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Culture notes: $10,000 in Idea Capital grants fund experimentation; ‘Ghost Brothers’ summer tour in works

Grants to support experimentation
Idea Capital, an Atlanta independent arts funding group with the mission of supporting risk-taking performance and visual art in the metro area, considered 106 entries before it selected 10 artists and collaborative teams for its sixth annual round of grants. The 10 who will share in a total of $10,000 in grants include:

  • Aubrey Longley-Cook: Combining embroidery and animation, she will document Atlanta drag queens.
  • Elise Witt: Preceeded with opportunities for vocal workshops, Witt’s “Improv Flash Mob” will bring impromptu, “pop up” singing to unexpected locations around the city from Lenox Mall to Little Five Points.
  • Helen Hale: The Atlanta dancer-choreographer will create a theatrical dance performance examining human rituals and everyday behaviors.
  • Marcia Vaitsman and Seana Reilly: A large-scale installation, “Heisenberg Boulevard,” will focus on the chaos and explosive energy of natural phenomena including volcanoes, tsunamis, geysers and tornadoes. They are also recipients of Idea Capital’s first travel grant.
  • Melanie Hammet: In “Life Sentence: A Series of Listen-Ins,” a series of performances in living rooms throughout the metro Atlanta area, the artist will incorporate music and narrative to tell the story of an imprisoned man exonerated through the Georgia Innocence Project.
  • Mike Black: His PVC pipe installations will be installed clandestinely on abandoned buildings throughout the city.
  • Rachel and Trevor Reese: Their free publication Possible Press is composed of writing by emerging and mid-career artists that allows them to express themselves in a different arena.
  • Sheila Pree Bright: The public art photography project “1960 What 1960 Who?” will document contributions of ordinary Americans in creating the civil rights movement.
  • Tricia Hersey: In Atlanta neighborhoods plagued by poverty and unemployment, guerrilla performance artist Hersey will engage passersby, offering them a bullhorn and the opportunity for catharsis through poetry.

More information: HOWARD POUSNER

‘Ghost Brothers’ to receive reworking for summer tour
Since its spring 2012 debut at the Alliance Theatre, “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County” has gone through significant rewriting and restructuring, including a fall workshop in New York with actors Bruce Greenwood, Joe Morton, Emily Skinner and the original quartet of brothers from the Atlanta production.

Susan V. Booth, artistic director at the Alliance who continues to work with show creators John Mellencamp and Stephen King and show musical director T Bone Burnett, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “What we learned and have leaned into is that this work only succeeds if it commits to being something unique unto itself — that its strength lies in being purposefully contrarian.”

Up next for the dark-themed musical will be a soundtrack release this spring and then a summer tour of the piece staged as a live radio play and produced in a concert tour model.

“I continue to be blown away by how present, committed and collaborative all three of the gents are on this project,” Booth said. “They have so many other irons in so many other fires and yet have continued rolling up their sleeves and doing the work of finding just the right rhythms and worlds for this story to inhabit.” MELISSA RUGGIERI

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