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Archive for April, 2011

High Museum names new decorative arts and deisgn curator

VISUAL ART
New High curator
Sarah Schleuning , a curator at the Wolfsonian Museum at Miami’s Florida International University, is the High Museum of Art’s new curator of decorative arts and design. Starting in mid-May,Schleuning will be responsible for the High’s collection of more than 2,250 works, including the Virginia Carroll Crawford Collection of American Decorative Art and the Frances and EmoryCocke Collection of English Ceramics. Recent High acquisitions have focused on design from the 20th and 21st centuries, to be showcased starting June 4 in conjunction with “Modern by Design,” an exhibit drawn from the Museum of Modern Art’s collection. HOWARD POUSNER

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Halle Berry out of Kenny Leon-directed ‘Mountaintop’

Halle Berry won’t be joining Samuel L. Jackson and Atlanta director Kenny Leon on Broadway after all. Producers of “The Mountaintop” said Thursday that the actress could not take part in the play about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. because of “child custody issues.” Performances on Broadway will begin Sept. 22 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on 45th Street. The official opening is set for Oct. 13.

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Shake at the Lake delayed; show may go on in fall

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Shake at the Lake, the free outdoor stagings in Piedmont Park that have been a rite of spring for many Atlanta theater lovers, will not be presented in May as usual due to lack of funding. But organizers are still hopeful that the shows will go on later this year.

“It has become clear over the last month that we will not be able to secure the full funding needed” for a spring presentation, Georgia Shakespeare producing artistic director Richard Garner said in a statement. “While we are saddened that the event will not happen in this time slot, we are working with Piedmont Park Conservatory to find an alternative date for the fall.”

The troupe has $50,000 pledged by two entities toward the $125,000 needed to present the free productions.

Popular since their launch in 2004, the performances overlooking Lake Clara Meer returned last year after being canceled in 2009 due to a lack of sponsorship.

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Ga. arts council move approved; sales tax for arts rejected by House

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Two aspects of an arts bill met different fates late on Thursday, the final day of the 2011 Georgia legislative session.

A proposal to let local communities vote themselves a fractional sales tax for economic development projects, which would have provided funding to arts and cultural groups, was removed from a bill that cleared the House. Thus, the fractional arts tax push died on the legislature’s last day for the second year in a row.

What survived in House Bill 264 was a move, backed by Gov. Nathan Deal, of the Georgia Council for the Arts from its current home in the state budget office to under the umbrella of the state Department of Economic Development.

A Senate amendment had added language from House Bill 73 that would let counties and cities hold a referendum on dedicating up to 1 cent of sales tax for any economic development project. Supporters claimed the measure would boost the arts and local government services, but only if …

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Culture notes: Leon, Guy cast in ‘Fool for Love’; AMC Stonecrest to open metro’s 6th Imax

THEATER
Leon, Guy in ‘Love’
Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company has made a late casting change for “Fool for Love,” opening May 13 for a four-week run at Balzer Theater at Herren’s downtown, but the troupe is hardly bringing in the B-team. Leon himself and Jasmine Guy will star in Sam Shepard’s intense relationship drama directed by Todd Kreidler. Because of his busy directing schedule, including a Broadway run of “The Mountaintop” with Samuel L. Jackson and Halle Berry later this year, Leon’s acting turns are increasingly rare. www.truecolorstheatre.org/foolforlove. HOWARD POUSNER

MOVIES
Stonecrest gets Imax
Metro Atlanta will claim its sixth Imax screen when the AMC Stonecrest 16 in Lithonia opens one on April 29 with “Fast Five: The Imax Experience.” Imax conversions have been on the rise as Hollywood continues to digitally remaster major releases — such as the upcoming “Thor” (May 6), “Cars 2″ (June 24) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ (July 15) — …

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Culture notes: Comedies, musicals on Georgia Ensemble’s 2011-12 slate

THEATER
Roswell troupe’s season

Georgia Ensemble Theatre in Roswell has announced a 2011-12 season emphasizing comedies and musicals, opening Sept. 1 with movie star Jeff Daniels’s “Panhandle Slim and the Oklahoma Kid.” Also in GET’s 19th season: Tajlei Levis’s “Glimpses of the Moon” (music by John Mercurio), Steven Dietz’s “Becky’s New Car,” Larry Shue’s “The Foreigner” and “Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Musical Show” (conceived by William Meade, created by Richard Maltby Jr.). Subscriptions are available via 770-641-1260 or www.get.org. HOWARD POUSNER

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Culture notes: New exhibits, Cuban music at Rialto, Actor’s Express digs out

VISUAL ART
Creative process revealed
A new exhibit at the Atlanta-Fulton Central Library downtown provides a rare glimpse at the art-making process. “From Conception: Art in Process,” by the Atlanta collective pARTicular Women Artists, tracks works as they evolve from original idea to sketch to working drawings to finished product. Incorporating diaries, journals, rough drafts, thumbnail sketches and other materials, the free show continues through April 30. Reception: 6-8 Thursday[4/7] as part of downtown’s First Thursdays Art Walk. 1 Margaret Mitchell Square, Atlanta. 404-730-1700. HOWARD POUSNER

VISUAL ART
Civil war to space

Artist-illustrator Mort Künstler, whose Civil War paintings and drawings are receiving a just-opened major retrospective at Cartersville’s Booth Western Art Museum, is also the subject of a smaller show of Space Shuttle images at Booth’s sister institution, Tellus Science Museum. The New York artist will give a public talk at 7 p.m. …

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High Museum-MOCA GA partner in exhibit

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Criticized by some for striking partnerships with world-class museums such as the Louvre and MoMA while stinting on attention to Atlanta’s maturing visual arts scene, the High Museum of Art announced Friday that it will mount an exhibition from the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia’s (MOCA GA) permanent collection this fall.

On view from Sept. 2 to Feb. 5, 2012, the High exhibition will comprise approximately 40 paintings and drawing by Georgia artists created between 1960 and 2010 from the holdings of the Buckhead visual arts nonprofit.

“I look forward to providing a platform for the presentation of work by Georgia artists in the broader context of the High Museum’s modern and contemporary collections,” High curator of modern and contemporary art Michael Rooks said in a statement.

Rooks is working with MOCA GA president and CEO Annette Cone-Skelton on the exhibit. The collaboration gained traction last September, when the High …

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Alliance Theatre hosting free panel Sunday on “August: Osage County”

THEATER
Family’s dramatic flair
Atlantans can go behind the scenes of the Alliance Theatre’s next production, “August: Osage County,” Tracy Letts’s tragicomedy of family dysfunction, at a free panel discussion at 6 p.m. Sunday involving Alliance artistic director Susan V. Booth, production designers and the cast. Reservations must be made in advance (limit of two general admission seats) by calling 404-733-5000. Mention the panel discussion and get a $10 ticket to the 7:30 p.m. Hertz Stage performance of “Spoon Lake Blues.” “August” begins previews April 13. 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. HOWARD POUSNER

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Full slate: 35th Atlanta Film Festival, April 28-May 7

The 35th Atlanta Film Festival will open with Azazel Jacobs’s “Terri,” a delicate high school-set coming-of-age comedy starring John C. Reilly as a vice principal who helps an overweight boy embrace his outsiderness, and will include several world premieres among its slate of more than 125 films that will be screened April 28-May 7.

Other ATLFF highlights include the fest-closing “Africa United” from Debs Gardner-Paterson, a road movie through places where there aren’t always roads, following a trio of soccer-mad Rwandan kids on a high-spirited, seven-country, 3,000-mile walk to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

As usual, the fest will include a wide array of narratives, documentaries, shorts and international films, with more than 100 filmmakers and industry professionals expected to appear at screenings. The titles, unspooling at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, the Plaza Theatre and Lefont Sandy Springs, were selected from more than 1,500 submissions.

Also on the …

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