every Thursday and Saturday in August, Stallings and glo invite the Atlanta community to join them on the grass of the High Museum for MAPPING: Public Choreographies. For 45 minutes, anyone can come, watch ,or join however they want..

!!Rialto Center for the Arts
The Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University – www.rialto.gsu.edu – is located in one of the oldest parts of the city, downtown’s historic Fairlie-Poplar District. It opened a century ago as one of Atlanta’s first large movie houses, a decade before the Fabulous Fox. After major renovations for the 1996 Olympics, the Rialto became part of GSU’s ever-expanding campus. The annual Rialto (subscription) Series has presented an eclectic mix of world music, jazz, contemporary dance, and international programs. “Ailey II: The Next Generation of Dance” returns to the Rialto October 26. Artistic Director Troy Powell guides Ailey II’s signature pristine performances built on dynamic movement and brilliant technique.

!!Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre
The city we know as Atlanta was founded in the 1820s as Terminus. The five founding members of Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre – www.terminus-serenbe.com – came together to celebrate their shared home as a place where cultures intersect. Now in their second season, these experienced dance artists combine ballet and modern influences to create new theatrical dance works. 

On August 3, TMBT jump starts the school year and the return of their “pop up” open class series. Attend an open house at Westside Cultural Arts Center for free dance class offerings, light bites, door prizes, and a special presentation by Atlanta Optimal Performance Symposium.

Terminus opens its second season performing at Serenbe with “Lore,” the story of two siblings who share the collected heritage of their community. The work touches on the oral histories passed down through generations. TMBT invites audiences to gather around a fire as night falls in The Hollow at Serenbe to experience “Lore” October 11–20.

!!Zoetic Dance
::::
Since its first public performance in 2001, Zoetic Dance Ensemble – www.zoeticdance.org – has been a team of strong women, led by strong women. Zoetic’s dynamically athletic work embodies the feminine spirit and celebrates the power of the female body. Since 2001, their passion for female expression has attracted a range of creative women to share their visions, voices and stories of female empowerment. Zoetic, under the creative leadership of Mallory Baxley, enjoys a special partnership with Whitespace Gallery in Inman Park, which is where they’ll kick off their 2019-2020 season with a party and a preview of their upcoming work, “Saint.” The site for that December premiere will be Ambient+Studios, which began as a 109-year-old factory space near West End. “Saint” will feature original music by Xavier “Xay Zoleil” Lewis, costume design by Hannah James, and unique graphic design by Morgan Tanksley.



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The Arts Issue, Explore Arts & Culture

Monday August 5, 2019 12:51 pm EDT
Interpretative and ritual, modern and folk, ballet and bharatanatyam | more...

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Thursday October 17, 2019 01:43 pm EDT
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Wednesday October 23, 2019 12:13 pm EDT
Explore the works of the greats like Van Gogh, Monet, or Picasso and discover the modern photographic works of 20th century photographers and artists like Warhol, Annie Liebovitz, and Sally Mann. | more...


Explore Annual Festivals

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Winter Beer Festival

This two-day beer extravaganza features more than 300 brews overflowing from the Masquerade and into its Music Park with vendors set up in heated tents. In addition to pours of local and national beers, expect live music, food trucks, and other assorted vendors. www.atlantawinterbeerfest.com.

Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase

Marching band culture in Atlanta is as common and celebrated as good barbecue (see: Drumline). The Honda Battle of the Bands is like the Super Bowl for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their beloved bands. Whittled down from 40 competitors, eight of the nation's top HBCU bands duke it out for on-field bragging rights. You'll be doing yourself a favor taking in the choreographed audio tussles. www.hondabattleofthebands.com.

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is a nearly monthlong cinematic celebration of the Jewish community. Founded in 2000, AJFF ranks as the largest film festival in Atlanta, and second-largest Jewish film festival in the United States, featuring an international collection of narrative and documentary films that explore the Jewish experience. In addition to the film screenings, enjoy guest appearances by filmmakers, actors, authors, academics, and other expert speakers. www.ajff.org.

MLK Day

The celebration of civil rights hero and Atlanta native the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. takes place annually on the Monday following King's birthday (Jan. 15). The day starts with a commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church and continues with a march through Downtown along Auburn Avenue that ends at the King Center. www.thekingcenter.org.

FEBRUARY

Black History Month Parade

In celebration of Black History Month, the annual parade features marching bands, entertainers, civic groups, celebrities, artists, entertainment, and more in Atlanta's historic Sweet Auburn District. www.blackhistorymonthparade.com.

MARCH

Dad's Garage BaconFest

The annual BaconFest benefits Atlanta's beloved Dad's Garage Theatre and sizzles with bacon, beer, bacon, music, and a whole lot more bacon. No, seriously. Organizers expect to go through roughly 2,250 pounds of the crispy, crackly good stuff each year. While you're there, indulge in special tastings from local vendors, which in past years have included Frozen Pints, Wrecking Bar, the Vortex, Happy Hour Confections, and more. The event also boasts its own take on carnival-style events such as dirty face painting, a sanitary kissing booth, and more. Oh, and Kevin Bacon showed up to the event in 2012. What's not to love about that? www.dadsgarage.com.

Atlanta Film Festival

Join the more than 25,000 people who attend the Atlanta Film Festival each year and enjoy a variety of documentaries, shorts, narratives, animated films and more. Now in its fourth decade, the weeklong fest — one of only two-dozen Academy Award-qualifying festivals in the United States — also features in-person dialogue with stars and filmmakers. Recent guests have included Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men), Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Ray McKinnon ("Rectify"), Walton Goggins ("The Shield"), and Margaret Cho ("Drop Dead Diva"). www.atlantafilmfestival.com.

APRIL

SweetWater 420 Fest

One of Atlanta's most eclectic Earth Day celebrations, SweetWater 420 Fest features live music, earth-friendly activities, stand-up comedy, food trucks, SweetWater brews, an artist market, and more. After nearly a decade of playing host to thousands of boozy merry-goers and jam bands in Candler Park, the fest moved to Downtown's Centennial Olympic Park in 2014. www.sweetwater420fest.com.

Dogwood Festival

Every spring, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park honors the warmer weather with performances, art booths, kiddie rides, snacks from local restaurants, and thousands upon thousands upon thousands of cabin-fevered Atlantans. www.dogwood.org.

Inman Park Festival

Taking place the last full weekend in April each year, the Inman Park Festival is one of Atlanta's most beloved events. Check out the tour of homes, live music, dance festival, arts and crafts market, and definitely the parade with all of its gloriously weird floats. www.inmanparkfestival.org.

MAY

Atlanta Jazz Festival

It's more or less a fact that you can't go wrong with free jazz music. Produced by the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs, the Atlanta Jazz Festival is a monthlong celebration featuring both established and up-and-coming acts in the genre, culminating Memorial Day weekend with performances in Piedmont Park. From International jazz superstars to local artists looking to make a name for themselves, the fest might be one of the best free tickets in any city. www.atlantafestivals.com.

Atlanta Food and Wine Festival

This tasty weekend offers a multitude of food and drink experiences showcasing Southern culinary traditions, including learning experiences such as cooking and cocktail classes, tasting seminars, and panel discussions; tasting tents; and dinners and events around the city. www.atlfoodandwinefestival.com.

East Atlanta Beer Fest

The East Atlanta Beer Fest is held in Brownwood Park and features a killer beer selection (more than 150 craft beers), early-access VIP entry, local music, food trucks, and more. The proceeds from the festival benefit local organizations and help fund projects that make East Atlanta a great place to live. www.eastatlantabeerfest.com.

Shaky Knees

Arguably one of the best collections of rock, post-punk, and folk music in the country, the Shaky Knees Music Festival has become one of the most popular annual music events in the city. Whether it's the Alabama Shakes or the National, acts new and old are sure to make a stop on the main stage at some point during festival season. www.shakykneesfestival.com.

JUNE

Modern Atlanta Design is Human Week

This annual architecture and international design event features installations, talks, films, exhibits, cocktail parties, and home tours to highlight innovative design from Atlanta and around the world. www.ma-designishuman.com.

Virginia-Highland SummerFest

It's probably clear by now that Atlantans love a good neighborhood festival. And there are plenty of 'em throughout the year because your neighborhood has to be the best, you know? Va-Hi mixes it up with a Summerfest 5K Road Race and Tot Trot to complement the standard local artist market, Atlanta restaurant vendors, and live music by renowned local and national musicians. Proceeds benefit the Virginia-Highland Civic Association. www.vahi.org/summerfest.

JULY

Peachtree Road Race

From its humble beginnings in 1970 as a group of 110 runners, the Peachtree Road Race has grown into the world's largest 10K. Every July 4, more than 50,000 participants line up for the 6.2-mile haul to the finish line and a coveted Peachtree Road Race T-shirt. Spectators, radio stations, and restaurants line the roadway to cheer on runners and walkers with music, beer, and water. www.peachtreeroadrace.org.

JCT's Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival

Bask in the glory of summertime's favorite fruit that tastes like a vegetable at JCT's Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival. The city's best chefs are paired with a local farmer to create tomato-inspired dishes, while Atlanta's best bartenders come up with creative cocktails featuring — you guessed it — tomatoes. At the end of the day, judges and festival attendees choose the best tomato drink and dish. www.facebook.com/attackofthekillertomatofestival.

AUGUST

Decatur Book Festival

As the largest independent book festival in the country, attendees can mingle with 300 world-class authors at book signings, readings, and soirées. Past keynote speakers have included former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey and Congressman/civil rights icon John Lewis. The keynote is free, but tickets go quickly. There are tracks for young adult books, cookbooks, political nonfiction, experimental poetry ... basically everything. This annual Labor Day weekend event is the biggest and most popular book event of the year, every year. www.decaturbookfestival.com.

Dragon Con

Trekkies, steampunks, zombies, filkers, furries, goths, Klingons, Sleestaks, Predators, Aliens, and more descend on Downtown for the Southeast's largest sci-fi con. Come dressed as your favorite character from any number of sci-fi, horror, or fantasy films, comics, video games, etc. When it comes to Dragon Con, the wilder the better. The one Dragon Con must-see is the annual parade along Peachtree Street. Huge crowds 10-people deep line up super early to watch the Stormtroopers, Slave Leias, Dark Knight-era Jokers, and more strut up Atlanta's main thoroughfare. www.dragoncon.org.

Grant Park Summer Shade Festival

Stay shady in a good way at the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival. The giant beech, maple, and oak trees that live in Grant Park create just enough shade to keep everyone at the festival comfortably cool. Featuring a bountiful artist market, several stages for live music, and a diverse mix of fair food and local food trucks, the Shade Festival is the culmination of everything great about summertime in a city of trees. www.summershadefestival.org.

September

Music Midtown

Music Midtown once reigned supreme as the festival in the ATL — period. After a brief hiatus in the early 2000s, Music Midtown has made a slow and steady comeback, and still gets the good folks of the city excited even though the production has been scaled back to fewer acts and a day shorter than the three-day extravaganza it once was. You could travel over to Tennessee for Bonnaroo or seriously dent the bank account heading out to Coachella, but you'll find lineups offering the same musical diversity right here in the city. www.musicmidtown.com.

Drive Invasion

The annual festival of hot rods, rock bands, and cult movies combines the spirit of a tailgate party with a greaser drag race. In 2014, the event moved from its longtime home at the Starlight Drive-in to the Braves' Turner Field turf. Daylight hours bring classic car shows and a slew of rockabilly bands. At dusk, the movies start, usually featuring cult classics and beloved throwbacks. www.drive-invasion.com.

Creative Loafing's Best of Atlanta Party

In honor of its annual Best of Atlanta issue, Creative Loafing celebrates the best people, places, and things the city has to offer. Mingle with Best of Atlanta winners, nibble on bites from beloved local restaurants, dance to the sounds of ATL musicians, and feast your eyes on artistic works from the city's creative class. www.clatl.com/bestofatlanta.

OCTOBER

Pride Parade/Festival

The annual Atlanta Pride Festival, the largest Pride event in the Southeast and the largest event in the country to coincide with National Coming Out Day, celebrates all things LGBT. The festival weekend is jam-packed with a kickoff party and the annual Pride Parade, as well as arts, vendors, parties, and other festivities. www.atlantapride.org.

Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade

The Little Five Points Halloween Festival is a daylong celebration of all things Hallo-weird. The much-anticipated fest is one of the city's best and packs Atlanta's eclectic neighborhood with music, food trucks, a killer artist market, tricks, treats, debauchery, and, of course, the annual parade featuring morbidly decorated floats carrying candy-tossing and music-playing ghouls through the streets of L5P. Throw on your best costume and get there early. www.l5phalloween.com.

A3C Hip-Hop Festival

An acronym for All Three Coasts, the A3C Hip-Hop Festival features arguably the largest collection (500-plus performances) of hip-hop acts in the country. Expanding exponentially every year since its 2005 inception, A3C is a fusion of good music, education, art, film, style, and industry panels. If every hipster music lover travels to Austin for SXSW, hitting up ATL for A3C is a hip-hop head's obligation. www.a3cfestival.com.

NOVEMBER

Chomp and Stomp Chili Cook-Off Festival

Every fall, a chili-hungry crowd descends on Cabbagetown Park for the annual Chomp and Stomp Chili Cook-Off Festival, featuring the Romp and Stomp 5K race, live music, artist market, games, and, of course, copious amounts of chili. There's always tons of the stuff, but this is a popular festival so be sure to get there early before they run out. If you miss out on the chili, food vendors will be on site to make sure no one goes hungry. www.chompandstomp.com.

Indie Craft Experience Holiday Shopping Spectacular

The annual market features crafters, artists, and small businesses that produce handmade and indie goods. Everything from seasoned gourmet salts to silk-screened T-shirts and handmade jewelry to original works of art will be for sale. Also catch music, a photo booth, food and drinks, and a swag bag designed by a local artist. www.ice-atlanta.com.

DECEMBER

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is the ninth-oldest bowl game in the country and hosts the longest-running rivalry series between the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference. Come for the game and check out the plethora of events leading up to and following the battle on the gridiron. www.fanacts.com.

The Peach Drop

New York's got the ball, and since 1989 Atlanta has had the peach. On New Year's Eve, thousands of Atlanta residents and tourists descend upon Underground Atlanta to watch the giant peach drop. The big shebang has featured entertainment from Janelle Monáe and comedian David Koechner to Collective Soul and Sister Hazel. www.peachdrop.com.


 "
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_raw"]=>
  string(15971) "JANUARY

__Winter Beer Festival__

This two-day beer extravaganza features more than 300 brews overflowing from the Masquerade and into its Music Park with vendors set up in heated tents. In addition to pours of local and national beers, expect live music, food trucks, and other assorted vendors. ''[http://www.atlantawinterbeerfest.com/|www.atlantawinterbeerfest.com].''

__Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase__

Marching band culture in Atlanta is as common and celebrated as good barbecue (see: ''Drumline''). The Honda Battle of the Bands is like the Super Bowl for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their beloved bands. Whittled down from 40 competitors, eight of the nation's top HBCU bands duke it out for on-field bragging rights. You'll be doing yourself a favor taking in the choreographed audio tussles. ''[http://www.hondabattleofthebands.com/|www.hondabattleofthebands.com].''

__Atlanta Jewish Film Festival__

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is a nearly monthlong cinematic celebration of the Jewish community. Founded in 2000, AJFF ranks as the largest film festival in Atlanta, and second-largest Jewish film festival in the United States, featuring an international collection of narrative and documentary films that explore the Jewish experience. In addition to the film screenings, enjoy guest appearances by filmmakers, actors, authors, academics, and other expert speakers. ''[http://www.ajff.org/|www.ajff.org].''

__MLK Day__

The celebration of civil rights hero and Atlanta native the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. takes place annually on the Monday following King's birthday (Jan. 15). The day starts with a commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church and continues with a march through Downtown along Auburn Avenue that ends at the King Center. ''[http://www.thekingcenter.org/|www.thekingcenter.org].''

FEBRUARY

__Black History Month Parade__

In celebration of Black History Month, the annual parade features marching bands, entertainers, civic groups, celebrities, artists, entertainment, and more in Atlanta's historic Sweet Auburn District. ''[http://www.blackhistorymonthparade.com/|www.blackhistorymonthparade.com].''

MARCH

__Dad's Garage BaconFest__

The annual BaconFest benefits Atlanta's beloved Dad's Garage Theatre and sizzles with bacon, beer, bacon, music, and a whole lot more bacon. No, seriously. Organizers expect to go through roughly 2,250 pounds of the crispy, crackly good stuff each year. While you're there, indulge in special tastings from local vendors, which in past years have included Frozen Pints, Wrecking Bar, the Vortex, Happy Hour Confections, and more. The event also boasts its own take on carnival-style events such as dirty face painting, a sanitary kissing booth, and more. Oh, and Kevin Bacon showed up to the event in 2012. What's not to love about that? ''[http://www.dadsgarage.com/|www.dadsgarage.com].''

__Atlanta Film Festival__

Join the more than 25,000 people who attend the Atlanta Film Festival each year and enjoy a variety of documentaries, shorts, narratives, animated films and more. Now in its fourth decade, the weeklong fest — one of only two-dozen Academy Award-qualifying festivals in the United States — also features in-person dialogue with stars and filmmakers. Recent guests have included Josh Brolin (''No Country For Old Men''), Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Ray McKinnon ("Rectify"), Walton Goggins ("The Shield"), and Margaret Cho ("Drop Dead Diva"). ''[http://www.atlantafilmfestival.com/|www.atlantafilmfestival.com].''

APRIL

__SweetWater 420 Fest__

One of Atlanta's most eclectic Earth Day celebrations, SweetWater 420 Fest features live music, earth-friendly activities, stand-up comedy, food trucks, SweetWater brews, an artist market, and more. After nearly a decade of playing host to thousands of boozy merry-goers and jam bands in Candler Park, the fest moved to Downtown's Centennial Olympic Park in 2014. ''[http://www.sweetwater420fest.com/|www.sweetwater420fest.com].''

__Dogwood Festival__

Every spring, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park honors the warmer weather with performances, art booths, kiddie rides, snacks from local restaurants, and thousands upon thousands upon thousands of cabin-fevered Atlantans. ''[http://www.dogwood.org/|www.dogwood.org].''

__Inman Park Festival__

Taking place the last full weekend in April each year, the Inman Park Festival is one of Atlanta's most beloved events. Check out the tour of homes, live music, dance festival, arts and crafts market, and ''definitely'' the parade with all of its gloriously weird floats. ''[http://www.inmanparkfestival.org/|www.inmanparkfestival.org].''

MAY

__Atlanta Jazz Festival__

It's more or less a fact that you can't go wrong with free jazz music. Produced by the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs, the Atlanta Jazz Festival is a monthlong celebration featuring both established and up-and-coming acts in the genre, culminating Memorial Day weekend with performances in Piedmont Park. From International jazz superstars to local artists looking to make a name for themselves, the fest might be one of the best free tickets in any city. ''[http://www.atlantafestivals.com/|www.atlantafestivals.com].''

__Atlanta Food and Wine Festival__

This tasty weekend offers a multitude of food and drink experiences showcasing Southern culinary traditions, including learning experiences such as cooking and cocktail classes, tasting seminars, and panel discussions; tasting tents; and dinners and events around the city. ''[http://www.atlfoodandwinefestival.com/|www.atlfoodandwinefestival.com].''

__East Atlanta Beer Fest__

The East Atlanta Beer Fest is held in Brownwood Park and features a killer beer selection (more than 150 craft beers), early-access VIP entry, local music, food trucks, and more. The proceeds from the festival benefit local organizations and help fund projects that make East Atlanta a great place to live. ''[http://www.eastatlantabeerfest.com/|www.eastatlantabeerfest.com].''

__Shaky Knees__

Arguably one of the best collections of rock, post-punk, and folk music in the country, the Shaky Knees Music Festival has become one of the most popular annual music events in the city. Whether it's the Alabama Shakes or the National, acts new and old are sure to make a stop on the main stage at some point during festival season. ''[http://www.shakykneesfestival.com/|www.shakykneesfestival.com].''

JUNE

__Modern Atlanta Design is Human Week__

This annual architecture and international design event features installations, talks, films, exhibits, cocktail parties, and home tours to highlight innovative design from Atlanta and around the world. ''[http://www.ma-designishuman.com/|www.ma-designishuman.com].''

__Virginia-Highland SummerFest__

It's probably clear by now that Atlantans love a good neighborhood festival. And there are plenty of 'em throughout the year because your neighborhood has to be the best, you know? Va-Hi mixes it up with a Summerfest 5K Road Race and Tot Trot to complement the standard local artist market, Atlanta restaurant vendors, and live music by renowned local and national musicians. Proceeds benefit the Virginia-Highland Civic Association. ''[http://www.vahi.org/summerfest|www.vahi.org/summerfest].''

JULY

__Peachtree Road Race__

From its humble beginnings in 1970 as a group of 110 runners, the Peachtree Road Race has grown into the world's largest 10K. Every July 4, more than 50,000 participants line up for the 6.2-mile haul to the finish line and a coveted Peachtree Road Race T-shirt. Spectators, radio stations, and restaurants line the roadway to cheer on runners and walkers with music, beer, and water. ''[http://www.peachtreeroadrace.org/|www.peachtreeroadrace.org].''

__JCT's Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival__

Bask in the glory of summertime's favorite fruit that tastes like a vegetable at JCT's Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival. The city's best chefs are paired with a local farmer to create tomato-inspired dishes, while Atlanta's best bartenders come up with creative cocktails featuring — you guessed it — tomatoes. At the end of the day, judges and festival attendees choose the best tomato drink and dish. ''[http://www.facebook.com/attackofthekillertomatofestival|www.facebook.com/attackofthekillertomatofestival].''

AUGUST

__Decatur Book Festival__

As the largest independent book festival in the country, attendees can mingle with 300 world-class authors at book signings, readings, and soirées. Past keynote speakers have included former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey and Congressman/civil rights icon John Lewis. The keynote is free, but tickets go quickly. There are tracks for young adult books, cookbooks, political nonfiction, experimental poetry ... basically everything. This annual Labor Day weekend event is the biggest and most popular book event of the year, every year. ''[http://www.decaturbookfestival.com/|www.decaturbookfestival.com].''

__Dragon Con__

Trekkies, steampunks, zombies, filkers, furries, goths, Klingons, Sleestaks, Predators, Aliens, and more descend on Downtown for the Southeast's largest sci-fi con. Come dressed as your favorite character from any number of sci-fi, horror, or fantasy films, comics, video games, etc. When it comes to Dragon Con, the wilder the better. The one Dragon Con must-see is the annual parade along Peachtree Street. Huge crowds 10-people deep line up super early to watch the Stormtroopers, Slave Leias, Dark Knight-era Jokers, and more strut up Atlanta's main thoroughfare. ''[http://www.dragoncon.org/|www.dragoncon.org].''

__Grant Park Summer Shade Festival__

Stay shady in a good way at the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival. The giant beech, maple, and oak trees that live in Grant Park create just enough shade to keep everyone at the festival comfortably cool. Featuring a bountiful artist market, several stages for live music, and a diverse mix of fair food and local food trucks, the Shade Festival is the culmination of everything great about summertime in a city of trees. ''[http://www.summershadefestival.org/|www.summershadefestival.org].''

September

__Music Midtown__

Music Midtown once reigned supreme as ''the'' festival in the ATL — period. After a brief hiatus in the early 2000s, Music Midtown has made a slow and steady comeback, and still gets the good folks of the city excited even though the production has been scaled back to fewer acts and a day shorter than the three-day extravaganza it once was. You could travel over to Tennessee for Bonnaroo or seriously dent the bank account heading out to Coachella, but you'll find lineups offering the same musical diversity right here in the city. ''[http://www.musicmidtown.com/|www.musicmidtown.com].''

__Drive Invasion__

The annual festival of hot rods, rock bands, and cult movies combines the spirit of a tailgate party with a greaser drag race. In 2014, the event moved from its longtime home at the Starlight Drive-in to the Braves' Turner Field turf. Daylight hours bring classic car shows and a slew of rockabilly bands. At dusk, the movies start, usually featuring cult classics and beloved throwbacks. ''[http://www.drive-invasion.com/|www.drive-invasion.com].''

__''Creative Loafing'''s Best of Atlanta Party__

In honor of its annual Best of Atlanta issue, ''Creative Loafing'' celebrates the best people, places, and things the city has to offer. Mingle with Best of Atlanta winners, nibble on bites from beloved local restaurants, dance to the sounds of ATL musicians, and feast your eyes on artistic works from the city's creative class. ''[http://www.clatl.com/bestofatlanta|www.clatl.com/bestofatlanta].''

OCTOBER

__Pride Parade/Festival__

The annual Atlanta Pride Festival, the largest Pride event in the Southeast and the largest event in the country to coincide with National Coming Out Day, celebrates all things LGBT. The festival weekend is jam-packed with a kickoff party and the annual Pride Parade, as well as arts, vendors, parties, and other festivities. ''[http://www.atlantapride.org/|www.atlantapride.org].''

__Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade__

The Little Five Points Halloween Festival is a daylong celebration of all things Hallo-weird. The much-anticipated fest is one of the city's best and packs Atlanta's eclectic neighborhood with music, food trucks, a killer artist market, tricks, treats, debauchery, and, of course, the annual parade featuring morbidly decorated floats carrying candy-tossing and music-playing ghouls through the streets of L5P. Throw on your best costume and get there early. ''[http://www.l5phalloween.com/|www.l5phalloween.com].''

__A3C Hip-Hop Festival__

An acronym for All Three Coasts, the A3C Hip-Hop Festival features arguably the largest collection (500-plus performances) of hip-hop acts in the country. Expanding exponentially every year since its 2005 inception, A3C is a fusion of good music, education, art, film, style, and industry panels. If every hipster music lover travels to Austin for SXSW, hitting up ATL for A3C is a hip-hop head's obligation. ''[http://www.a3cfestival.com/|www.a3cfestival.com].''

NOVEMBER

__Chomp and Stomp Chili Cook-Off Festival__

Every fall, a chili-hungry crowd descends on Cabbagetown Park for the annual Chomp and Stomp Chili Cook-Off Festival, featuring the Romp and Stomp 5K race, live music, artist market, games, and, of course, copious amounts of chili. There's always tons of the stuff, but this is a popular festival so be sure to get there early before they run out. If you miss out on the chili, food vendors will be on site to make sure no one goes hungry. ''[http://www.chompandstomp.com/|www.chompandstomp.com].''

__Indie Craft Experience Holiday Shopping Spectacular__

The annual market features crafters, artists, and small businesses that produce handmade and indie goods. Everything from seasoned gourmet salts to silk-screened T-shirts and handmade jewelry to original works of art will be for sale. Also catch music, a photo booth, food and drinks, and a swag bag designed by a local artist. ''[http://www.ice-atlanta.com/|www.ice-atlanta.com].''

DECEMBER

__Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl__

The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is the ninth-oldest bowl game in the country and hosts the longest-running rivalry series between the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference. Come for the game and check out the plethora of events leading up to and following the battle on the gridiron. ''[http://www.fanacts.com/|www.fanacts.com].''

__The Peach Drop__

New York's got the ball, and since 1989 Atlanta has had the peach. On New Year's Eve, thousands of Atlanta residents and tourists descend upon Underground Atlanta to watch the giant peach drop. The big shebang has featured entertainment from Janelle Monáe and comedian David Koechner to Collective Soul and Sister Hazel. ''[http://www.peachdrop.com/|www.peachdrop.com].''

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Winter Beer Festival

This two-day beer extravaganza features more than 300 brews overflowing from the Masquerade and into its Music Park with vendors set up in heated tents. In addition to pours of local and national beers, expect live music, food trucks, and other assorted vendors. www.atlantawinterbeerfest.com.

Honda Battle of the Bands Invitational Showcase

Marching band culture in Atlanta is as common and celebrated as good barbecue (see: Drumline). The Honda Battle of the Bands is like the Super Bowl for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their beloved bands. Whittled down from 40 competitors, eight of the nation's top HBCU bands duke it out for on-field bragging rights. You'll be doing yourself a favor taking in the choreographed audio tussles. www.hondabattleofthebands.com.

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is a nearly monthlong cinematic celebration of the Jewish community. Founded in 2000, AJFF ranks as the largest film festival in Atlanta, and second-largest Jewish film festival in the United States, featuring an international collection of narrative and documentary films that explore the Jewish experience. In addition to the film screenings, enjoy guest appearances by filmmakers, actors, authors, academics, and other expert speakers. www.ajff.org.

MLK Day

The celebration of civil rights hero and Atlanta native the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. takes place annually on the Monday following King's birthday (Jan. 15). The day starts with a commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church and continues with a march through Downtown along Auburn Avenue that ends at the King Center. www.thekingcenter.org.

FEBRUARY

Black History Month Parade

In celebration of Black History Month, the annual parade features marching bands, entertainers, civic groups, celebrities, artists, entertainment, and more in Atlanta's historic Sweet Auburn District. www.blackhistorymonthparade.com.

MARCH

Dad's Garage BaconFest

The annual BaconFest benefits Atlanta's beloved Dad's Garage Theatre and sizzles with bacon, beer, bacon, music, and a whole lot more bacon. No, seriously. Organizers expect to go through roughly 2,250 pounds of the crispy, crackly good stuff each year. While you're there, indulge in special tastings from local vendors, which in past years have included Frozen Pints, Wrecking Bar, the Vortex, Happy Hour Confections, and more. The event also boasts its own take on carnival-style events such as dirty face painting, a sanitary kissing booth, and more. Oh, and Kevin Bacon showed up to the event in 2012. What's not to love about that? www.dadsgarage.com.

Atlanta Film Festival

Join the more than 25,000 people who attend the Atlanta Film Festival each year and enjoy a variety of documentaries, shorts, narratives, animated films and more. Now in its fourth decade, the weeklong fest — one of only two-dozen Academy Award-qualifying festivals in the United States — also features in-person dialogue with stars and filmmakers. Recent guests have included Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men), Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Ray McKinnon ("Rectify"), Walton Goggins ("The Shield"), and Margaret Cho ("Drop Dead Diva"). www.atlantafilmfestival.com.

APRIL

SweetWater 420 Fest

One of Atlanta's most eclectic Earth Day celebrations, SweetWater 420 Fest features live music, earth-friendly activities, stand-up comedy, food trucks, SweetWater brews, an artist market, and more. After nearly a decade of playing host to thousands of boozy merry-goers and jam bands in Candler Park, the fest moved to Downtown's Centennial Olympic Park in 2014. www.sweetwater420fest.com.

Dogwood Festival

Every spring, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park honors the warmer weather with performances, art booths, kiddie rides, snacks from local restaurants, and thousands upon thousands upon thousands of cabin-fevered Atlantans. www.dogwood.org.

Inman Park Festival

Taking place the last full weekend in April each year, the Inman Park Festival is one of Atlanta's most beloved events. Check out the tour of homes, live music, dance festival, arts and crafts market, and definitely the parade with all of its gloriously weird floats. www.inmanparkfestival.org.

MAY

Atlanta Jazz Festival

It's more or less a fact that you can't go wrong with free jazz music. Produced by the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs, the Atlanta Jazz Festival is a monthlong celebration featuring both established and up-and-coming acts in the genre, culminating Memorial Day weekend with performances in Piedmont Park. From International jazz superstars to local artists looking to make a name for themselves, the fest might be one of the best free tickets in any city. www.atlantafestivals.com.

Atlanta Food and Wine Festival

This tasty weekend offers a multitude of food and drink experiences showcasing Southern culinary traditions, including learning experiences such as cooking and cocktail classes, tasting seminars, and panel discussions; tasting tents; and dinners and events around the city. www.atlfoodandwinefestival.com.

East Atlanta Beer Fest

The East Atlanta Beer Fest is held in Brownwood Park and features a killer beer selection (more than 150 craft beers), early-access VIP entry, local music, food trucks, and more. The proceeds from the festival benefit local organizations and help fund projects that make East Atlanta a great place to live. www.eastatlantabeerfest.com.

Shaky Knees

Arguably one of the best collections of rock, post-punk, and folk music in the country, the Shaky Knees Music Festival has become one of the most popular annual music events in the city. Whether it's the Alabama Shakes or the National, acts new and old are sure to make a stop on the main stage at some point during festival season. www.shakykneesfestival.com.

JUNE

Modern Atlanta Design is Human Week

This annual architecture and international design event features installations, talks, films, exhibits, cocktail parties, and home tours to highlight innovative design from Atlanta and around the world. www.ma-designishuman.com.

Virginia-Highland SummerFest

It's probably clear by now that Atlantans love a good neighborhood festival. And there are plenty of 'em throughout the year because your neighborhood has to be the best, you know? Va-Hi mixes it up with a Summerfest 5K Road Race and Tot Trot to complement the standard local artist market, Atlanta restaurant vendors, and live music by renowned local and national musicians. Proceeds benefit the Virginia-Highland Civic Association. www.vahi.org/summerfest.

JULY

Peachtree Road Race

From its humble beginnings in 1970 as a group of 110 runners, the Peachtree Road Race has grown into the world's largest 10K. Every July 4, more than 50,000 participants line up for the 6.2-mile haul to the finish line and a coveted Peachtree Road Race T-shirt. Spectators, radio stations, and restaurants line the roadway to cheer on runners and walkers with music, beer, and water. www.peachtreeroadrace.org.

JCT's Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival

Bask in the glory of summertime's favorite fruit that tastes like a vegetable at JCT's Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival. The city's best chefs are paired with a local farmer to create tomato-inspired dishes, while Atlanta's best bartenders come up with creative cocktails featuring — you guessed it — tomatoes. At the end of the day, judges and festival attendees choose the best tomato drink and dish. www.facebook.com/attackofthekillertomatofestival.

AUGUST

Decatur Book Festival

As the largest independent book festival in the country, attendees can mingle with 300 world-class authors at book signings, readings, and soirées. Past keynote speakers have included former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey and Congressman/civil rights icon John Lewis. The keynote is free, but tickets go quickly. There are tracks for young adult books, cookbooks, political nonfiction, experimental poetry ... basically everything. This annual Labor Day weekend event is the biggest and most popular book event of the year, every year. www.decaturbookfestival.com.

Dragon Con

Trekkies, steampunks, zombies, filkers, furries, goths, Klingons, Sleestaks, Predators, Aliens, and more descend on Downtown for the Southeast's largest sci-fi con. Come dressed as your favorite character from any number of sci-fi, horror, or fantasy films, comics, video games, etc. When it comes to Dragon Con, the wilder the better. The one Dragon Con must-see is the annual parade along Peachtree Street. Huge crowds 10-people deep line up super early to watch the Stormtroopers, Slave Leias, Dark Knight-era Jokers, and more strut up Atlanta's main thoroughfare. www.dragoncon.org.

Grant Park Summer Shade Festival

Stay shady in a good way at the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival. The giant beech, maple, and oak trees that live in Grant Park create just enough shade to keep everyone at the festival comfortably cool. Featuring a bountiful artist market, several stages for live music, and a diverse mix of fair food and local food trucks, the Shade Festival is the culmination of everything great about summertime in a city of trees. www.summershadefestival.org.

September

Music Midtown

Music Midtown once reigned supreme as the festival in the ATL — period. After a brief hiatus in the early 2000s, Music Midtown has made a slow and steady comeback, and still gets the good folks of the city excited even though the production has been scaled back to fewer acts and a day shorter than the three-day extravaganza it once was. You could travel over to Tennessee for Bonnaroo or seriously dent the bank account heading out to Coachella, but you'll find lineups offering the same musical diversity right here in the city. www.musicmidtown.com.

Drive Invasion

The annual festival of hot rods, rock bands, and cult movies combines the spirit of a tailgate party with a greaser drag race. In 2014, the event moved from its longtime home at the Starlight Drive-in to the Braves' Turner Field turf. Daylight hours bring classic car shows and a slew of rockabilly bands. At dusk, the movies start, usually featuring cult classics and beloved throwbacks. www.drive-invasion.com.

Creative Loafing's Best of Atlanta Party

In honor of its annual Best of Atlanta issue, Creative Loafing celebrates the best people, places, and things the city has to offer. Mingle with Best of Atlanta winners, nibble on bites from beloved local restaurants, dance to the sounds of ATL musicians, and feast your eyes on artistic works from the city's creative class. www.clatl.com/bestofatlanta.

OCTOBER

Pride Parade/Festival

The annual Atlanta Pride Festival, the largest Pride event in the Southeast and the largest event in the country to coincide with National Coming Out Day, celebrates all things LGBT. The festival weekend is jam-packed with a kickoff party and the annual Pride Parade, as well as arts, vendors, parties, and other festivities. www.atlantapride.org.

Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade

The Little Five Points Halloween Festival is a daylong celebration of all things Hallo-weird. The much-anticipated fest is one of the city's best and packs Atlanta's eclectic neighborhood with music, food trucks, a killer artist market, tricks, treats, debauchery, and, of course, the annual parade featuring morbidly decorated floats carrying candy-tossing and music-playing ghouls through the streets of L5P. Throw on your best costume and get there early. www.l5phalloween.com.

A3C Hip-Hop Festival

An acronym for All Three Coasts, the A3C Hip-Hop Festival features arguably the largest collection (500-plus performances) of hip-hop acts in the country. Expanding exponentially every year since its 2005 inception, A3C is a fusion of good music, education, art, film, style, and industry panels. If every hipster music lover travels to Austin for SXSW, hitting up ATL for A3C is a hip-hop head's obligation. www.a3cfestival.com.

NOVEMBER

Chomp and Stomp Chili Cook-Off Festival

Every fall, a chili-hungry crowd descends on Cabbagetown Park for the annual Chomp and Stomp Chili Cook-Off Festival, featuring the Romp and Stomp 5K race, live music, artist market, games, and, of course, copious amounts of chili. There's always tons of the stuff, but this is a popular festival so be sure to get there early before they run out. If you miss out on the chili, food vendors will be on site to make sure no one goes hungry. www.chompandstomp.com.

Indie Craft Experience Holiday Shopping Spectacular

The annual market features crafters, artists, and small businesses that produce handmade and indie goods. Everything from seasoned gourmet salts to silk-screened T-shirts and handmade jewelry to original works of art will be for sale. Also catch music, a photo booth, food and drinks, and a swag bag designed by a local artist. www.ice-atlanta.com.

DECEMBER

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is the ninth-oldest bowl game in the country and hosts the longest-running rivalry series between the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference. Come for the game and check out the plethora of events leading up to and following the battle on the gridiron. www.fanacts.com.

The Peach Drop

New York's got the ball, and since 1989 Atlanta has had the peach. On New Year's Eve, thousands of Atlanta residents and tourists descend upon Underground Atlanta to watch the giant peach drop. The big shebang has featured entertainment from Janelle Monáe and comedian David Koechner to Collective Soul and Sister Hazel. www.peachdrop.com.


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Festivals, Explore Festivals

Monday October 21, 2019 03:50 pm EDT
Things to do for the next 12 months in Atlanta | more...


Explore Food & Drink

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Explore Food & Drink

Wednesday October 16, 2019 04:50 pm EDT
Where to go when you want to drink the good stuff | more...
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City Guide, Explore Food & Drink

Thursday October 17, 2019 12:53 pm EDT
Explore restaurant recommendations that the locals swear by. | more...
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City Guide, Explore Food & Drink

Friday October 18, 2019 12:23 pm EDT
Where to eat well and please your inner foodie | more...



Explore Nightlife

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Comedy, Explore Nightlife

Thursday October 17, 2019 01:26 pm EDT
Explore locations for viewing comedy and get your laugh on! | more...
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Music, Explore Nightlife

Friday October 18, 2019 01:02 pm EDT
Local clubs for those discerning ears | more...
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Music, Explore Nightlife

Monday October 21, 2019 01:40 pm EDT
Go where the locals go | more...

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Music, Explore Nightlife

Monday October 21, 2019 02:40 pm EDT
Atlanta clubs offering weekend dance parties featuring a selection of local DJ's. | more...
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Music, Explore Nightlife

Tuesday October 22, 2019 11:09 am EDT
Explore these clubs and bars that showcase blues music along with the occasional smattering of jazz | more...


Explore Outdoor Activities

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Explore these music venues that remind you how much you love the great outdoors | more...
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Monday October 21, 2019 03:39 pm EDT
Explore the outdoors and commune with nature without leaving town | more...
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Explore Attractions, Explore Outdoor Activities

Monday October 21, 2019 03:26 pm EDT
Explore the history and mystery of these cultural landmark cemeteries. | more...

What's Going On

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What's Going On

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Browse what's going on in East Atlanta with our comprehensive calendar of events. Find things to do by neighborhood, what's going on today, tomorrow & this weekend. | more...
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What's Going On

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Browse what's going on in Old Fourth Ward (O4W) with our comprehensive calendar of events. Find things to do by neighborhood, what's going on today, tomorrow & this weekend. | more...
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!!COVID-19 Safe Events


Below is our Atlanta list of Things to Do Today


!!Decatur COVID-19 Updates

If you would like your organization, business or venue listed, please let us know here.

!!Want to receive our 5 Things To Do recommendations in your inbox? Click here and select the "5 Things to Do" newsletter.

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What's Going On

Wednesday May 13, 2020 04:05 pm EDT
Browse what's going on in Decatur with our comprehensive calendar of events. Find things to do by neighborhood, what's going on today, tomorrow & this weekend. | more...

Georgia Road Trips

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  string(6567) "GEORGIA GUIDESTONES

Elberton's granite monument two hours outside of Atlanta is the closest thing Georgia has to Stonehenge. Built in 1980 by a man (or group of men) known as "Robert Christian," the six 20-foot-tall slabs inscribed with so-called "principles" – ordering a global population capped at 500 million people and mandating healthy living and harmony with nature – have drawn plenty of conspiracy theorists. Skeptics claim it was a brilliant PR campaign to generate interest in the area's granite industry, while black helicopter aficionados say it's a clue to the shadow elite's plan for a New World Order. 1065 Guidestones Road, Elberton. www.radioliberty.com/stones.htm.

BOOGER HILL

Attracting ghost hunters, skeptics and local high schoolers for decades, Booger Hill is one of the so-called "gravity hills." According to Internet lore, the area between two oak trees along a Forsyth County road is haunted either by the ghosts of lynched slaves or children who died in a tragic school bus accident. Those who've visited the spooky site say cars in neutral between the trees will be "pushed" uphill by spirits. Some say it's an optical illusion, while others swear it's a frightening way to communicate with the dead. 2108 Bettis Tribble Gap Road, Cumming.

GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME

Macon is ground zero for the Peach State's rich musical legacy, and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame houses the state's largest cache of music memorabilia. The permanent collection of photographs, album covers and historical ephemera hanging on the walls encompasses a history lesson on everything from Otis Redding to R.E.M. to OutKast and all points between. There are plenty of interactive exhibits as well, and a play area to stow away the kids while you check out the in-house Skillet Licker Café, the Vintage Vinyl Record Store or the rotating show of the season. 200 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Macon. 478-751-3334. www.georgiamusic.org.

THE ROAD TO TARA

Whether you're the authority on every Civil War skirmish, or can't stop imagining a Rhett Butler sweeping you off your feet, maybe you should inject a little Southern charm into your life. Just 35 minutes south of Atlanta is the two-square-mile town of Jonesboro that served as inspiration for Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. Simple pleasures and Southern manners run abundant in this tiny town touched little by time or modernity. Start by browsing the Road to Tara Museum, which houses GWTW memorabilia, then visit Stately Oaks Plantation right down the road to experience Old South traditions, with themed events throughout the year and an annual battle reenactment. Road to Tara Museum: 104 N. Main St., Jonesboro. 770-478-4800. www.visitscarlett.com/gonewiththewind. Stately Oaks Plantation: 100 Carriage Lane at Jodeco Road, Jonesboro. www.historicaljonesboro.org.

ANDALUSIA FARM

Despite popular belief, Milledgeville isn't all insane asylums and ghost tours. Named by USA Today as one of the country's 10 important literary destinations, Milledgeville is also home to writer Flannery O'Connor's estate, Andalusia Farm. O'Connor rose to prominence with her two novels and 32 short stories steeped in Southern Gothic style, with slightly grotesque characters and intense religious reflections – something in no short supply in mid-20th century Georgia. O'Connor died at age 39 in Milledgeville, but her battle with lupus didn't stop her from completing some of her best-known works at the 544-acre farm, replete with its resident peacock and peahens. Close to Andalusia is Georgia College and State University, which houses the Flannery O'Connor Collection, and the Memory Hill Cemetery, where O'Connor is buried. Andalusia Farm: 2628 N. Columbia St., Milledgeville. 478-454-4029. andalusiafarm.org. GCSU: 231 W. Hancock St., Milledgeville. 478-445-5004. gcsu.edu. Memory Hill Cemetery: friendsofcems.org/MemoryHill.

AMICALOLA FALLS

Every now and then we tire of the "convenience" of city life, with its 24-hour traffic jams, crowded shopping and two-hour restaurant waits. Sometimes, what we need is a return (or, for some, an introduction) to nature. Amicalola Falls' majestic cascade of water and brilliant rays of sunshine are pretty much like free Valium – not to mention the killer view on the way up to north Georgia. After you bust your ass on the trails, head over to Poole's BBQ, where the Texas toast alone is worth going a few miles out of the way. Amicalola Falls: 706-265-4703. www.amicalolafalls.com. Poole's BBQ: 164 Craig St., East Ellijay. 706-635-4100. www.poolesbarbq.com.

BLUE WILLOW INN

Southern charm, hospitality and food bloom here like the many flowers lining the grounds of Social Circle's Blue Willow Inn. Special touches surround the turn-of-the-century Greek Revival mansion, including an elegant three-tiered fountain out front and a large koi pond out back. Margaret Mitchell frequently visited the home's original inhabitants, the Upshaws, during a courtship with one Redd Upshaw. But that was before the buffet. Now people come from miles for the restaurant's moderately priced traditional Southern fare. Can't miss items: fried green tomatoes and Blue Willow Bars. Reservations highly recommended. 294 N. Cherokee Road, Social Circle. 770-464-2131. www.bluewillowinn.com.

HOWARD FINSTER'S PARADISE GARDENS

God told Howard Finster to make art and he did. And it was good. Nestled a few blocks off Highway 27 north in a quiet Summerville neighborhood is Paradise Gardens Park & Museum. The home-turned-reliquary of the late legendary Georgia folk artist is a labyrinth of sculptures, mosiacs, signs and outbuildings, including the massive Folk Art Chapel, all made in the name of God. The self-taught Finster began garnering widespread acclaim in the '80s after creating album art for bands such as R.E.M. (Reckoning) and the Talking Heads (Little Creatures). Yes, you can see the giant tangle of bicycles shown in the video for R.E.M.'s "Radio Free Europe," but you'll be more fascinated by the sheer quantity, intricacies, humor and pathos of Finster's work. Paradise Gardens is kinda dusty, moldy and muddy, but that's part of its charm (bring bug spray). Unfortunately, some parts have fallen into disrepair over the years, including the chapel. Donations are encouraged and benefit the grounds' restoration. Oh! Make sure to stop and chat with Finster's grandson if he's there. He's full of enlightening tales about "Paw-paw." 84 Knox St., Summerville. 205-587-3090. finstersparadisegardens.org.


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Elberton's granite monument two hours outside of Atlanta is the closest thing Georgia has to Stonehenge. Built in 1980 by a man (or group of men) known as "Robert Christian," the six 20-foot-tall slabs inscribed with so-called "principles" – ordering a global population capped at 500 million people and mandating healthy living and harmony with nature – have drawn plenty of conspiracy theorists. Skeptics claim it was a brilliant PR campaign to generate interest in the area's granite industry, while black helicopter aficionados say it's a clue to the shadow elite's plan for a New World Order. ''1065 Guidestones Road, Elberton. [http://www.radioliberty.com/stones.htm|www.radioliberty.com/stones.htm].''

__BOOGER HILL__

Attracting ghost hunters, skeptics and local high schoolers for decades, Booger Hill is one of the so-called "gravity hills." According to Internet lore, the area between two oak trees along a Forsyth County road is haunted either by the ghosts of lynched slaves or children who died in a tragic school bus accident. Those who've visited the spooky site say cars in neutral between the trees will be "pushed" uphill by spirits. Some say it's an optical illusion, while others swear it's a frightening way to communicate with the dead. ''2108 Bettis Tribble Gap Road, Cumming''.

__GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME__

Macon is ground zero for the Peach State's rich musical legacy, and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame houses the state's largest cache of music memorabilia. The permanent collection of photographs, album covers and historical ephemera hanging on the walls encompasses a history lesson on everything from Otis Redding to R.E.M. to OutKast and all points between. There are plenty of interactive exhibits as well, and a play area to stow away the kids while you check out the in-house Skillet Licker Café, the Vintage Vinyl Record Store or the rotating show of the season. ''200 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Macon. 478-751-3334. [http://www.georgiamusic.org/|www.georgiamusic.org].''

__THE ROAD TO TARA__

Whether you're the authority on every Civil War skirmish, or can't stop imagining a Rhett Butler sweeping you off your feet, maybe you should inject a little Southern charm into your life. Just 35 minutes south of Atlanta is the two-square-mile town of Jonesboro that served as inspiration for Margaret Mitchell's ''Gone With the Wind''. Simple pleasures and Southern manners run abundant in this tiny town touched little by time or modernity. Start by browsing the Road to Tara Museum, which houses ''GWTW'' memorabilia, then visit Stately Oaks Plantation right down the road to experience Old South traditions, with themed events throughout the year and an annual battle reenactment. ''Road to Tara Museum: 104 N. Main St., Jonesboro. 770-478-4800. [http://www.visitscarlett.com/gonewiththewind|www.visitscarlett.com/gonewiththewind]. Stately Oaks Plantation: 100 Carriage Lane at Jodeco Road, Jonesboro. [http://www.historicaljonesboro.org/|www.historicaljonesboro.org].''

__ANDALUSIA FARM__

Despite popular belief, Milledgeville isn't all insane asylums and ghost tours. Named by ''USA Today'' as one of the country's 10 important literary destinations, Milledgeville is also home to writer Flannery O'Connor's estate, Andalusia Farm. O'Connor rose to prominence with her two novels and 32 short stories steeped in Southern Gothic style, with slightly grotesque characters and intense religious reflections – something in no short supply in mid-20th century Georgia. O'Connor died at age 39 in Milledgeville, but her battle with lupus didn't stop her from completing some of her best-known works at the 544-acre farm, replete with its resident peacock and peahens. Close to Andalusia is Georgia College and State University, which houses the Flannery O'Connor Collection, and the Memory Hill Cemetery, where O'Connor is buried. ''Andalusia Farm: 2628 N. Columbia St., Milledgeville. 478-454-4029. [http://andalusiafarm.org/|andalusiafarm.org]. GCSU: 231 W. Hancock St., Milledgeville. 478-445-5004. [http://gcsu.edu/|gcsu.edu]. Memory Hill Cemetery: [http://friendsofcems.org/MemoryHill|friendsofcems.org/MemoryHill].''

__AMICALOLA FALLS__

Every now and then we tire of the "convenience" of city life, with its 24-hour traffic jams, crowded shopping and two-hour restaurant waits. Sometimes, what we need is a return (or, for some, an introduction) to nature. Amicalola Falls' majestic cascade of water and brilliant rays of sunshine are pretty much like free Valium – not to mention the killer view on the way up to north Georgia. After you bust your ass on the trails, head over to Poole's BBQ, where the Texas toast alone is worth going a few miles out of the way. ''Amicalola Falls: 706-265-4703. [http://www.amicalolafalls.com/|www.amicalolafalls.com]. Poole's BBQ: 164 Craig St., East Ellijay. 706-635-4100. [http://www.poolesbarbq.com/|www.poolesbarbq.com].''

__BLUE WILLOW INN__

Southern charm, hospitality and food bloom here like the many flowers lining the grounds of Social Circle's Blue Willow Inn. Special touches surround the turn-of-the-century Greek Revival mansion, including an elegant three-tiered fountain out front and a large koi pond out back. Margaret Mitchell frequently visited the home's original inhabitants, the Upshaws, during a courtship with one Redd Upshaw. But that was before the buffet. Now people come from miles for the restaurant's moderately priced traditional Southern fare. Can't miss items: fried green tomatoes and Blue Willow Bars. Reservations highly recommended. ''294 N. Cherokee Road, Social Circle. 770-464-2131. [http://www.bluewillowinn.com/|www.bluewillowinn.com].''

__HOWARD FINSTER'S PARADISE GARDENS__

God told Howard Finster to make art and he did. And it was good. Nestled a few blocks off Highway 27 north in a quiet Summerville neighborhood is Paradise Gardens Park & Museum. The home-turned-reliquary of the late legendary Georgia folk artist is a labyrinth of sculptures, mosiacs, signs and outbuildings, including the massive Folk Art Chapel, all made in the name of God. The self-taught Finster began garnering widespread acclaim in the '80s after creating album art for bands such as R.E.M. (''Reckoning'') and the Talking Heads (''Little Creatures''). Yes, you can see the giant tangle of bicycles shown in the video for R.E.M.'s "Radio Free Europe," but you'll be more fascinated by the sheer quantity, intricacies, humor and pathos of Finster's work. Paradise Gardens is kinda dusty, moldy and muddy, but that's part of its charm (bring bug spray). Unfortunately, some parts have fallen into disrepair over the years, including the chapel. Donations are encouraged and benefit the grounds' restoration. Oh! Make sure to stop and chat with Finster's grandson if he's there. He's full of enlightening tales about "Paw-paw." ''84 Knox St., Summerville. 205-587-3090. [http://finstersparadisegardens.org/|finstersparadisegardens.org].''

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  string(7038) " Amicalola Falls Amicalola Falls. Photo credit: Courtesy of Amicalola Falls State Park 2019-10-22T18:33:19+00:00 Amicalola_Falls-1024x512New.jpg    road trip Haunted hills, a literary farm and rock 'n' roll 25180  2010-05-19T08:00:00+00:00 Roadside attractions jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris CL Staff  2010-05-19T08:00:00+00:00  GEORGIA GUIDESTONES

Elberton's granite monument two hours outside of Atlanta is the closest thing Georgia has to Stonehenge. Built in 1980 by a man (or group of men) known as "Robert Christian," the six 20-foot-tall slabs inscribed with so-called "principles" – ordering a global population capped at 500 million people and mandating healthy living and harmony with nature – have drawn plenty of conspiracy theorists. Skeptics claim it was a brilliant PR campaign to generate interest in the area's granite industry, while black helicopter aficionados say it's a clue to the shadow elite's plan for a New World Order. 1065 Guidestones Road, Elberton. www.radioliberty.com/stones.htm.

BOOGER HILL

Attracting ghost hunters, skeptics and local high schoolers for decades, Booger Hill is one of the so-called "gravity hills." According to Internet lore, the area between two oak trees along a Forsyth County road is haunted either by the ghosts of lynched slaves or children who died in a tragic school bus accident. Those who've visited the spooky site say cars in neutral between the trees will be "pushed" uphill by spirits. Some say it's an optical illusion, while others swear it's a frightening way to communicate with the dead. 2108 Bettis Tribble Gap Road, Cumming.

GEORGIA MUSIC HALL OF FAME

Macon is ground zero for the Peach State's rich musical legacy, and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame houses the state's largest cache of music memorabilia. The permanent collection of photographs, album covers and historical ephemera hanging on the walls encompasses a history lesson on everything from Otis Redding to R.E.M. to OutKast and all points between. There are plenty of interactive exhibits as well, and a play area to stow away the kids while you check out the in-house Skillet Licker Café, the Vintage Vinyl Record Store or the rotating show of the season. 200 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Macon. 478-751-3334. www.georgiamusic.org.

THE ROAD TO TARA

Whether you're the authority on every Civil War skirmish, or can't stop imagining a Rhett Butler sweeping you off your feet, maybe you should inject a little Southern charm into your life. Just 35 minutes south of Atlanta is the two-square-mile town of Jonesboro that served as inspiration for Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. Simple pleasures and Southern manners run abundant in this tiny town touched little by time or modernity. Start by browsing the Road to Tara Museum, which houses GWTW memorabilia, then visit Stately Oaks Plantation right down the road to experience Old South traditions, with themed events throughout the year and an annual battle reenactment. Road to Tara Museum: 104 N. Main St., Jonesboro. 770-478-4800. www.visitscarlett.com/gonewiththewind. Stately Oaks Plantation: 100 Carriage Lane at Jodeco Road, Jonesboro. www.historicaljonesboro.org.

ANDALUSIA FARM

Despite popular belief, Milledgeville isn't all insane asylums and ghost tours. Named by USA Today as one of the country's 10 important literary destinations, Milledgeville is also home to writer Flannery O'Connor's estate, Andalusia Farm. O'Connor rose to prominence with her two novels and 32 short stories steeped in Southern Gothic style, with slightly grotesque characters and intense religious reflections – something in no short supply in mid-20th century Georgia. O'Connor died at age 39 in Milledgeville, but her battle with lupus didn't stop her from completing some of her best-known works at the 544-acre farm, replete with its resident peacock and peahens. Close to Andalusia is Georgia College and State University, which houses the Flannery O'Connor Collection, and the Memory Hill Cemetery, where O'Connor is buried. Andalusia Farm: 2628 N. Columbia St., Milledgeville. 478-454-4029. andalusiafarm.org. GCSU: 231 W. Hancock St., Milledgeville. 478-445-5004. gcsu.edu. Memory Hill Cemetery: friendsofcems.org/MemoryHill.

AMICALOLA FALLS

Every now and then we tire of the "convenience" of city life, with its 24-hour traffic jams, crowded shopping and two-hour restaurant waits. Sometimes, what we need is a return (or, for some, an introduction) to nature. Amicalola Falls' majestic cascade of water and brilliant rays of sunshine are pretty much like free Valium – not to mention the killer view on the way up to north Georgia. After you bust your ass on the trails, head over to Poole's BBQ, where the Texas toast alone is worth going a few miles out of the way. Amicalola Falls: 706-265-4703. www.amicalolafalls.com. Poole's BBQ: 164 Craig St., East Ellijay. 706-635-4100. www.poolesbarbq.com.

BLUE WILLOW INN

Southern charm, hospitality and food bloom here like the many flowers lining the grounds of Social Circle's Blue Willow Inn. Special touches surround the turn-of-the-century Greek Revival mansion, including an elegant three-tiered fountain out front and a large koi pond out back. Margaret Mitchell frequently visited the home's original inhabitants, the Upshaws, during a courtship with one Redd Upshaw. But that was before the buffet. Now people come from miles for the restaurant's moderately priced traditional Southern fare. Can't miss items: fried green tomatoes and Blue Willow Bars. Reservations highly recommended. 294 N. Cherokee Road, Social Circle. 770-464-2131. www.bluewillowinn.com.

HOWARD FINSTER'S PARADISE GARDENS

God told Howard Finster to make art and he did. And it was good. Nestled a few blocks off Highway 27 north in a quiet Summerville neighborhood is Paradise Gardens Park & Museum. The home-turned-reliquary of the late legendary Georgia folk artist is a labyrinth of sculptures, mosiacs, signs and outbuildings, including the massive Folk Art Chapel, all made in the name of God. The self-taught Finster began garnering widespread acclaim in the '80s after creating album art for bands such as R.E.M. (Reckoning) and the Talking Heads (Little Creatures). Yes, you can see the giant tangle of bicycles shown in the video for R.E.M.'s "Radio Free Europe," but you'll be more fascinated by the sheer quantity, intricacies, humor and pathos of Finster's work. Paradise Gardens is kinda dusty, moldy and muddy, but that's part of its charm (bring bug spray). Unfortunately, some parts have fallen into disrepair over the years, including the chapel. Donations are encouraged and benefit the grounds' restoration. Oh! Make sure to stop and chat with Finster's grandson if he's there. He's full of enlightening tales about "Paw-paw." 84 Knox St., Summerville. 205-587-3090. finstersparadisegardens.org.


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Wednesday May 19, 2010 04:00 am EDT
Haunted hills, a literary farm and rock 'n' roll | more...
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  string(8042) "When I got the invitation to go whitewater rafting in Columbus, Georgia, my first reaction was: Huh, Columbus? My knowledge of Columbus is very limited. Aside from traveling to visit family at Fort Benning or traveling through the city to visit family in Alabama, its always been a quaint, quiet town to in my mind. Never in my wildest dream would I imagine the city to be an adventure destination – right in the heart of downtown no less.

I made my appointment for my rafting experience with Whitewater Express. If you’ve ever gone kayaking or whitewater rafting on the Oconee River the name should be familiar, they provide equipment, classes and experiences there, too. According to the reservationist the river goes from mild, with a maximum of class II rapids in the mornings to wild – a combination of class II through V rapids as the day progresses. I chose 3:00 P.M., a sweet spot between the two extremes.

I arrived early and took the time to explore Uptown Columbus. The community runs alongside the river and is the home of Columbus State University that sits just off the bank of the Chattahoochee.  Two blocks away from the river is really where things were really happening. I took a stroll down Broadway Street, a postcard perfect example of old and new. Massive shady oak trees and art installations divide this wide city street providing familiar southern charm – and shade to peruse the local retail and eateries. I found a literal glut of boutique sandwich shops and coffee spots with outdoor seating, that provide free wi-fi, and are pet friendly.

A little hungry and thirsty, I made my way to Smoke Bourbon and BBQ, a craft-inspired barbecue joint and cocktail bar located on the corner of Broadway and 11th. The restaurant appears to be a Sunday brunch staple as large groups waited for seating both indoors and out. Since I was alone, I opted to sit at my favorite spot – the bar and try some of their non-traditional offerings. I decided on the Gnocchi and Brisket – an inspired take on meat and ‘taters. The dish was rich and rustic with tender potato dumplings tossed in brown butter and topped with a heaping portion of Smoke’s signature beef brisket. I paired my meal with a Gin Basil Smash, a lush mix of citrus and botanicals that was sour, savory, and refreshing.

With my belly now full, it was time to face the rapids.

I didn’t have a party to share my raft so I was added to a large party of friends and family celebrating a birthday. The tour guides got us geared up and after a quick lesson on safety we boarded a bus and drove two miles up the river to North Highlands Dam. The dam releases water throughout the day that increases as the day progresses. By the time we hit the water the flow was around 975 CFS (cubic feet per second) but you don’t see the impact of this until you approach the rapids.

We boarded our rafts and headed out. My raft had two guides: Green Bean a tour guide trainee, and Ian, a guide manager and as we started our lazy float, I began to question how much of an adventure this would be. We had not hit any rapids at this point and the picturesque vistas had my party more relaxed then we should have been. That changed when we approached our first rapid. As we paddled around an outcrop of rocks we hit “Ambush,” a class II rapid. Green Bean explained all rapids have names. It’s a way for water sportsmen to identify for training and competition. Ambush is a two-foot dip with waves that hit us about 16 inches above the raft. The entire boat was doused, and we laughed at accomplishing the first challenge of the day.

We paddled on, introducing ourselves and making small talk with Green Bean as he talked about the Chattahoochee River, scenic landmarks and upcoming rapids we experienced.

Midway through our tour we made it “Lazy Daze,” a lull spot where we were encouraged to jump in a back float or “nose and toes” for a bit and enjoy the water. After floating on our backs for 15 minutes we boarded our rafts again and pushed off to head to our next set of rapids.

Forty minutes had passed and up to this point the rapids were relatively tame. At this point we had only encountered class II rapids and our assumption was this would be the standard the remainder of the trip. We were wrong. Our next rapid was “Wilson’s Run,” a class III rapid. We entered the rapid, paddling hard and bracing for the wave crash, the splash was nearly 30 inches above the raft and we were jostled about. Our boat was turned about, and we had to learn on the fly how to right the direction of our boat before the next rapid. We were the last boat in our chain so we heard combinations of screams and laughter ahead of us as they hit the rapids, but nothing really prepares you for experiencing the rapids yourself.




Our final rapid was “Heaven’s Gate” a class IV rapid. I must admit I had reservations about this one. Unlike our other rapids, this one put our party on edge. The water churned from a three-foot drop and the as we approached it, our boat sped up and the roar was near deafening. We dug in, paddling hard and fast and as we hit the first wave three members of my party flew off the raft. Time stopped as I watched them fly into the water. Me and the remainder of the crew worked to tackle the rapids while Ian jumped in to assist the rest of the party who were battling the rapid in the water. Our boat was too light, and we capsized. As scary as this was being thrown into the Chattahoochee with four-foot waves jostling you every which way its important to remember your training: take a deep breath and “nose and toes” get on your back and float your way through the rapid. I broke surface midway through and rapid and caught my breath before the next wave hit which pushed me under. I kept saying to myself, “nose and toes – nose and toes,” and made it through to calmer water. When I opened my eyes again, a safety guard (a safety team accompanies all the rafts in case of emergencies) was pulling on top of his kayak and took me back to the where we assisted the remainder of my group back in the boat. We lost all but one of our oars, and two members of the group lost their glasses. I lost my left aqua sock.



As we floated to the docking spot roughly 50 yards from Heaven’s Gate, we all shared our moments; our thoughts, and how scary and thrilling being thrown into a rapid was. We all vowed to do this again soon as we all wanted to conquer this rapid like we tackled all the other before us on the journey.

I left my group who were at this point jumping off into the river as a final nod to their birthday celebration. With one shoe on I partly hopped my way back to the Whitewater Express Center to avoid the hot pavement finding any grass and sand I could find along the way to cool my feet. 

I got dressed, thanked and tipped Green Bean for the experience and began my 90-minute trip back to Atlanta. I was exhausted and exhilarated. Never in my wildest dreams could I have known Downtown Columbus was a destination for outdoor thrill seekers. Along with whitewater rafting, Whitewater express has kayaking; zip lines excursions across the river into Phoenix City, Alabama; paddle board rentals; bike rentals, and fly-fishing classes and equipment rental.

As of late I’ve become an evangelist of sorts touting the amazing adventure through pictures and telling my capsizing moment while shooting rapids in Downtown Columbus. While my friends still can’t imagine the town most Atlantans think of as rural and uninteresting, I can’t wait for them to discover for themselves it is anything but boring. 

Smoke Bourbon and BBQ, 1047 Broadway Columbus, GA 31901. 706-221-9889. Open Mon. – Thurs.:  11:00 AM – 9:30 PM; Fri. – Sat.: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM; Sun.: 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM. www.smokebourbonandbbq.com.

Whitewater Express, 1000 Bay Ave, Columbus, GA 31901. 706-321-4720. Open daily 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM. www.whitewaterexpress.com."
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  string(8841) "~~#000000:When I got the invitation to go whitewater rafting in Columbus, Georgia, my first reaction was: Huh, Columbus? My knowledge of Columbus is very limited. Aside from traveling to visit family at Fort Benning or traveling through the city to visit family in Alabama, its always been a quaint, quiet town to in my mind. Never in my wildest dream would I imagine the city to be an adventure destination – right in the heart of downtown no less.~~

~~#000000:I made my appointment for my rafting experience with Whitewater Express. If you’ve ever gone kayaking or whitewater rafting on the Oconee River the name should be familiar, they provide equipment, classes and experiences there, too. According to the reservationist the river goes from mild, with a maximum of class II rapids in the mornings to wild – a combination of class II through V rapids as the day progresses. I chose 3:00 P.M., a sweet spot between the two extremes.~~

~~#000000:I arrived early and took the time to explore Uptown Columbus. The community runs alongside the river and is the home of Columbus State University that sits just off the bank of the Chattahoochee.  Two blocks away from the river is really where things were really happening. I took a stroll down Broadway Street, a postcard perfect example of old and new. Massive shady oak trees and art installations divide this wide city street providing familiar southern charm – and shade to peruse the local retail and eateries. I found a literal glut of boutique sandwich shops and coffee spots with outdoor seating, that provide free wi-fi, and are pet friendly.~~

~~#000000:A little hungry and thirsty, I made my way to Smoke Bourbon and BBQ, a craft-inspired barbecue joint and cocktail bar located on the corner of Broadway and 11th. The restaurant appears to be a Sunday brunch staple as large groups waited for seating both indoors and out. Since I was alone, I opted to sit at my favorite spot – the bar and try some of their non-traditional offerings. I decided on the Gnocchi and Brisket – an inspired take on meat and ‘taters. The dish was rich and rustic with tender potato dumplings tossed in brown butter and topped with a heaping portion of Smoke’s signature beef brisket. I paired my meal with a Gin Basil Smash, a lush mix of citrus and botanicals that was sour, savory, and refreshing.~~

~~#000000:With my belly now full, it was time to face the rapids.~~

~~#000000:I didn’t have a party to share my raft so I was added to a large party of friends and family celebrating a birthday. The tour guides got us geared up and after a quick lesson on safety we boarded a bus and drove two miles up the river to North Highlands Dam. The dam releases water throughout the day that increases as the day progresses. By the time we hit the water the flow was around 975 CFS (cubic feet per second) but you don’t see the impact of this until you approach the rapids.~~

~~#000000:We boarded our rafts and headed out. My raft had two guides: Green Bean a tour guide trainee, and Ian, a guide manager and as we started our lazy float, I began to question how much of an adventure this would be. We had not hit any rapids at this point and the picturesque vistas had my party more relaxed then we should have been. That changed when we approached our first rapid. As we paddled around an outcrop of rocks we hit “Ambush,” a class II rapid. Green Bean explained all rapids have names. It’s a way for water sportsmen to identify for training and competition. Ambush is a two-foot dip with waves that hit us about 16 inches above the raft. The entire boat was doused, and we laughed at accomplishing the first challenge of the day.~~

~~#000000:We paddled on, introducing ourselves and making small talk with Green Bean as he talked about the Chattahoochee River, scenic landmarks and upcoming rapids we experienced.~~

~~#000000:Midway through our tour we made it “Lazy Daze,” a lull spot where we were encouraged to jump in a back float or “nose and toes” for a bit and enjoy the water. After floating on our backs for 15 minutes we boarded our rafts again and pushed off to head to our next set of rapids.~~

~~#000000:Forty minutes had passed and up to this point the rapids were relatively tame. At this point we had only encountered class II rapids and our assumption was this would be the standard the remainder of the trip. We were wrong. Our next rapid was “Wilson’s Run,” a class III rapid. We entered the rapid, paddling hard and bracing for the wave crash, the splash was nearly 30 inches above the raft and we were jostled about. Our boat was turned about, and we had to learn on the fly how to right the direction of our boat before the next rapid. We were the last boat in our chain so we heard combinations of screams and laughter ahead of us as they hit the rapids, but nothing really prepares you for experiencing the rapids yourself.~~

{img fileId="6750" align="center" desc="GOING WITH THE FLOW: The rapids that run through downtown Columbus, Georgia range from classes II through V. Shown here, Whitewater Express guides take a group of adventurers through a class IV rapid. Photo by Edward Adams." width="800"}


~~#000000:Our final rapid was “Heaven’s Gate” a class IV rapid. I must admit I had reservations about this one. Unlike our other rapids, this one put our party on edge. The water churned from a three-foot drop and the as we approached it, our boat sped up and the roar was near deafening. We dug in, paddling hard and fast and as we hit the first wave three members of my party flew off the raft. Time stopped as I watched them fly into the water. Me and the remainder of the crew worked to tackle the rapids while Ian jumped in to assist the rest of the party who were battling the rapid in the water. Our boat was too light, and we capsized. As scary as this was being thrown into the Chattahoochee with four-foot waves jostling you every which way its important to remember your training: take a deep breath and “nose and toes” get on your back and float your way through the rapid. I broke surface midway through and rapid and caught my breath before the next wave hit which pushed me under. I kept saying to myself, “nose and toes – nose and toes,” and made it through to calmer water. When I opened my eyes again, a safety guard (a safety team accompanies all the rafts in case of emergencies) was pulling on top of his kayak and took me back to the where we assisted the remainder of my group back in the boat. We lost all but one of our oars, and two members of the group lost their glasses. I lost my left aqua sock.~~

{DIV( width="500" align="left" float="right")}{img fileId="6751" stylebox="margin-left:15px;" desc="CLASS ACTION: Whitewater Express guide takes an experienced group into class V rapids in Columbus, Georgia. Photo by Edward Adams." max="500"}{DIV}

~~#000000:As we floated to the docking spot roughly 50 yards from Heaven’s Gate, we all shared our moments; our thoughts, and how scary and thrilling being thrown into a rapid was. We all vowed to do this again soon as we all wanted to conquer this rapid like we tackled all the other before us on the journey.~~

~~#000000:I left my group who were at this point jumping off into the river as a final nod to their birthday celebration. With one shoe on I partly hopped my way back to the Whitewater Express Center to avoid the hot pavement finding any grass and sand I could find along the way to cool my feet. ~~

~~#000000:I got dressed, thanked and tipped Green Bean for the experience and began my 90-minute trip back to Atlanta. I was exhausted and exhilarated. Never in my wildest dreams could I have known Downtown Columbus was a destination for outdoor thrill seekers. Along with whitewater rafting, Whitewater express has kayaking; zip lines excursions across the river into Phoenix City, Alabama; paddle board rentals; bike rentals, and fly-fishing classes and equipment rental.~~

~~#000000:As of late I’ve become an evangelist of sorts touting the amazing adventure through pictures and telling my capsizing moment while shooting rapids in Downtown Columbus. While my friends still can’t imagine the town most Atlantans think of as rural and uninteresting, I can’t wait for them to discover for themselves it is anything but boring. ~~

~~#000000:Smoke Bourbon and BBQ, 1047 Broadway Columbus, GA 31901. 706-221-9889. Open Mon. – Thurs.:  11:00 AM – 9:30 PM; Fri. – Sat.: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM; Sun.: 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM. [http://www.smokebourbonandbbq.com|www.smokebourbonandbbq.com].~~

~~#000000:Whitewater Express, 1000 Bay Ave, Columbus, GA 31901. 706-321-4720. Open daily 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM. [http://www.whitewaterexpress.com|www.whitewaterexpress.com].~~"
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  string(8851) " Whitewater 1  2018-06-19T22:21:31+00:00 whitewater_1.jpg   I am about to join a kayaking team, so I felt curious to read blog posts at Kayak Judge, because they are highly informative and helps knowing the necessary tips and advises about kayaking. road trip columbus Having a day on the rapids is much closer than you think. 6693  2018-07-03T16:53:50+00:00 Urban Whitewater Rafting in Columbus jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Edward Adams  2018-07-03T16:53:50+00:00  When I got the invitation to go whitewater rafting in Columbus, Georgia, my first reaction was: Huh, Columbus? My knowledge of Columbus is very limited. Aside from traveling to visit family at Fort Benning or traveling through the city to visit family in Alabama, its always been a quaint, quiet town to in my mind. Never in my wildest dream would I imagine the city to be an adventure destination – right in the heart of downtown no less.

I made my appointment for my rafting experience with Whitewater Express. If you’ve ever gone kayaking or whitewater rafting on the Oconee River the name should be familiar, they provide equipment, classes and experiences there, too. According to the reservationist the river goes from mild, with a maximum of class II rapids in the mornings to wild – a combination of class II through V rapids as the day progresses. I chose 3:00 P.M., a sweet spot between the two extremes.

I arrived early and took the time to explore Uptown Columbus. The community runs alongside the river and is the home of Columbus State University that sits just off the bank of the Chattahoochee.  Two blocks away from the river is really where things were really happening. I took a stroll down Broadway Street, a postcard perfect example of old and new. Massive shady oak trees and art installations divide this wide city street providing familiar southern charm – and shade to peruse the local retail and eateries. I found a literal glut of boutique sandwich shops and coffee spots with outdoor seating, that provide free wi-fi, and are pet friendly.

A little hungry and thirsty, I made my way to Smoke Bourbon and BBQ, a craft-inspired barbecue joint and cocktail bar located on the corner of Broadway and 11th. The restaurant appears to be a Sunday brunch staple as large groups waited for seating both indoors and out. Since I was alone, I opted to sit at my favorite spot – the bar and try some of their non-traditional offerings. I decided on the Gnocchi and Brisket – an inspired take on meat and ‘taters. The dish was rich and rustic with tender potato dumplings tossed in brown butter and topped with a heaping portion of Smoke’s signature beef brisket. I paired my meal with a Gin Basil Smash, a lush mix of citrus and botanicals that was sour, savory, and refreshing.

With my belly now full, it was time to face the rapids.

I didn’t have a party to share my raft so I was added to a large party of friends and family celebrating a birthday. The tour guides got us geared up and after a quick lesson on safety we boarded a bus and drove two miles up the river to North Highlands Dam. The dam releases water throughout the day that increases as the day progresses. By the time we hit the water the flow was around 975 CFS (cubic feet per second) but you don’t see the impact of this until you approach the rapids.

We boarded our rafts and headed out. My raft had two guides: Green Bean a tour guide trainee, and Ian, a guide manager and as we started our lazy float, I began to question how much of an adventure this would be. We had not hit any rapids at this point and the picturesque vistas had my party more relaxed then we should have been. That changed when we approached our first rapid. As we paddled around an outcrop of rocks we hit “Ambush,” a class II rapid. Green Bean explained all rapids have names. It’s a way for water sportsmen to identify for training and competition. Ambush is a two-foot dip with waves that hit us about 16 inches above the raft. The entire boat was doused, and we laughed at accomplishing the first challenge of the day.

We paddled on, introducing ourselves and making small talk with Green Bean as he talked about the Chattahoochee River, scenic landmarks and upcoming rapids we experienced.

Midway through our tour we made it “Lazy Daze,” a lull spot where we were encouraged to jump in a back float or “nose and toes” for a bit and enjoy the water. After floating on our backs for 15 minutes we boarded our rafts again and pushed off to head to our next set of rapids.

Forty minutes had passed and up to this point the rapids were relatively tame. At this point we had only encountered class II rapids and our assumption was this would be the standard the remainder of the trip. We were wrong. Our next rapid was “Wilson’s Run,” a class III rapid. We entered the rapid, paddling hard and bracing for the wave crash, the splash was nearly 30 inches above the raft and we were jostled about. Our boat was turned about, and we had to learn on the fly how to right the direction of our boat before the next rapid. We were the last boat in our chain so we heard combinations of screams and laughter ahead of us as they hit the rapids, but nothing really prepares you for experiencing the rapids yourself.




Our final rapid was “Heaven’s Gate” a class IV rapid. I must admit I had reservations about this one. Unlike our other rapids, this one put our party on edge. The water churned from a three-foot drop and the as we approached it, our boat sped up and the roar was near deafening. We dug in, paddling hard and fast and as we hit the first wave three members of my party flew off the raft. Time stopped as I watched them fly into the water. Me and the remainder of the crew worked to tackle the rapids while Ian jumped in to assist the rest of the party who were battling the rapid in the water. Our boat was too light, and we capsized. As scary as this was being thrown into the Chattahoochee with four-foot waves jostling you every which way its important to remember your training: take a deep breath and “nose and toes” get on your back and float your way through the rapid. I broke surface midway through and rapid and caught my breath before the next wave hit which pushed me under. I kept saying to myself, “nose and toes – nose and toes,” and made it through to calmer water. When I opened my eyes again, a safety guard (a safety team accompanies all the rafts in case of emergencies) was pulling on top of his kayak and took me back to the where we assisted the remainder of my group back in the boat. We lost all but one of our oars, and two members of the group lost their glasses. I lost my left aqua sock.



As we floated to the docking spot roughly 50 yards from Heaven’s Gate, we all shared our moments; our thoughts, and how scary and thrilling being thrown into a rapid was. We all vowed to do this again soon as we all wanted to conquer this rapid like we tackled all the other before us on the journey.

I left my group who were at this point jumping off into the river as a final nod to their birthday celebration. With one shoe on I partly hopped my way back to the Whitewater Express Center to avoid the hot pavement finding any grass and sand I could find along the way to cool my feet. 

I got dressed, thanked and tipped Green Bean for the experience and began my 90-minute trip back to Atlanta. I was exhausted and exhilarated. Never in my wildest dreams could I have known Downtown Columbus was a destination for outdoor thrill seekers. Along with whitewater rafting, Whitewater express has kayaking; zip lines excursions across the river into Phoenix City, Alabama; paddle board rentals; bike rentals, and fly-fishing classes and equipment rental.

As of late I’ve become an evangelist of sorts touting the amazing adventure through pictures and telling my capsizing moment while shooting rapids in Downtown Columbus. While my friends still can’t imagine the town most Atlantans think of as rural and uninteresting, I can’t wait for them to discover for themselves it is anything but boring. 

Smoke Bourbon and BBQ, 1047 Broadway Columbus, GA 31901. 706-221-9889. Open Mon. – Thurs.:  11:00 AM – 9:30 PM; Fri. – Sat.: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM; Sun.: 11:30 AM – 5:00 PM. www.smokebourbonandbbq.com.

Whitewater Express, 1000 Bay Ave, Columbus, GA 31901. 706-321-4720. Open daily 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM. www.whitewaterexpress.com.    Edward Adams RIVER RUN: As the day progresses, rapids in the Chattahoochee River go from mild to wild. Seen here, a group of whitewater rafters challenge a class VI rapid. (Sponsored Content)  0,0,10    "road trip" columbus                             Urban Whitewater Rafting in Columbus "
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Culture, Travel, Urban Living, Food and Drink, Homepage, News, Sponsored Content

Tuesday July 3, 2018 12:53 pm EDT
Having a day on the rapids is much closer than you think. | more...
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Culture, Summer Guide

Monday August 6, 2018 05:41 pm EDT
Fact or fiction, the story lives on | more...


Explore Shopping

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Explore Shopping

Tuesday October 22, 2019 10:53 am EDT
Explore the latest titles at these local shops | more...
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Explore Shopping

Monday October 21, 2019 03:52 pm EDT
Explore Atlanta's consignment and thrift stores | more...
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  string(981) " Acg Krog Street Market Eric Cash Magnum  2018-05-15T14:26:17+00:00 acg_krog_street_market_-_eric_cash_magnum.jpg    shopping 3 newfangled malls reshaping Atlanta's inner-city shopping experience 5578  2019-10-18T17:22:22+00:00 Atlanta shopping redefined jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris CL Staff  2019-10-18T17:22:22+00:00  Remember the mall, that suburban bastion of Gen X adolescence? Yeah, it’s dead. But worry not, for in its place a new millennial take on the shopping center is slowly reclaiming Atlanta’s urban core. With artisanal authenticity and luxury goods, these spots preserve a sense of the old familiar while providing urbanites with an aspirational lifestyle once reserved for the ’burbs: high-end brands, fancy food courts, and curb appeal du jour. But if you have to ask how much it costs to park, you probably should call yourself an Uber.


     Eric Cash/CL File   0,0,10    shopping                             Atlanta shopping redefined "
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Explore Shopping

Friday October 18, 2019 01:22 pm EDT
3 newfangled malls reshaping Atlanta's inner-city shopping experience | more...

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