Arts

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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City Lights
1:20 pm
Fri August 14, 2015

Atlanta Animators Launch Superhero Web Comic Series

From left to right, Carrie Tupper, Alan Tupper and Havana Nguyen, are the creators of the Kamikaze web comic.
Credit Brittany Wages / brittanywages.com

 

In the dystopian future, there’s not much food to eat after a pandemic destroys most plant life.

That’s the setting for a new weekly web comic series begun in July by a trio of Atlanta animators.

On “City Lights,” Carrie and Alan Tupper (a married couple) and Havana Nguyen, their associate at Kamikaze Animation, explained the story and how the series, simply named “Kamikaze,” made it to this stage.

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City Lights
6:07 pm
Thu August 13, 2015

Atlanta Fashion Fair Event Emphasizes Intrinsic Beauty

From left, Former Ebony Fashion Fair models and FLAIR members Princess Filmz, Pearl Fils-Aime and host Karyn Greer.
Credit Diane Larche' / FLAIR

 

For 50 years, the Ebony Fashion Fair traveled around the United States, encouraging young African-Americans to set high standards for themselves that went far beyond their wardrobes.

The last fair took place in 2009, and co-founder Eunice Johhnson died the following year.

But two Atlanta women, who were once Ebony magazine models, are taking part in a continuation of that tradition.

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City Lights
4:46 pm
Thu August 13, 2015

Atlanta Symphony Ended 2014-15 Season With A Surplus

The 2014-15 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra season started with a lockout, but it ended with a surplus.
Credit Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra ended its 2014-15 season with a surplus in revenue, the first time it's done so in over a decade. 

An exact amount has not been disclosed yet, ASO said.

But the ASO musicians were awarded their bonuses last week. The successful awarding of bonuses, however, was in part due to the fact that musicians were not paid during the lockout last year, which delayed the season opener from Sept. 25 to Nov. 13.  

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City Lights
2:46 pm
Thu August 13, 2015

Atlanta’s Landmark Cinema To Show Acclaimed ‘Apu Trilogy’

Soumitra Chatterjee as Apu and Sharmila Tagore as Aparna (Apu's wife) in the film, "Apur Sansar," part of the Apu film trilogy by Bengali director Satyajit Ray.
Credit Janus Films / janusfilms.com

 

One of the most lauded film trilogies of all time is coming to Atlanta, but only for a brief time.

For one week only starting on Friday, the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema will show “Pather Panchali,” “Aparajito” and “Apur Sansar,” which together make up the late Bengali director Satyajit Ray’s “Apu Trilogy.”

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City Lights
5:14 pm
Wed August 12, 2015

Georgia Book Lists ‘As Diverse As The Landscape We Live In’

Flannery O'Connor's “A Prayer Journal” is one of the “Books All Georgians Should Read.”
Credit andalusiafarm.org

 

Georgia’s literary heritage is undisputable, claiming everyone from Flannery O’Connor to W.E.B. DuBois.

The Georgia Center for the Book, located at the main branch of the DeKalb County Public Library, recently released its annual lists for children and adults, “Books All Georgians Should Read.”

This year's list for adults includes O’Connor’s “A Prayer Journal,” Toni Cade Bambara’s “Those Bones Are Not My Child,” and “Breaking Ground: My Life in Medicine,” a memoir by Dr. Louis Sullivan, chairman of Public Broadcasting Atlanta's Board of Directors.

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Arts
4:09 pm
Wed August 12, 2015

Boy George Reunites With Culture Club, Reminisces On The 80s

For the first time in 14 years, the original members of Culture Club are reuniting and touring.
Credit Courtesy Dean Stockings

The popular British band Culture Club was formed in 1981 and consisted of four band mates, including Boy George (lead vocals), Roy Hay (guitar and keyboards), Mikey Craig (bass guitar) and Jon Moss (drums and percussion). The group took the world by storm with several international hits, including “Karma Chameleon,” “I Just Wanna Be Loved,” and “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?”

Now, for the first time in 14 years, the original members of Culture Club are reuniting and touring.

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City Lights
12:00 pm
Wed August 12, 2015

Tackling Writer’s Block And A 'Slimy Clay' First Draft

Ernest Hemingway, a Nobel Prize-winning novelist, didn't mince words about the mucky process of starting a new work.
Credit AP Photo File

 

Does a writer push through with brute force or wait for the muse?

When Decatur author Joshilyn Jackson got stuck on Chapter 5 of her novel-in-progress, she knew which approach to take.

On “City Lights,” she continues her “Writer to Reader” series with a contemplation of writer’s block, which she says is a myth, and confesses that “I hate writing. I love having written.”

That line is attributed to Dorothy Parker, and it was Ernest Hemingway who bluntly pointed out that “the first draft of anything is s***.”

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City Lights
11:22 am
Wed August 12, 2015

Atlanta Symphony Offers Classes For Musicians At All Levels

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra offers beginning to advanced group music classes to all ages.
Credit Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Is it ever too late to start learning how to play an instrument? Not according to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

ASO violinist Judith Cox heads up its Community Music School. Started in 2013, the program is designed for people at any age and at all levels of musicianship to learn how to play a string instrument.  

“I think we all have that desire, no matter what our age is, to learn,” Cox said. “I feel that in the learning process, you are always going to be following your joy.”

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City Lights
12:01 pm
Tue August 11, 2015

Atlanta Filmmaker Tackles LGBT Homelessness, Religion

In Kent Igleheart's short film ''Unconditional,'' an LGBT youth is kicked out of his home and navigates faith-based homeless shelters.
Credit Kent Igleheart

Kent Igleheart is an Atlanta actor, but now he’s taking his turn behind the camera in his first short film called “Unconditional.”

The film focuses on the very real problem of LGBT youths and homelessness.

Igleheart got the idea for the film after he heard an NPR story. “They had done a story on homeless kids in New York City, and it turned out that 40 percent are LGBT,” he said. After doing some research, he found that in the South about 50 percent of homeless kids are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. 

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