Now for something completely different.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Georgia Humanities Council have announced that they will present the Georgia Roots Music Festival on Jan. 18, a free day of concerts, discussions, exhibits and a chance to meet musicians from around the state.
Among artists presenting or playing at the noon to 6:30 p.m. event at the Woodruff Arts Center will be Chuck Leavell, members of the ASO, McIntosh County Shouters, Skillet Lickers, Mudcat, Thomas Dorsey Birthplace Choir and Albany Civil Rights Institute Freedom Singers.
The festival is timed to the opening of a Smithsonian Institution touring exhibit, “New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music,” in the Memorial Arts Building’s 1280 Gallery. Including displays and interactive features that explore early traditions of American music, the exhibit will be on view Jan. 18 through Feb. 2. It’s the final stop of an 18-month tour across the state.
To help art lovers digest all that turkey and dressing and to complement its current exhibit “Go West: Art of the American Frontier From the Buffalo Bill Center of the West,” the High Museum of Art will host an “Arts & Rec” event from noon to 5 p.m. Friday.
The Homestead Atlanta, a group that promotes heritage practices and sustainable-living approaches, will present artists, crafters, other makers and survivalists demonstrating skills such as canning, metalsmithing, hide tanning and yarn spinning. Admission will be waived for ages 17 and under Friday.
Extended hours over the holiday weekend: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-733-4200, www.high.org. HOWARD POUSNER
Ebony magazine names Atlantan to Power 100
Joining President Obama and Oprah Winfrey among other notables, Atlanta Music Project co-founder and executive director Dantes Rameau has been selected for Ebony’s Power 100.
Leading a nonprofit that provides intensive music training to underserved youth, Rameau and the other “game-changers” are featured in the magazine’s December/January issue. He is included in the Community Crusaders category.
Rameau said the call from Johnson Publishing CEO (and former White House social secretary) Desiree Rogers took him by surprise and he didn’t fully believe it until an invitation to a New York gala feting the honorees arrived in the mail.
“It’s fantastic that a major national publication recognizes the impact that an organization such as the Atlanta Music Project is having on our youth and communities,” Rameau said.
To check out the Power 100: www.ebony.com. HOWARD POUSNER
Dashboard Co-op announces 2014 artist
The High Museum of Art announced Tuesday that it will exhibit a retrospective of Cuban-born American photographer Abelardo Morell in 2014.
Organized by the Art Institute of Chicago in association with the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the High, “The Universe Next Door” will be presented Feb. 23 to May 18 and will include new works commissioned by the High as part of its ongoing “Picturing the South” initiative.
Morell is a master of the camera obscura technique, which transforms rooms into giant cameras, projecting the outside world into an interior space where he records the juxtaposition. The photographer plans to turn the lobby of the Anne Cox Chambers Wing into a camera obscura, so that guests will walk into a Morell creation. www.high.org.
Chris Kayser, who has played Scrooge for 16 of his last 20 seasons in the Alliance Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol,” plans to make this year’s production his final one in the demanding role.
“After this year, it’s time to pass on the role of Scrooge to someone else,” Kayser said in an Alliance release. “Given the deep, rich talent pool in Atlanta and the sure hand of (director) Rosemary Newcott, I’m confident that the project will go on re-energized and better than ever.”
The 60-something actor, who has rarely missed a performance in a nearly three and a half decade career, is likely to return to “Carol” in a different role.
This year’s run is Nov. 29 through Dec. 29. 404-733-5000, www.alliancetheatre.org/christmas. HOWARD POUSNER
Here’s a 2010 interview with Kayser about the rigors of the role of Scrooge:
‘I can outlast them’
Chris Kayser has amazing record of ‘Carol’ performances.
Even recent injury doesn’t sideline him.
By Howard Pousner /
By Howard Pousner / email@example.com
Del Hamilton and Faye Allen, who founded 7 Stages theater in 1979, will be honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards at Monday night’s Suzi Bass Awards, Atlanta’s version of the Tonys.
Among metro theater leaders endorsing the duo for the honor, director Kenny Leon wrote: “Their productions have reminded us that the world is a better place when everyone’s story is told. They represent the soul of the Atlanta arts scene.”
Additionally, this year’s Suzi ceremony will again bestow the Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award, recognizing a new play by a local playwright (given a production during the previous season). Thirteen productions were nominated this year, a record:
Work commissioned by Atlantan to premiere
When Frank Thomas heard a piece by Tarik O’Regan on the radio three years ago, the impressed Atlanta attorney had to pull to the I-85 shoulder to scribble the composer’s name.
In an unlikely chain of events, Thomas got in touch with the London-born O’Regan, who resides in New York and Cambridge, England, and commissioned him to create a choral work honoring Ray and Beth Chenault, choirmasters and organists at All Saints’ Episcopal Church.
And so O’Regan’s “Blessed Are They” will be given its world premiere during All Saints’ Holy Eucharist services at 9 and 11:15 a.m. Sunday (open to the public). The composer will attend, and Ray Chenault will conduct the accompanying string quartet.
634 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-881-0835, www.allsaintsatlanta.org. HOWARD POUSNER
Ludwig Symphony launches 17th year
The Ludwig Symphony Orchestra opens its 17th season with “An International Festival Concert” at 4
By Howard Pousner / firstname.lastname@example.org
Two Georgia arts advocacy organizations, ArtsGeorgia and the Georgia Arts Network, have jointly drafted a declaration encouraging support of an increase in state funding for the arts for fiscal year 2015.
The document notes that the Georgia Council for the Arts’ budget has been cut from $4 million in 2008 to $586,466 today, placing the state at the bottom nationally in per capita arts support.
Here’s the full text of the declaration:
CALL FOR AN INCREASE IN STATE ARTS FUNDING
The Georgia Council for the Arts budget was severely cut in 2008 from $4 Million Dollars to its current level of $586,466. This has resulted in a significant reduction in the available programs and services that the GCA is able to deliver to the arts industry in Georgia. The current budget profoundly limits the grants program, leaving some of Georgia’s valuable arts organizations without well-deserved and much-needed support. It caused Georgia to be ranked 50th in
“Imaginary Worlds: Plants Larger Than Life,” the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s hit exhibit, ends on Thursday. But the 25-foot-tall Earth Goddess sculpture will remain a long-term fixture in the garden.
With thousands of tiny lights replacing plants, she will be transformed during the seasonal light show “Garden Lights, Holiday Nights” (opening Nov. 16 through Jan. 4) into Ice Goddess.
The two giant “Imaginary Worlds” cobras similarly will morph into Candy Cane Cobras.
More than 162,000 guests visited “Imaginary Worlds” from May through September, doubling attendance over the same period last year, according to a garden spokesperson. Meanwhile, membership has increased 30 percent, to more than 25,000 households. HOWARD POUSNER
By Howard Pousner
Having gotten good mileage out of an exhibition of custom-designed, limited-edition automobiles in 2010, the High Museum of Art is getting back in the car business.
It announced Thursday that it will mount an exhibit of 19 concept cars from the 1930s to the 21st century in “Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas,” on view from May 22 through Sept. 7, 2014.
The show will pair the futuristic cars from Europe and the U.S. with conceptual drawings, patents and scale models. The thrust of the exhibit is to show how experimental design oiled the gears of progress, elevating the automobile from a functional object to a symbol of future possibilities.
Concept cars typically are not limited by marketplace considerations. They are created as showcases of innovative design and styling and as opportunities to experiment with new technology.
“Dream Car” star attractions will include: