Atlanta Arts and Culture Blog 

Previews, reviews and commentary on Atlanta's cultural scene
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“Wind” sequel writer’s been here before

  • 10:58 am Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by jvejnoska
Author Donald McCaig makes a return visit to the Margaret Mitchell House Friday night.

By Jill Vejnoska

(Note: Donald McCaig will appear at the Literary Center at the Margaret Mitchell House at 7 p.m. Friday to discuss “Ruth’s Journey,” his just-released, authorized prequel to “Gone With the Wind.” It’s not the first time McCaig’s shown up at the onetime apartment house where Mitchell churned out her award-winning saga of Scarlett, Rhett et al. In 2007, his first authorized novel, “Rhett Butler’s People,” was celebrated there with much hoopla, including “Rhett Velvet Cupcakes.” Here’s a story that appeared in the AJC at the time.)

Rhett’s back, hoping that we still care

JILL VEJNOSKA

Sunday, 10/28/2007

The first time Rhett Butler [More]

Downtown’s ‘Dumpsters’ public art project overflows with ideas

  • 5:29 pm Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 by Howard Pousner
Savannah artist Marcus Kenney transforms a dumpster into a visual arts environment called “Timeline” using objects of previous existence on Forsyth Street downtown. The “Dumpsters” project, involving more than 20 artists that have been given 10 metal trash receptacles to create a work of public art, will be part of this year’s “Elevate.” The Office of Cultural Affairs’ free weeklong public art event runs Oct. 17-23. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Construction dumpsters usually overflow with odd pieces of lumber, Sheetrock and cardboard, something that passers-by automatically try to edit out of their view.

But 10 of the lumbering metal containers are starting to command attention in downtown Atlanta. Instead of flotsam and jetsam of the building trade, however, they hold serious art expressions and pure whimsy, quiet reflection and interactive sound and light, eye-catching aesthetics and recycled funky stuff.

Tapping more than 20 metro artists, the Goat Farm Arts Center organized the diverse “Dumpsters” public art project as part of “Elevate 2014.” The annual weeklong public [More]

Novel about ‘Gone With the Wind’s’ Mammy in stores Tuesday

  • 7:00 am Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by jvejnoska
author Donald McCaig.

It’s the indefatigable Scarlett O’Hara of books: “Gone With the Wind” continues to sell about 75,000 copies annually, more than three-quarters of a century after it first brought fame and fortune (and a Pulitzer Prize) to Atlanta author Margaret Mitchell.

And now comes another authorized sequel, the second by acclaimed Civil War novelist Donald McCaig (“Rhett Butler’s People” came out in 2007). Actually, “Ruth’s Journey” (Atria Books, $26), which arrives in bookstores Tuesday, is mostly a prequel. And, McCaig suggests, a much-needed fleshing out of one of the original book’s “three major characters” — the O’Hara clan’s indispensable, tough love-dispensing “Mammy.”

Much [More]

Conductor Richard Prior fears lockout will cause ASO talent to scatter

  • 2:29 pm Monday, October 13th, 2014 by Howard Pousner
Richard Prior, shown here conducting the Emory University Symphony Orchestra, will conduct the ATL Symphony Musicians on Tuesday night at Dunwoody United Methodist Church. CONTRIBUTED

Atlanta composer-conductor-educator Richard Prior has had an intimate view of the cacophonous drama that has accompanied the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musician lockout, and it’s filled him with mixed feelings.

Prior, whose Symphony No. 3 is scheduled to be performed by the ASO in late November, assuming a collective bargaining agreement is reached, conducted the locked-out players and ASO Chorus (billing themselves as ATL Symphony Musicians and Atlanta Mozart Choir) in two packed performances Friday night at Oglethorpe University.

And the Emory University Department of Music conducting chair and Emory Symphony Orchestra maestro will lead the ASO musicians again Tuesday night in another [More]

Baltimore’s Visionary Art Museum among many elevating Finster’s profile

  • 7:38 am Monday, October 13th, 2014 by Howard Pousner
Howard Finster's "Super Powers" (1984) is on view in the exhibit "The Visionary Experience: Saint Francis to Finster" at the  American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.

The restoration over the last three years of the Rev. Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden folk art environment in the northwest Georgia town of Summerville also is proving to be a factor in a growing revival of interest in the work of the prolific artist more than a decade after his death.

The latest evidence is Finster’s powerful presence in a sprawling group exhibition at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore on view in the documentary “Paradise Garden,” which will be screened at the Goat Farm Art Center on Nov. 18.

Meanwhile, the Paradise Garden Foundation is readying for “A Turn in [More]

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]

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