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Archive for October, 2010

Marietta’s Georgia Ballet gets new board chairwoman

By Howard Pousner

Patti Pearlberg, vice president of asset management for Atlanta-based Coro Realty Advisors LLC, was recently named board chairwoman of the 50-year-old Georgia Ballet.

Pearlberg, a ballet board member since 2007 and wife of Marietta City councilman Van Pearlberg, assumes the role from Marietta attorney-filmmaker Sam Hensley Jr., son of the Marietta-based troupe’s founder, Iris Hensley.

“It has been a privilege to serve as chairman these past six years,” Sam Hensley said. “My mother would be thrilled to see the heights to which this organization has soared.”

The Georgia Ballet purchased a 13,500-square-foot rehearsal and teaching facility on North Cobb Parkway in Marietta in 2004. It reaches more than 25,000 people with its programs annually.

“I am very excited about the challenge of taking the Georgia Ballet into the next decade,” Patti Pearlberg said. “As public schools and institutions cut back on their arts programs, it becomes more crucial …

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Hepner appointed interim leader at Young Audiences

By Howard Pousner

Virginia Hepner, who has in recent years served as interim leader of Atlanta Ballet and Brand Atlanta, has been named interim executive director of Young Audiences, Woodruff Arts Center, an organization that takes arts to Georgia students from pre-school to high school.

Hepner temporarily replaces Tony Kimbrell, who directed Georgia’s leading provider of arts-in-education programming for a decade, including when it became one of four Woodruff divisions in 2005.

Kimbrell, whose last day was Oct. 6, left to “pursue other opportunties,” according to a Woodruff spokesperson. 

 A former Wachovia executive, Hepner has been active on the boards of numerous cultural institutions in recent years and helped organize the statewide grassroots effort led by the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition’s to add a sales tax for the arts in Georgia during the last legislative session.   

The Woodruff Arts Center division is one of 31 national …

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Family fun this weekend: rumbling machines at Tellus, free arts at Woodruff

By Howard Pousner

Here are two events this weekend to keep the family entertained …

  • The rumble you hear from up Cartersville way (an hour north of I-285 on I-75) is the Tellus Science Museum preparing for Saturday’s (10/9) Heavy Metal in Motion event. Construction equipment, a Hazmat truck, fire trucks, vintage cars, motorcycles, a helicopter, drill rigs, tow truck and a Komatsu dump truck used in Nevada gold mines will be on view, and there will be a planetarium show ($3 extra) that gives kids of all ages the sensation of riding multiple rollercoasters. Children can make paper helicopters and straw rockets, and attend talks about cars (1 p.m.) and vehicles used in geological exploration (2 p.m.). 10 a.m.-5 p.m.  Free with Tellus admission ($12 adults, $8 children, $10 seniors). 100 Tellus Drive (exit 293 off I-75), Cartersville. 770-606-5700,
  • The third annual Target Free Family Day at the Woodruff Arts Center on Sunday (Oct. 10) is a …

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Drive-By Truckers joining ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’ at Fox on Oct. 23

By Howard Pousner

Athens’ Drive-By Truckers will play the Buckhead Theatre on Saturday night (10/9), but from a kids’ perspective, a bigger local gig has just been announced: The Southern rock band will appear during the Super Music Friend segment of “Yo Gabba Gabba Live: There’s a Party in My City” at 2 and 5 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Fox Theatre.

Atlantan Zac Brown was announced earlier as the Super Music Friend for performances on Oct. 24, joining DJ Lance Rock, beat box ace Biz Markie and the rest of the Nick Jr. children’s show cast.

Tickets: 1-800-845-3000, or Fox box office.

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At Castleberry on Friday, art and book that chronicle re-enslavement

By Howard Pousner

Among the highlights of Castleberry Hill’s monthly Art Stroll downtown on Friday (10/8) are a book and art exhibit that have been paired in programs at Savannah’s Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington.

The Castleberry Point lofts will present Atlanta author Doug Blackmon, whose “Slavery by Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II” won a 2009 Pulitzer Prize, and former Atlantan Robert Morris, whose multi-media pieces depict re-enslavement.

Wine tasting at Wine Shoe at 6 p.m. ($10); book-singing and art opening at 7 p.m. (free). 327 Nelson St., Atlanta. 404-688-9900,

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Stone Mountain village to dedicate first public art on Friday

By Howard Pousner

The city of Stone Mountain will dedicate its first piece of public art at 3 p.m. Oct. 8, and not surprisingly Decatur artist John Thigpen’s sculpture was inspired by the nearby oversized granite outcropping that gives the town its name.

Commissioned by Main Street Stone Mountain Inc. and part of a large streetscape improvement project, “Granite Workers” features silhouetted figures cut from Cor-Ten steel, evoking the men who first quarried granite from Stone Mountain, with blocks of stone tumbled beneath them.

The Main Street ceremony is open to the public, as are six recently opened artist studios in the downtown village.

“We are thrilled to dedicate the first public art in the village,” said Stone Mountain mayor Pat Wheeler. “Public art enlivens public spaces, tells a community’s history and can become a focal point. We hope to add more pieces in the future.”

For more information: call ART Station,  770-469-1105.

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Hudgens leader: Arts center will bounce back from shortfall

By Howard Pousner

After launching a campaign to raise $30,000 in 30 days to address an emergency cash shortfall, leaders of the Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for the Arts say they believe the drive will be successful and that the future still holds promise for Gwinnett County’s largest arts center.

The campaign launched last Friday marks the first time the private, non-profit Hudgens Center, which operates on a $400,000 annual budget, has had to turn to the public for rescue funds since it opened in 1993.

Teresa Osborn, executive director of the Duluth arts center, said the shortfall was the result of cuts in support from long-term donors (individual, corporate and foundation) and an inability to meet boosted earned income projections from classes, camps and rentals.

“We have been tracking this trend and [its] effect for some time,” she said of the drop in donations amid a weak economy. To counter the cuts, “We have rebranded the …

Continue reading Hudgens leader: Arts center will bounce back from shortfall »

Gwinnett’s Hudgens Arts Center faces emergency cash shortfall

By Howard Pousner

Late Friday evening, the Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for the Arts’ board chairman sent out an e-mail to supporters that dropped a bomb: Gwinnett’s biggest arts center is facing an “emergency” cash shortfall and needs to raise $30,000 in 30 days.

Stan Hall’s letter notes, “The biggest need the Hudgens faces today is an immediate influx of cash to sustain the organization at its present level while the acquisition of long-term funding can be achieved.”

The letter does not specify what led to the shortfall at the nonprofit, saying obliquely, “Under normal circumstances, the Hudgens would be in great shape … but these aren’t normal times.”

The Hudgens Center (formerly the Gwinnett Arts Council) dates to 1981. It moved into a newly constructed facility in 1993, a 14,000-square- foot building adjoined by the 28,000-square-foot Al Weeks Sculpture Garden. In 2000, 20,000 square feet of galleries, classrooms and performance space was added.

The …

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Avondale artist Bart Webb holding rent party Saturday

By Howard Pousner
Sculptor Bart Webb is hosting an “S.O.S. Shindig” — as in Save Our Studios — starting at 7 Saturday night (10/2) at his studio in Avondale Estates’ Rail Arts District.
Despite having regular exhibits and shows around the metro area, Webb, organizer of Avondale’s summer Art-B-Que festival, acknowledges that times are tough. Proceeds from tonight’s shindig ($5), including muisc and burlesque, will help various Avondale artists pay rent.
2846 Franklin St. 404-299-5556.

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Ruth Mitchell Dance opens season with ‘evolve’

By Howard Pousner

Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre opens its 54th season at 7:30 Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 2-3) at the Cobb Civic Center, and the long-time troupe is making a point by titling the program “evolve.”

Pieces to be performed include Kennesaw State University Dance Company giving a preview of Bill T. Jones’ “D-Man in the Waters,” a dance examining race, faith and political issues that the KSU troupe will include in its own November program; a hip-hop piece by choreographed Whitney Willis; and a new dance by Alexis Viator of Philadelphia’s Koresh Dance Company.


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