Atlanta Arts and Culture Blog 

Previews, reviews and commentary on Atlanta's cultural scene
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$900K drive launched to revive Finster’s World’s Folk Art Church, other Paradise Garden improvements

  • 7:24 am Friday, October 31st, 2014 by Howard Pousner
The Rev. Howard Finster expanded a small country church into the World’s Folk Art Church in the early 1980s on the edge of his Paradise Garden folk art environment outside Summerville in northwest Georgia. Now the Paradise Garden Foundation is launching a $900,000 campaign to restore it, among other improvements. CONTRIBUTED BY DAVID BLACKBURN / PARADISE GARDEN FOUNDATION

The World’s Folk Art Church, the wedding cake-shaped structure that has towered over the Rev. Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden since the early 1980s, has bore witness to myriad improvements to the northwest Georgia folk art environment since Chattooga County purchased it in 2012.

Now, Paradise Garden Foundation leaders believe the time is right for Phase 2 of the revival, including a long-postponed rescue of the garden’s most recognizable landmark.

The nonprofit group recently announced a two-year $900,000 capital campaign to restore the World’s Folk Art Church plus other improvements.

Those include the construction of an outdoor pavilion across the street from the [More]

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center names Daniel Fuller curator

  • 8:00 am Thursday, October 30th, 2014 by Howard Pousner
Daniel Fuller has been appointed curator at Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. CONTRIBUTED BY BRYAN GRAF

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center has selected Daniel Fuller as curator. Departing his position of four years as director of the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art, Fuller starts in Atlanta on Dec. 1.

“My curatorial philosophy has always been clean and simple: to just remain open – ever open to artists and ideas,” he said.

Fuller predicted that the Contemporary will be “a site of actions and interactions, a site that is open to Atlanta’s diverse communities.”

He joins executive director Julie Delliquanti, who headed the High Museum of Art’s public programs and community engagement, as new to the Contemporary’s [More]

Michael E. Shapiro, director of the High Museum, to step down

  • 11:07 am Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Bo Emerson
Michael Shapiro 2 Headshot

Michael E. Shapiro, the crowd-pleasing director who presided over two decades of explosive growth at the High Museum, announced Wednesday he would be stepping down.

“I think, after 20 years, why not give someone else a shot to take it to the next level?” said Shapiro, in an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Shapiro will leave the High July 31, 2015, as he completes his 20th year guiding the museum, first as deputy director, then as director.

It has been a time of momentous change at the Midtown cultural center.

During Shapiro’s tenure the High constructed a three-building expansion designed by Italian architect [More]

Flux Projects stretching to present Nick Cave’s public art “Resurrection,’ Flux Night’s return in 2015

  • 7:08 am Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Howard Pousner
Best known for his Soundsuits, sculptor, dancer and performance artist Nick Cave will premiere “Resurrection” at Ponce City Market, April 23-26, 2015. CONTRIBUTED BY JAMES PRINZ

With its recent announcement that it will present a world premiere by leading performance artist Nick Cave next April, Flux Projects is exhibiting what appears to be its greatest ambition in planning its fifth year. The Atlanta nonprofit has presented an array of innovative temporary public art in Atlanta since its 2010 launch by arts advocate by Louis Corrigan, but 2015 appears to hold particular promise:

Cave will debut a show called “Resurrection,” billed as a “call to arms, head and heart,” at Ponce City Market (the former Sears, Roebuck & Co. distribution center, still under renovation) in six [More]

ASO management mulls a response to musicians’ latest contract proposal

  • 12:53 pm Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by Howard Pousner
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

The negotiating team for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its parent nonprofit Woodruff Arts Center continued on Tuesday to consider a response to Monday’s proposal by the ASO Players’ Association. A public announcement was not immediately expected.

In one seemingly positive development, however, both sides have been consulting with Richard Giacolone, a U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service mediator, by phone this week.

Federal mediators left Atlanta without the parties reaching a collective bargaining agreement last week, continuing the musician lockout that began Sept. 7.

A deadline to reach an accord on Nov. 8 looms. That’s the date that ASO management set in late [More]

Updated: Atlanta Symphony musicians’ counterproposal offers compromise on orchestra’s size

  • 3:31 pm Monday, October 27th, 2014 by Howard Pousner
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in concert during the 2013-14 season. CONTRIBUTED BY ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players’ Association made a counterproposal to administrative leaders of the ASO and Woodruff Arts Center on Monday that draws the two sides closer to an agreement as the musician lockout enters its eighth week.

The Players’ Association (ASOPA) made compromises on the matter of the size of the orchestra, which was reduced from 95 to 88 full-time musicians in the 2012 collective bargaining agreement and which management proposed last week should shrink to the 76 players who remain.

ASOPA proposes starting this delayed season with its count of 77 remaining musicians (after defections, retirements and deaths), with an [More]

Despite confusion, shows go on for Atlanta Opera, Atlanta Shakespeare Company

  • 10:00 pm Sunday, October 26th, 2014 by Howard Pousner
The Atlanta Opera's season opener of "Madama Butterfly" is a co-production with Virginia's Castleton Festival. Artistic Director Tomer Zvulun says that such collaborations allow the company to participate in creating fresh new takes on the classics. In the Castleton production (pictured) Christopher Bozeka (left) played Goro and Jonathan Burton played Pinkerton. In the Atlanta production, Jason Ferrante plays Goro and Adam Diegel plays Pinkerton. CONTRIBUTED BY RAY BOC

It ain’t over for the Atlanta Opera, with or without a fat lady singing.

Similarly, the show must go on for the Atlanta Shakespeare Company.

This would hardly seem like earth-shattering news about these long-running Atlanta performing groups, except that some confused consumers erroneously think they’ve canceled performances, or worse, gone out of business.

Both companies, which are very much alive and kicking, are suffering from cases of oddly mistaken identity.

Some opera lovers think that members of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra have been locked out instead of the musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, now in their seventh week [More]

Updated: Mediated talks between Atlanta Symphony musicians, leaders stalled over orchestra size

  • 7:34 pm Friday, October 24th, 2014 by Howard Pousner
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

After three weeks of federally mediated contract negotiations, talks between Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians and ASO and Woodruff Arts Center administrators again appear near impasse.

No further sessions are planned, the musician lockout is entering its eighth week and additional concert cancellations in the 70th anniversary season are being openly discussed.

Though there was notable progress on matters of pay and health benefits in talks with the mediators over the last three weeks, the sides could not come to terms on a core issue: the size of the orchestra going forward.

The Woodruff/ASO’s chief negotiator, Alston & Bird attorney [More]

Limited progress reported in Atlanta Symphony mediated contract negotiations

  • 10:00 am Friday, October 24th, 2014 by Howard Pousner
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Progress was made on one major issue, but none in another, after nearly 40 hours of federally mediated negotiations over the last three days between Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians and ASO and Woodruff Arts Center administrators, according to the ASO Players’ Association.

Leaders of the musicians’ union  released a statement in the wee hours Friday morning saying that “significant progress” was made on the issue of health care, but none was achieved regarding the size of the orchestra going forward.

In the two-year collective bargaining agreement signed in 2012, the orchestra’s “complement” (number of full-time musicians) was cut from 95 to 88. [More]

KSU Holocaust Museum exhibit, glo collaboration at MOCA GA both launch this weekend

  • 7:28 am Friday, October 24th, 2014 by Howard Pousner
Norbert Friedman (#16) in a 1931 class photo.

First look at KSU Holocaust exhibit

Kennesaw State University’s Museum of History and Holocaust Education hosts a public reception at 3 p.m. Sunday for the new exhibit “Never Forget,” which will tour to area schools after the reception. The exhibit goes into detail about the life of Atlantan Norbert Friedman, 92, who survived 11 camps before immigrating to the U.S.

To view clips of an interview with Friedman, part of KSU’s Legacy Series oral history project launched last year, go to

Sunday’s reception will include remarks from educators and light refreshments.

KSU Center, 3333 Busbee Drive, Kennesaw. 470-578-2083,

glo, collaborators stage [More]

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