Atlanta Arts and Culture Blog 

Previews, reviews and commentary on Atlanta's cultural scene

Here are some Sunday highlights at Decatur Book Festival and arts|DBF

  • 9:33 am Sunday, August 31st, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Throngs of literature lovers checked out the AJC Decatur Book Festival — and it’s arts-fest-within-the-book-fest, arts|DBF — on Saturday despite zombifying heat and humidity. The lineup on the fest’s final day today is strong, and the weather may even prove more pleasant. Here are but a few highlights …

Gail Sheehy

Sheehy caught the zeitgeist of an age with the 1976 work “Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life, ” which spoke to many women (and men) about the challenges of growing up and growing old. She went on to paint indelible portraits of President George W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton and [More]

Highlights for child, teen readers at Decatur Book Festival

  • 2:46 pm Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

The Decatur Book Festival boasts extensive offerings for young readers, all free, this weekend.

Highlights include:


Jon Scieszka, author of “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales” and the brand-new “Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor,” opens the proceedings with the “Kidnote” address at 5 p.m. Friday at Agnes Scott College’s Presser Hall. No ticket required, but seating is first come, first served.


Whistle Blower Parade, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, led by Kebbi Williams and Music in the Park. Parade lines up on the DeKalb County Courthouse’s south lawn (556 N. McDonough St.) and proceeds to the Children’s Stage. Participants are encouraged [More]

High Museum receives $2.5 million gift for folk art curatorial position, initiatives

  • 7:37 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

The High Museum of Art has received a $2.5 million gift from Atlanta patrons Dan Boone and his late wife Merrie Boone to support and expand the museum’s folk and self-taught art initiatives, including the endowment of a permanent, full-time curatorial position to lead the department.

With the addition of the Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art, all seven of the High’s collecting departments will have a full-time endowed curatorial position.

The museum is conducting a national search to fill the post, according to Thursday’s announcement.

The new curator will oversee the study, exhibition and care of [More]

ASO management, musicians labor over ‘sustainable’ deal as deadline nears

  • 2:40 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Two years after rancorous contract negotiations, a lockout and a narrowly averted postponement of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s season, ASO management and its musicians face a Sept. 6 deadline to strike a new collective bargaining agreement.

Both sides are holding their cards close, saying they don’t want to negotiate in public, in hopes of forging a new deal that would allow the 70th anniversary season to open as scheduled on Sept. 25. But there are clear indications that management is seeking further concessions from the players, who claimed when the two-year agreement was announced in September 2012 that the cuts they [More]

Restored gems, Polish classics, Pinter films in free Emory screenings

  • 9:22 pm Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Emory University’s Cinematheque, a reliable source of art films, international cinema and titles generally residing outside the mainstream, plans a busy fall, presenting three series of free screenings, with details still to come on a fourth.

The first series is the “UCLA Festival of Preservation,” showcasing American classics and lesser-known gems that have been recently restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. The 12-film series kicked off Aug. 27 with the 1946 film noir “The Chase.”

The second series to launch will be “Screenplay by Harold Pinter,” three films written by the late playwright-screenwriter, starting with the 1963 British drama about [More]

More than 100 artists to ‘Elevate’ downtown Atlanta with public art

  • 7:02 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

“Social City” is the theme for Elevate 2014, just announced by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and taking place at various downtown sites from Oct. 17 to 23.

More than 100 artists will seek to engage the public with living sculptures, interactive gadgetry, portable art and dance performances, artist panels and more.

Among the highlights:

The Goat Farm Arts Center, working with more 20 artists and designers, will transform 10 dumpsters into galleries, installations and sculptures. Located in alleyways and parks, the galleries will include a Secret Garden where visitors can make a wish and a Giant Synthesizer where they can make [More]

Joyce Carol Oates, Pat Conroy at AJC Decatur Book Fest

  • 12:18 pm Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Bo Emerson

The ethereal Joyce Carol Oates, a very substantial presence on the literary scene since 1963, has detailed every extreme of the human condition in more than 70 books, fiction and nonfiction, including the 1987 essay collection, “On Boxing,” considered a landmark of the genre.

Oates, 76, is the keynote speaker at the 2014 AJC Decatur Book Festival, a yearly Labor Day weekend event that continues to gather steam. More than 600 authors will speak or appear on panels at this year’s festival and plenty of new elements have been added to the mix, including an outdoor kitchen for cooking demonstrations and [More]

Atlanta’s best fall arts events of 2014

  • 3:58 pm Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Suzanne Van Atten

Check out our recommendations for this fall’s Top 12 Events, Six People to Watch and the Best of the Rest in our special Fall A&E Preview section available in print Aug. 24 and here right now!

Georgia Aquarium voted best

  • 11:38 am Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Bo Emerson

The Georgia Aquarium was voted the best in the country this week in a USA Today and 10Best poll.

Readers of the newspaper and website chose among 20 nominees provided by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Coming in second was the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi. In third place was the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tenn., and fourth was the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga finished fifth.

Festivals focus on Atlanta history, Western and Southern culture

  • 7:52 am Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Here are three upcoming family-friendly festivals that go beyond the usual crafts and funnel cakes (not that there’s anything wrong with that) to creatively explore different cultural aspects.

Meet the Past turns history into theater

Over the past two years, the Atlanta History Center has brought unheard voices from the dusty shadows of the city’s and region’s history through a program it calls Meet the Past.

These living-history performances, intended to give a more diverse picture of the area’s past and how it informs the present, have unfolded in the center’s historic homes (the Smith Family Farm and Swan House), inside the museum [More]