Atlanta Arts and Culture Blog 

Previews, reviews and commentary on Atlanta's cultural scene

Review: Wynton Marsalis lights up Atlanta’s Symphony Hall

  • 9:05 pm Saturday, July 26th, 2014 by Jamila Robinson

One expects a great performance from a jazz and classical great such as Wynton Marsalis. Friday’s sold-out performance at Symphony Hall featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra left jazz lovers immersed in  trumpets, trombones and saxophones and the diversity of jazz with music from Vaudeville to New Orleans Second Line.

As a spotlight event of the 2014 National Black Arts Festival, Marsalis, performed a nearly two-hour set that was as much of a live music history class as it was concert, entertaining the audience with toe-tapping, eyes closed and head-nodding music but also engaging them in the broader context for the compositions. DJ-style, Marsalis would [More]

Three ‘Working Artists’ win fellowships from MOCA GA

  • 10:44 pm Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Bo Emerson

A filmmaker, a photographer and a muralist are recipients of fellowships from the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, intended to support local artists, and to keep them, by the way, local.

Winners of Working Artist Project grants were announced Tuesday night at the Midtown museum, where alumni from previous fellowships gathered to congratulate their new colleagues.

Chosen for the grants were multimedia artist and filmmaker Jonathan Bouknight, painter Sarah Emerson and portrait photographer Sheila Pree Bright.

The project was created to support artists from the 23-county metro area. Each year it grants three established artists a monthly $1,250 stipend, a $3,000 salary [More]

Kenny Leon-directed ‘Holler’ to close on Broadway on Sunday

  • 11:45 pm Monday, July 14th, 2014 by AJC Staff

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI /mruggieri@ajc.com

After only 55 performances, “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” the musical that pulled from the catalog of rap great Tupac Shakur, is closing on Broadway. Its final show will be Sunday.
“Holler”‘s Atlanta-based director, Kenny Leon, confirmed the show’s early demise in an email late Monday night.
“I have never been more proud of a project or group of artists, nor the audiences that found their way to the Palace Theatre to see this groundbreaking musical theater piece,” Leon said.
As recently as Monday morning, Leon was promoting the show on the Tom Joyner radio show. Producers had hoped [More]

Erector sets featured in free toy show that’s bridge to past

  • 2:45 pm Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

At 60, Calhoun attorney Randy Sauder feels like a kid again when he builds things out of Erector set parts, some nearly a century old.

But Sauder doesn’t just throw together basic bridges or stale skyscrapers. His Coney Island Fun House, featuring more than 2,000 moving parts, won the best model award last year at the A.C. Gilbert Heritage Society national convention in Chicago. That was neat since the gathering celebrated the centennial of the founding of the company that brought the world Erector sets, American Flyer trains, chemistry and magic sets, dozens of other educational toys and an array of [More]

Young Atlanta voices resonating across Europe this summer

  • 6:56 am Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Young, talented metro Atlanta singers from three groups are getting the experiences of their lifetimes this summer on European tours. Some more seasoned Atlanta singers are going to get in on the act, too:

Atlanta Boy Choir recently returned from a June tour to Poland and the Czech Republic, and the highlights were many for the 40 men and 40 boys under the direction of maestro Fletcher Wolfe.

They were invited to perform in Poland in honor of the canonization of Pope John Paul II. A longtime favorite of John Paul, the choir sang many times at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome [More]

Tri Cities student wins best actress at National High School Musical awards

  • 9:35 am Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Jai’len Josey, a 15-year-old student at Tri Cities High School in Fulton County, was named best actress at the National High School Musical Theater Awards on Monday night in New York.

The prize for the rising 11th-grader’s victory: a check for $10,000 to further her education and a full scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University’s six-week, pre-college drama program. Josey also will be eligible for a four-year scholarship to attend the NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ New Studio on Broadway (contingent upon acceptance into the program).

Josey’s honor, bestowed during a ceremony at Broadway‘‍s Minskoff Theatre, follows her April best actress win [More]

Writers plan tribute to Maya Angelou

  • 5:07 pm Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by Suzanne Van Atten

Collin Kelley will host a reading of poems and passages by the late Maya Angelou, presented by local poets and writers at Decatur Library on July 15. Among the confirmed readers are Opal Moore, Alice Lovelace, Theresa Davis, Teri Elam, Karen Head, Malkia M’Buzi Moore, Megan Volpert, Rupert Fike, Amena Brown Owen, Christopher Martin, Lita Hooper, Karen Paul Holmes and Cherryl T. Cooley.

Free and open to the public, the event is presented by Poetry Atlanta, Georgia Center for the Book and Charis Books and More.

7:15 p.m. July 15. Decatur Library, 215 Sycamore St., Decatur. Admission free.

Personal Journey on Fahamu Pecou wins major award

  • 1:49 pm Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 by Suzanne Van Atten

Last year’s Personal Journey on Atlanta artist Fahamu Pecou, “Art of Survival,” was named best A&E Feature in 2013 (in a newspaper with 200,000+ circulation) by the Society for Features Journalism. Written by staff reporter Rosalind Bentley, the story appeared last July.

You can read the winning entry here.

AJC DBF drumroll please…

  • 6:03 pm Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by Suzanne Van Atten

Executive Director Daren Wang thanks sponsors.

AJC Decatur Book Fest launch happening now

  • 5:54 pm Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by Suzanne Van Atten

Program Director Philip Rafshoon and cookbook author Susan Puckett at Eddie’s Attic just moments before the keynote speaker is announced. Watch the AJC ‘s Art & Culture blog for details in just a few minutes.