Arts

City Lights
3:12 pm
Tue September 1, 2015

Feminist Comics Writer Relishes Expanded Role At Dragon Con

Kelly Sue DeConnick appeared at Dragon Con for the first time in 2014.
Credit Terra Clarke Olsen; Kelly Sue DeConnick / flickr.com/kellysue

As a rare female voice in a male-dominated profession, Kelly Sue DeConnick didn’t always see herself as the “vocal feminist” she’s become.

But the award-winning writer involved in such projects as “Captain Marvel,” “Avengers Assemble” and “Pretty Deadly” has done more than embraced that role.

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City Lights
1:47 pm
Tue September 1, 2015

Natasha Trethewey To Debut Poem At Decatur Book Festival

The AJC Decatur Book Festival, which began in 2005, takes place Friday through Sunday in downtown Decatur.
Credit Courtesy of The Decatur Book Festival

The former poet laureate of the United States has been a keynote headliner at the AJC Decatur Book Festival.

On Friday, Natasha Trethewey will precede the keynote conversation between feminist writers Erica Jong and Roxane Gay with a new poem.

Trethewey, who teaches creative writing and English at Emory University, will read “Meditation at Decatur Square,” according to DBF founder and executive director Daren Wang.

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City Lights
1:06 pm
Tue September 1, 2015

Roads Like Powers Ferry Tell Of Atlanta's Link To Chattahoochee

Roads like Powers Ferry, Johnson Ferry and Jones Bridge all used to lead to Chattahoochee River crossings.
Credit Monika & Tim / flickr.com/tkennedy

Atlanta may not have the same connection to its nearby river, the Chattahoochee, as other urban areas with bodies of water passing through them.

But, according to Curbed Atlanta's Michael Kahn, the Chattahoochee River has been, as he puts it, “a major piece of the puzzle in shaping the Atlanta we know today.”

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City Lights
12:05 pm
Tue September 1, 2015

Feminist Writer Roxane Gay Wrestles With Trappings Of Success

Roxane Gay is the author of the 2014 essay collection ''Bad Feminist'' and two books of fiction.
Credit Marla Aufmuth / TED

 

For nearly two decades, Roxane Gay labored as a fiction and nonfiction writer for multiple publications and with little fanfare.

Her rapid rise to fame in the last few years has been dizzying, even by her own estimation.

Last year, her lauded essay collection, “Bad Feminist,” earned Gay even more widespread acclaim and attention.

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City Lights
11:45 am
Tue September 1, 2015

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center Offering Free Admission

At Atlanta Contemporary’s Art Party, artist Nathan Sharratt opened up his studio for party-goers. He threatened to “execute” his art unless patrons paid for its survival. Social or monetary payment was accepted.
Gabbie Watts/WABE

Over the weekend, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center opened three new exhibitions and a new chapter for the museum.

“On Tuesday, Sept. 1, we’re very excited to announce our free admission,” said Atlanta Contemporary Executive Director Veronica Kessenich. “Admission was $8, which is not cost prohibitive, but it is a barrier to entry, particularly for our neighborhood. We want more outreach to our neighborhood communities.”

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Literacy
11:20 am
Tue September 1, 2015

GSU Archives Tales Of Literacy, One Story At A Time

Georgia State University is collecting more than 6,000 personal stories about reading and writing.
Credit Chuck Patch / Flickr.com/chuckp

A project at Georgia State University is seeking people’s personal stories about reading and writing. So far, it's collected more than 6,000 such stories, in partnership with Ohio State University, and stored them in an archive called the Digital Archives of Literacy Narratives.

WABE sat down with assistant professor of English Dr. Michael Harker, who co-directs the archives, to talk about what kind of stories they're seeking, exactly, as well as the story submitted by a famous Georgian from Plains. They also listened to a couple of stories people have already submitted.

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City Lights
10:00 am
Tue September 1, 2015

Filmmaker Examines Diversity In Atlanta’s Hip-Hop Scene

Atlanta rapper Alexander “Stanza” Wiggins, father of two, balances his time between parenting and the hip-hop scene. Filmmaker Will Feagins interviewed him for his documentary film “Divided Time.”
Credit Will Feagins

  When filmmaker William Feagins moved to Atlanta, he was skeptical of the city's hip-hop scene.

“I kind of had the perception that most people do that the music scene is going to be one-sided. It’s only going to sound like one artist,” said Feagins. "But as I go more involved in the scene, I found that there were a wide variety of artists here.” 

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Arts
12:17 pm
Mon August 31, 2015

How Atlanta Became The Hollywood Of The South

Since 2008, Atlanta has played backdrop to more than 140 films and TV shows, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press

The city is on fire.

Atlanta, left in ashes 150 years ago by the Civil War, has recently survived a hoard of both fictional catastrophes — zombies, werewolves, anchormen, Vin Diesel's friends — and fictional heroics from the likes of Captain America, Ant-Man and Katniss Everdeen (whose friends once repelled down the inside of the Marriott Marquis).

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City Lights
11:49 am
Mon August 31, 2015

Erica Jong To Release New Book, Speak At Decatur Book Festival

Known for her 1973 novel ''Fear of Flying,'' author Erica Jong will be in conversation with author Roxane Gay for the Decatur Book Festival's keynote event.
Credit Christian Als

In 1973, Erica Jong wrote a revolutionary novel that shaped second-wave feminism. The book, “Fear of Flying,” pushed forward the controversial notion that women might enjoy their sexuality — just like men.

She even coined a term that is not appropriate for public media, but it begins with “zipless.”

She spoke with WABE’s Lois Reitzes in advance of her appearance at the Decatur Book Festival about her new novel “Fear of Dying,” which will be released Sept. 8.

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City Lights
6:06 pm
Fri August 28, 2015

Theater Company Opens In Atlanta To Showcase Black Talent

Rob Connor, the founder of Dominion Entertainment Group, chose “Jar the Floor” by Cheryl West for its first theater production. The cast includes Bernadine Mitchell, Donna Biscoe, Cycerli Ash, Cara Mantella and D. Woods.
Credit Shoccara Marcus

In the past few years, Atlanta has seen several theater companies close, but Atlanta-native Robert Connor is trying to fill that void.

“The audiences are thirsty for great work with great talent, and there’s a lot of great talent here in Atlanta,” said Connor. “I slept on it for a couple of days, and I said, 'you know what, I am going to make my own production company.' … I told myself, 'you are absolutely insane.'”

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City Lights
4:06 pm
Fri August 28, 2015

Israeli Film Director Visiting Emory As Artist In Residence

Filmmaker Eran Riklis with actress Clara Khoury on the set of “The Syrian Bride,” which will be screened Sunday at Emory University.
Credit Courtesy of Eran Riklis

 

Eran Riklis has forged an international reputation as clear-eyed cinematic observer of life in Israel and the Middle East.

Most recently, the director of such films as “Cup Final,” “The Syrian Bride” and “Lemon Tree” has tackled the issue of the Palestinian experience in Israel in “Dancing Arabs,” which was shown at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

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City Lights
1:14 pm
Fri August 28, 2015

Dad’s Garage Regular Taking His One-Man Show On The Road

Mark Kendall is a regular ''improviser'' with Dad's Garage.
Credit Stacy Bode

 

Some words just make you cringe when you hear them.

But cringe leads to comedy and back and forth again in "Morgan Freeman Presents: The Magic Negro and Other Blackness." It’s a one-man show from actor, writer and Dad's Garage improviser Mark Kendall.

Kendall has been taking his one-man show on the road, with the help of the Alliance Theatre's Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab.

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Page-Turners
12:04 pm
Fri August 28, 2015

Solving Mysteries With The Hardy Boys, WABE's Steve Goss

Steve Goss on his favorite childhood books: “As the Hardy Boys were solving their mysteries and rounding up the bad guys, I became a hero by association.”
Kate Sweeney WABE

What does your favorite childhood book mean to you? For WABE's Morning Edition host Steve Goss, it's mayhem, mystery and a whole lot of bright blue book jackets. 

Goss sat down for an installment of Page-Turners to talk about why, to him, The Hardy Boys mysteries are synonymous with “summertime.” The soon-to-retire WABE host also talks a little about his plans after he shuts down the Morning Edition mic for the last time.

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City Lights
11:41 am
Fri August 28, 2015

After Hurricane Katrina, Community Organizer Becomes Storyteller

Writer, performer and attorney Mike Molina worked with New Orleans youths in Atlanta, as part of a project he started called ''New Roots.''
Credit Mike Molina

New Orleans native Mike Molina was living across the country in California’s Bay Area when Hurricane Katrina hit his hometown.

Seeing the storm’s devastating impact on New Orleans, he felt compelled to return to the South.

He ended up in Atlanta, where he stayed for many years, working with displaced New Orleans youths and also performing as a storyteller.

In a conversation with Stephannie Stokes, he discussed his interactions with the young evacuees and considered how the experience influenced his writing. 

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City Lights
2:25 pm
Thu August 27, 2015

New Orleans Preservation Efforts Get Boost After Katrina

Shotgun-style homes are a hallmark of New Orleans neighborhood architecture.
Credit Nick Normal / flickr.com/nicknormal

Maintaining the distinctive look and feel of New Orleans architecture had been a significant undertaking long before Hurricane Katrina hit 10 years ago.

Massive water damage sparked renewed efforts not only to save historic homes in iconic neighborhoods but also to pass along an appreciation of a home-building style described as a “dying art.”

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City Lights
2:03 pm
Wed August 26, 2015

Exploring The Deep Connections Between Writers And Cats

Ernest Hemingway was never without cats, even on his many trips to Cuba.
Credit JFK Library / Creative Commons

Besides being writers, there’s very little that Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Colette, Mark Twain, Joyce Carol Oates and Gore Vidal ever had in common.

Except for their cats.

Why have felines been such common, constant companions for the writing (and artistic) set?

There are blogs and websites devoted to the topic, such as Writers and Kitties and The Cultural Cat.

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City Lights
5:25 pm
Mon August 24, 2015

Alliance Theatre’s ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ Features Atlanta Cast

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest” sketches and photos are used for inspiration during rehearsals at Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.
Credit Courtesy of Alliance Theatre

 

Psychiatric wards are a common setting for horror movies or dramas, but there's potential for comedy there too. After all, a little dark humor helps the medicine go down.

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is a dark dramatic comedy, and the Alliance Theatre aims to strike that bittersweet tone in its upcoming production, which takes place Sept. 2-20.

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City Lights
12:25 pm
Mon August 24, 2015

Atlanta Interior Designer Masters The Art Of Simplicity

A Nancy Braithwaite-designed living room featured in her book, “Simplicity.”
Courtesy Nancy Braithwaite

 

There's nothing simple about being simple.

That's what Atlanta's Nancy Braithwaite learned early in her interior design career from fashion designer icon Coco Chanel.

From there, Braithwaite discovered the seven principles of fashion. As it turns out, fashion is a lot easier to understand than interior design, for just about everyone.

So she translated those principles of fashion into design in a talk she's taken all over the country.

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City Lights
3:01 pm
Fri August 21, 2015

Leo Frank Case Remembered On Screen, In Fall Events

Monday marked the 100th anniversary of the lynching of Leo Frank in Marietta.
Credit georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu

 

 

Monday marked the 100th anniversary of the lynching of Leo Frank in Marietta.

But remembrances of the notorious murder of a Jewish Atlanta pencil factory manager will continue through the fall.

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Page-Turners
10:33 am
Fri August 21, 2015

John Lorinc’s 'Fab' Summer Read On His Favorite Four

Of the dozens of books WABE's John Lorinc has read about The Beatles, this is his favorite.
Kate Sweeney WABE

 WABE's John Lorinc loves The Beatles.

In this installment of Page-Turners, the Weekend Edition host tells us what makes the Fab Four's story so amazing, what it was like for him to hear the group for the very first time — as a little kid, riding in his dad's car one day in Pittsburgh — and why, among all the books ever written about the band, Bob Spitz's "The Beatles: The Biography" tops his list of books to pick up on a lazy summer day.

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City Lights
11:48 am
Thu August 20, 2015

New Mavericks Film Series Highlights Female Filmmakers

The New Mavericks Film Series will screen Kelly Gallagher's film ''The Herstory of the Female Filmmaker,'' an animated short highlighting female pioneers in film.
Credit Kelly Gallagher

Even though only one woman has won the best director award in the history of the 87 Academy Awards, female filmmakers abound. The Atlanta Film Festival is presenting a weekend of films made by women that feature strong female characters

Partnered with and hosted at Synchronicity Theatre on Friday and Saturday, the films are part of the New Mavericks Film Series.

Atlanta Film Festival senior shorts programmer Christina Humphrey and creative director Kristy Breneman talked with WABE's Gabbie Watts about the series and women in independent film.

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Art and Change
11:15 am
Thu August 20, 2015

MARTA Murals Are First Stop 'En Route' To Neighborhood Change

The “En Route” project will mean new, community-created murals on the walls of four MARTA stations. Artist, Fahamu Pecou, currently a Ph.D. student in Emory University's Institute of Liberal Arts (ILA), will collaborate with the community to conceptualize the murals.
Credit Bryan Meltz

New murals will soon adorn walls at four different MARTA stations.

In a city increasingly decorated with public art, this may not seem like such a big deal. But those behind the “En Route” project say the murals are just the start of a series of improvements that will integrate art, community and transit in Atlanta.

The first station to get the mural treatment will be King Memorial Station, in Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn District.

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City Lights
12:58 pm
Wed August 19, 2015

A Novelist Gets A ‘Rush Of An Idea’ To Make A Connection

Joshilyn Jackson said she’s two years away from finishing her book, tentatively titled ''Origin Story.''
Credit www.joshilynjackson.com

 

As Decatur author Joshilyn Jackson continues her novel-in-progress updates for “City Lights,” she discusses the sustained challenge of keeping her book going.

Jackson said she’s two years away from finishing her book, tentatively titled "Origin Story," and is finally making progress with a troublesome middle chapter.

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City Lights
11:55 am
Wed August 19, 2015

Colored Pencil Society Seeks To Elevate Status Of The Art

The Colored Pencil Society of America’s 23rd annual International Exhibition features 118 colored pencil pieces. This is a snippet of Kendra Ferreira’s “Discovery.”
Credit Kendra Ferreira

Colored pencils are serious business, or so says the 1,600 members of the Colored Pencil Society of America, which is wrapping up its 23rd annual International Exhibition at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art this Sunday. There are 118 colored pencil images on view, all created by the members of the society.

The society has 23 district chapters in the United States, but they had several international submissions to the exhibit this year.

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City Lights
11:27 am
Wed August 19, 2015

Atlanta Filmmaker Documents Hip-Hop, Social Justice In Senegal

Babacar Ndiaye's documentary “More than Music” shows how hip-hop in Senegal is used as a tool for community and social justice.
Credit Babacar Ndiaye

Disillusioned by the criticism against mainstream American music, Atlanta-based filmmaker Babacar Ndiaye went in search of a place where hip-hop was used as a tool for education. He found such a hip-hop scene in Senegal.

He made a short documentary film called “More than Music” and hopes to turn that into a full feature later on.

Senegalese culture is community-based, and that extends through the hip-hop community.

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City Lights
10:00 am
Wed August 19, 2015

North Mississippi Blues Legends Remembered In Photo Series

The late blues musician Junior Kimbrough ran the "juke joint" in Northern Mississippi where Adam Smith captured many of his images.
Adam Smith www.adamsmithphotography.com

When he first enrolled in the University of Mississippi more than a decade ago, Georgia-born Adam Smith didn't really have a plan for his life. He just knew he had some interest in photography.

But that all changed when he stepped into the nearby blues music scene.

"This place just – the music, the energy in the room, the people – just blew me away," said Adam Smith, describing the first night he visited Junior's Place, a "juke joint" in Holly Springs, Mississippi.

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City Lights
3:00 pm
Tue August 18, 2015

Theatrical Outfit Begins 39th Season With ‘Memphis’ Musical

Atlanta actors Travis Smith and Naima Carter Russell are starring in ''Memphis'' at the Aurora Theatre and the Rialto Center for the Arts.
Credit Chris Bartelski

 

The universal pleasures of music are often taken for granted in contemporary American society.

But it wasn’t long ago that singular acts of courage were required to step across deep racial lines in America – including in popular music.

In 1950s Memphis, a white male disc jockey and a black female singer made those leaps in a story that’s been fashioned for the stage in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “Memphis.”

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City Lights
12:59 pm
Tue August 18, 2015

Weird Sisters Theatre Project Produces 80s-Style Teen Comedy

The cast of The Weird Sisters Theater Project’s “Hot Pink, or Ready To Blow” from left to right: Topher Payne, Gina Rickicki, Bryn Stripe, Casey Gardner, Parris Sarter and Bobby Labartino.
Credit Weird Sisters Theater Project

High school can be difficult, and it only gets harder when you bring human sacrifice into the picture.

That is basically the premise of the Weird Sisters Theatre Project's latest play, "Hot Pink, or Ready to Blow."

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Arts and Protest
10:58 am
Tue August 18, 2015

Photographer Finds His Focus In ‘Black Lives Matter’ Protest

''Black Lives Matter'' -- This image was taken at a 2014 rally in downtown Atlanta. It appeared on the cover of Creative Loafing.
Julian Plowden

The "Black Lives Matter" campaign that's arisen to protest publicized incidents of police brutality has itself changed lives, sometimes in dramatic ways.

That can certainly be said of Kennesaw State University student Julian Plowden. The 22-year-old just happened to bring his camera to the Aug. 18, 2014, rally and march in downtown Atlanta, held to protest the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The photographs he took that stormy day made waves in activist and artistic communities around the country and beyond.

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City Lights
12:30 pm
Mon August 17, 2015

Paideia Librarian Suggests Quantity Over Quality Reading

Paideia School librarian Natalie Bernstein prepares to read to a group of elementary school students on pajama day.
Credit Courtesy of Natalie Bernstein

We hear so much about the short attention spans of children and the death of the book. Some say that the archaic form of reading has been replaced by Kindles or iPads.

That’s not really the case, though.

Natalie Bernstein is elementary school librarian at Druid Hills' Paideia School  in Atlanta, Georgia. She’s preparing for the first day of school this Wednesday, and she took some time to speak with Lois Reitzes about children’s literature and how children cherish reading.

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