Atlanta Arts and Culture Blog 

Previews, reviews and commentary on Atlanta's cultural scene
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Locked-out Atlanta Symphony musicians to perform 3 concerts Friday and Tuesday

  • 7:31 am Friday, October 10th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

The locked-out players of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, billing themselves as ATL Symphony Musicians, will be presenting concerts on Friday and next Tuesday.

Friday’s performances will be at Oglethorpe University‘s Conant Performing Arts Center at 7 and 9 p.m., with an audience reception with the musicians open to both audiences on the Conant’s picnic grounds at 8 p.m.

Richard Prior will conduct approximately 35 musicians in programs of Mozart’s Requiem — with the Atlanta Mozart Choir, a.k.a. some 75 members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus — and Barber’s Adagio for Strings.

Prior is the Emory University Department of Music conducting chair as [More]

Marietta Chalkfest, exhibits around Square, among weekend art offerings

  • 2:01 pm Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by Howard Pousner
David Lepore of West Palm Beach, Fla., is one of more than 40 national chalk artists who will be creating works this weekend at Marietta ChalkFest. He David prefers to depict iconic heroes and villains, using movie clips as inspiration.

Chalk up the expansion of Marietta ChalkFest to popularity.

The free fest returns for its fourth edition this weekend, with more than 40 professional chalk artists from around the country, double last year’s number, coloring their masterpieces around the Marietta Square from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There also will be a public non-professional juried chalk art competition for all ages from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (entry fee required).

The variety band Prime will play a free concert in Glover Park from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, and a vendor’s marketplace and kid’s activities will be available [More]

Whole World Theatre celebrates 20 years this weekend

  • 12:42 pm Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by Alexa Lampasona

The Whole World Improv Theatre celebrates 20 years in Atlanta this weekend with two events- an alumni show and anniversary party- that pay homage to the growth of the company.

What started as an improv group in 1993 by David Webster, Whole World has expanded over the past two decades to bring together long form improvisational comedy. Creative Director Chip Powell has seen significant development in the group since its induction into Atlanta’s theatre community.

“We have won just about every award out there for improv and theatre year after year, and that has secured our reputation as one of the [More]

Stifled by debt, Georgia Shakespeare calls it curtains after 29 years

  • 3:32 pm Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 by Howard Pousner
Travis Smith and Tess Malis Kincaid appear in Georgia Shakespeare's "Metamorphoses" in 2013. CONTRIBUTED BY GREG MOONEY

After a 29-year run as one of Atlanta’s most respected theater troupes, Georgia Shakespeare announced Wednesday that it is closing its doors.

Last month, the company canceled its October production of “Henry V” and said its leaders would instead meet with potential funders. Their fundraising goal of $750,000 was earmarked to retire $343,000 in accumulated debt as well as to replenish operating funds and build a small reserve.

But a rescue was not to be.

“We had no major funders who were willing to make a lead gift,” Managing Director Jennifer Bauer-Lyons said. “We had other people who were kind of waiting in [More]

Governor honors 13 for cultural contributions

  • 1:36 pm Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

In a Capitol ceremony on Tuesday, Gov. Nathan Deal honored 13 individuals and organizations in the third annual Governor’s Awards in the Arts and Humanities, recognizing contributions to the state’s cultural vitality.

Metro Atlanta honorees included: Leslie Gordon, director of Georgia State University’s Rialto Center for the Arts; Paul Hudson, historian-educator; Douglas Scott, Full Radius Dance Company artistic director; Atlanta Ballet; Center for Civil and Human Rights; and the music-worship group Meridian Herald.

Honored from elsewhere around the state: Syd Blackmarr, arts advocate, Tifton; Fred and Dinah Gretsch, president and CFO, respectively, of Gretsch musical instrument company, Savannah; the Activities Council of [More]

Details on the major show of Alex Katz landscapes High Museum will mount in ’15

  • 6:51 am Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

The High Museum of Art recently announced details of a major exhibition of New York artist Alex Katz‘s landscapes for summer 2015. “Alex Katz, This Is Now” will include more than 40 works created between 1954 and 2013, including 15 monumental paintings.

Running June 21 to Sept. 6, 2015, the exhibit will place a strong focus on what Katz calls his “environmental paintings” — works that engulf viewers with their expansive, painterly surfaces that depict moments of intense observation in the landscape.

At 87, Katz “seems as young as any emerging artist,” said Michael Rooks, High curator of modern and contemporary [More]

Mediator to begin work on Atlanta Symphony impasse starting Tuesday

  • 2:43 pm Monday, October 6th, 2014 by Christopher Quinn and Howard Pousner

Allison Beck won’t be walking into an unknown situation Tuesday when she relaunches negotiations between the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its locked-out musicians.

Last summer, Beck, the acting director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, talked the New York Metropolitan Opera and its workers and musicians from a dozen unions back into the concert hall and helped save the season. But that was before a lockout took place.

She will begin the difficult work of trying to rescue the ASO’s season after a monthlong lockout during which rancor and tension over pay, benefits and the size of [More]

Woodruff Arts Center board leader takes stands on Atlanta Symphony crisis

  • 10:06 am Saturday, October 4th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Instead of making soul-stirring music to start its 70th anniversary season, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has produced mostly sour notes for the last four weeks.

The musicians were locked out by management for the second time in two years on Sept. 7 when the two sides could not reach accord on a new collective bargaining agreement, and a war of words commenced.

Management may control the purse strings, but the musicians have commandeered the social media. Constant posts and comments by the players and their supporters on their Facebook page and Tweets on their Twitter account have pushed [More]

ASO musicians: Woodruff board chief Hertz willing to ‘break the backs of employees’

  • 4:37 pm Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by Howard Pousner

The heated words between leaders of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players’ Association and ASO and Woodruff Arts Center management took a harsh turn on Friday, with the musicians’ union releasing a statement sharply critical of Woodruff Arts Center Governing Board Chairman Douglas Hertz.

The statement, included in its entirety below, charges that Hertz is more interested in cutting full-time ASO musician positions than he is “in securing financial stability or in preserving the high artistic standards of the institution he has a duty as a steward to serve and protect.”

The Woodruff responded shortly with a statement by its president and CEO, [More]

Federal mediator to wade into Atlanta Symphony dispute starting next week

  • 3:18 pm Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by Howard Pousner

After four weeks of a lockout with no contract negotiations, the leaders and musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra have agreed to federal mediation.

The U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) announced Friday that it will provide mediation services to both sides starting next week.

“In response to a joint request from the parties, the FMCS will provide mediation to the orchestra musicians and management with the goal of helping them reach a mutually acceptable resolution to the issues that divide them,” the Washington-based agency said in a statement.

FMCS Acting Director Allison Beck, credited with reaching an accord in collective bargaining [More]

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