Atlanta Arts and Culture Blog 

Previews, reviews and commentary on Atlanta's cultural scene

Massive expansion ahead for ambitious WonderRoot arts group

  • 9:46 am Monday, September 1st, 2014 by Howard Pousner

A decade ago, when three Atlanta friends in their early 20s were launching WonderRoot as a non-profit community arts group with a strong social mission, its bold, recently announced expansion plans would have been inconceivable.

“You know, when you’re 20 years old, both everything and nothing seems possible, right?” WonderRoot co-founder and executive director Chris Appleton said recently, standing outside the 54,000-square-foot Memorial Drive former schoolhouse that will be retrofitted soon into its new home. “But while we always had big dreams and big goals, the support and community’s embracing of WonderRoot has exceeded any expectation that we would’ve had.”

The extent of that [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:

FRIDAY

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.

SATURDAY

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]

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]

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]

Sneak a peek at our Fall A&E Preview

  • 2:58 pm Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Suzanne Van Atten

Get ready to fill up your social calendar! The AJC’s Fall A&E Preview is chockablock with our recommendations for the hottest plays, concerts, festivals and art shows coming up this season. Check out our 12 Top Events and six People to Watch, as well as deeper looks at what’s coming in theater, dance, classical music, pop music, festivals and visual arts. Available in print and on myajc.com Aug. 24.

High Museum extends ‘Dream Cars'; new Museum of Design exhibit focuses on graphic design

  • 12:15 pm Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

EXHIBITS
High extends ‘Dream Cars’ one week
The High Museum of Art announced Monday that is extending its popular exhibition “Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas” one week, through Sept. 14. Featuring concept cars, along with conceptual drawings and scale models, by automakers such as Ferrari, Bugatti, Porsche and General Motors, the show has drawn more than 130,000 visitors since opening May 21. The High also announced that it will be open on Labor Day (Sept. 1) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with special ticket discounts, and that hours will be extended on “Dream Cars’” closing weekend: 10 a.m. to 9 [More]

Wabi Sabi returns for new round of nurturing dance in great outdoors

  • 5:44 pm Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Even if you’ve never connected to contemporary dance, it’s hard to not be persuaded after witnessing Wabi Sabi perform at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, with the audience following the dancers to different spots on the manicured grounds for each piece on the program.

The dancer-driven Atlanta Ballet offshoot, whose mission is to showcase rising choreographic talent, gives the first of five performances at three outdoor settings on Aug. 21 at the Midtown garden, where it will return Sept. 18. In between there will be appearances at the High Museum of Art (as part of the design installation “Mi Casa, Your Casa” [More]