Atlanta Arts and Culture Blog 

Previews, reviews and commentary on Atlanta's cultural scene
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Deadline passes without Atlanta Symphony contract agreement; we have statements from both sides

  • 12:31 am Sunday, September 7th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

As expected, the 11:59 p.m. Saturday deadline in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s collective bargaining agreement negotiations passed without a deal being forged between management and the musicians.

The two sides have conducted ongoing negotiations since early this year, but last week it became clear, as details of each side’s latest proposals leaked out, that a huge distance remained to be bridged.

A statement released just past midnight by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players Association said that the musicians believe they are being locked out by ASO management. It was followed momentarily by a statement from ASO management that warned that the [More]

Cash-strapped Georgia Shakespeare cancels ‘Henry V,’ considers future

  • 7:07 am Friday, September 5th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Citing insufficient operating funds, Georgia Shakespeare announced Friday that it is canceling its production of “Henry V” that was to open Oct. 1.

Instead of presenting the history play, company leaders will spend the next month determining if the troupe founded in 1986 might itself become history.

If this comes as a surprise to many Atlantans after the high-profile Save Georgia Shakespeare emergency campaign that exceeded its $500,000 goal in 2011, well, it’s a complicated drama.

Donations from more than 2,000 contributors did keep the nonprofit’s doors open, pay down debt and prop up the operating budget, but that [More]

Musicians, ASO management disagree about fund-raising and whether salary cut or increase is on table

  • 3:52 pm Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

As the clock ticks toward a 11:59 p.m. Saturday deadline in negotiations between Atlanta Symphony Orchestra management and the musicians, the gloves appear to be coming off.

Until Thursday, both sides had been proceeded quietly and cautiously, saying they didn’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 off the record, the word was that the gulf between the two sides was wide.

After a Thursday negotiating session in which the distance apparently was not narrowed, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players Association released [More]

Updates on Atlanta Music Festival, Emory Chamber Music, Capitol City Opera, Georgia Boy Choir

  • 6:54 am Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Atlanta Music Festival CD released

The first CD from the Atlanta Music Festival, “Guide My Feet: Songs of Aspiration, Hope & Progress,” has just been released.

Intending to unite communities and bridge traditions, the Rev. Dwight Andrews of First Congregational Church and Steven Darsey of the Atlanta music-worship group Meridian Herald launched the annual music festival in 2001. It was something of a homage to the Atlanta Colored Music Festival Association’s debut concert in 1910 that drew 2,000 blacks and whites, seated separately, to Atlanta’s Auditorium and Armory for a concert performed by African-American artists. One of the missions of that event [More]

Arts and fun on tap at this weekend’s Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade, Yellow Daisy Festival and Drive-Invasion

  • 3:23 pm Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by AJC Staff

Yellow Daisy Festival

For much of her 20s, Manami Yagashiro Lingerfelt traveled the world, trying to sketch a true likeness of herself.

Lingerfelt was a recent college graduate feeling unfulfilled as a graphic designer in Tokyo when she embarked on a prolonged journey to China, India, Pakistan and parts of Scandinavia.  All along she sensed, “I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do.”

Fast-forward to 2005. Now living in Georgia, Lingerfelt sold several of her colorful nature- and mystically-influenced paintings at an art festival in Duluth. In the process, a clear picture of who she was finally emerged.

She’s an artist. And not just any [More]

ASO maestros Spano, Runnicles speak up about contract negotiations; management quickly responds

  • 12:12 pm Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by Howard Pousner

In the ongoing contract negotiations between the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its musicians, heading toward a midnight Saturday deadline, Robert Spano and Donald Runnicles are supposedly a neutral party, the equivalent of Switzerland.

ASO music director Spano and principal guest conductor Runnicles are neither management nor part of the Atlanta Symphony Musicians Players’ Association. Still, on Tuesday night, the two took an unusual step: emailing an open letter to ASO board, management and musicians that, importantly, included a note of support for the latter.

Though they assert from the top that they don’t want to take sides, the maestros do [More]

$50,000 Hudgens Prize competition returns; entries open to Georgia artists now being accepted

  • 4:29 pm Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by Howard Pousner

Georgia visual artists, take note: The biennial Hudgens Prize Visual Arts Competition is returning and will again feature a cash award of $50,000, one of the largest given to an individual artist in the U.S., plus a solo exhibition at Duluth’s Hudgens Center for the Arts.

The 2015 Hudgens Prize competition is open to any Georgia artist, age 18 and up, residing full time in the state. Artwork of any medium will be considered, but all pieces must have been completed within the last two years (works previously shown at the Hudgens are ineligible). For a $30 non-refundable fee, each artist [More]

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]

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]

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