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Archive for February, 2013

Culture notes: High folk art curator departing after a decade; Outfit extends ‘Fly’ run two weeks

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Susan Mitchell Crawley, the High Museum of Art’s folk art curator since 2004, is resigning effective March 3.

“I am pleased by what we have been able to accomplish over the past 10 years,” Crawley wrote in an email, “and I look forward to new challenges, beginning with an exhibition for the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center next winter.”

One of Crawley’s greatest achievements was the 2009 exhibition “The Treasure of Ulysses Davis: Sculpture from a Savannah Barbershop.”

“This legacy-changing retrospective revealed that the self-taught artist was considerably more complex and sophisticated than he has been given credit for,” then-Atlanta Journal-Constitution critic Catherine Fox wrote.

Davis’ wood-carvings were featured in the seminal 1982 exhibition “Black Folk Art in America, 1930-1980” at Washington’s Corcoran Gallery of Art, but further national exposure for the work was limited. The artist rarely sold his pieces …

Continue reading Culture notes: High folk art curator departing after a decade; Outfit extends ‘Fly’ run two weeks »

Jasmine Guy chides Atlanta arts community

Actress and director Jasmine Guy took the arts community to task on several fronts at the annual Women in the Arts panel luncheon sponsored by Synchronicity Theatre at the Georgian Terrace on Wednesday.

A last-minute panel replacement for casting director Alpha Tyler, who was unable to attend, Guy said she moved to Atlanta four years ago but has grown discouraged by the dearth of work she has found here.

“My mission is to leave Atlanta so I can find work,” she said, half in jest.

Guy, who has directed and performed in productions for Theatrical Outfit and True Colors Theatre, complained about attending fundraisers so lavish that their budgets could have paid for staging multiple productions.

And she expressed frustration with fans who ask her why she doesn’t take her plays on tour – the answer is money, of course – and she encouraged arts patrons to become more knowledgeable about how the business of arts works.

“Maybe it’s because I’m black, but everybody …

Continue reading Jasmine Guy chides Atlanta arts community »

Culture notes: Jewish Film fest breaks record; Gwinnett Ballet hosts studio warm-up; Decatur Book’s ‘Literary Feast’

FILM
Jewish festival breaks attendance record

The 13th Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, which concluded last week,[cq, 2/20] drew 31,530, eclipsing its own box-office record. Atlanta’s biggest film fest is still No. 2 among Jewish film festivals nationally, coming up a bit short of the San Francisco fest’s 34,700 attendance last summer. Sixty five of the Atlanta festival’s 122 screenings were sellouts. HOWARD POUSNER

DANCE
Gwinnett Ballet prepares to compete

Gwinnett Ballet Theatre will host the Southeastern semifinals of the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix classical ballet competition in early March, bringing hundreds of young dancers, their parents and teachers to the company’s new facilities in Lawrenceville. To help ready 10 of its own dancers for the competition, GBT is hosting a studio performance at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The fund-raiser, including refreshments, is $10 at the door. 1800 Macleod Drive. 770-237-0046, www.gwinnettballet.org. HOWARD POUSNER

BOOKS
Food for …

Continue reading Culture notes: Jewish Film fest breaks record; Gwinnett Ballet hosts studio warm-up; Decatur Book’s ‘Literary Feast’ »

Culture notes: Atlanta connections for Nnenna, Philip Freelon; architect Shutze’s legacy

MUSIC
Freelons’ designs on Atlanta
Talk about a power couple. Jazz singer Nnenna Freelon, whose concert Saturday at Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts is a tribute to Lena Horne, is the wife of Philip Freelon, architect of record for the Smithsonian’s Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. His Durham, N.C.-based firm, Freelon Group, also is designing the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (along with architects HOK) planned for Centennial Park. Tickets for Nina Freelon’s 8 p.m. show, $30-$55. 404-894-9600, www.ferstcenter.org. HOWARD POUSNER

ARCHITECTURE
Shutze’s ongoing inspiration
Atlanta architect Jonathan LaCrosse will discuss the creative influence of Atlanta architect Philip Trammell Shutze in an Institute of Classical Architecture and Art-Southeast Chapter lecture, 10 a.m. Saturday at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on Emory University’s campus. Considered America’s greatest classical architect during his long career, Shutze …

Continue reading Culture notes: Atlanta connections for Nnenna, Philip Freelon; architect Shutze’s legacy »

Culture notes: Spano returning to Carnegie Hall; folk meets fine art in Commerce next weekend

CLASSICAL MUSIC
Spano planning Carnegie Hall return
Robert Spano, who led the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall last October, will return to the New York music center twice in March.

Spano is set to conduct Osvaldo Golijov’s La Pasión según San Marcos (St. Mark Passion), a piece that draws on the sounds of Latin America, on March 10. The performance will feature soprano Jessica Rivera, jazz vocalist Luciana Souza, members of Schola Cantorum de Venezuela and New York high school singers.

Then on March 19 in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, Spano will join the Ensemble ACJW in partnership with the New York City Department of Education to present Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles. He will lead the 12-movement work with featured pianist Juho Pohjonen; Laura Weiner, horn; Ian Sullivan, xylorimba; and Jared Soldiviero, glockenspiel.

Details: www.robertspanomusic.com.

But first the maestro conducts the ASO in Bach’s Mass in B minor, Feb. 28 and March 1, both in …

Continue reading Culture notes: Spano returning to Carnegie Hall; folk meets fine art in Commerce next weekend »

Culture notes: Woodruff Arts Center raises $5.5 million in ongoing Annual Campaign; more gallery scene changes; Puppetry Center ‘Passport’

After four and a half months of fund-raising, the Woodruff Arts Center’s Annual Campaign is more than halfway to its $9.2 million goal.

The Woodruff has raised $5.5 million in the campaign that continues through May. It met its $9 million goal last year with an 11th hour push.

The Coca-Cola Company and Georgia Power Foundation have made top donations of $500,000 each, with UPS committing $300,000.

Givers at the $250,000-plus level so far are the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and Cox Interests (including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, James M. Cox Foundation, Cox Radio Group Atlanta, WSB-TV and Anne Cox Chambers).

AT&T, the Rich Foundation and SunTrust Bank & Trusteed Foundations have donated at the $150,000-plus level.

Alston and Bird, Bank of America, the Marcus Foundation, PwC, Turner Broadcasting System and the David, Helen & Marian Woodward Fund have committed at the $100,000-plus level.

The Annual Campaign is a key part of the $35 million raised annually …

Continue reading Culture notes: Woodruff Arts Center raises $5.5 million in ongoing Annual Campaign; more gallery scene changes; Puppetry Center ‘Passport’ »

Culture notes: Horizon Theatre announces ‘13 season; Atlanta Baroque plays ‘Amersterdam’ program

ARTS
Catching up on season announcements

Horizon Theatre recently announced its 2013 season, which already had kicked off with an encore of the comedy hit “The Waffle Palace” (through March 17).

The remainder of the lineup: Karen Zacarias’ comedy “The Book Club Play” (May 17-June 23), Marcus Gardley’s fantastical whodunit “Every Tongue Confess” (July 12-Aug. 18) and “Third Country,” Atlanta playwright Suehyla El-Attar’s new work inspired by refugee resettlement in Clarkston (fall 2013). www.horizontheatre.com.

In case you missed them, here are some other recently announced 2013-14 lineups …

  • The Atlanta Opera: Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca” (Oct. 5-13), Charles Gounod’s “Faust” (March 8-16, 2014) and Gioachino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville: (April 26-May 4, 2014). www.atlantaopera.org.
  • Broadway in Atlanta: “Ghost” (Nov. 5-10), “The Book of Mormon” (Jan. 28-Feb. 9, 2014), “Once,” (March 4-9, 2014), “The Lion King” (April …

Continue reading Culture notes: Horizon Theatre announces ‘13 season; Atlanta Baroque plays ‘Amersterdam’ program »

‘Mud,’ ‘Spectacular Now’ among Atlanta Film Festival highlights

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

This week, the Atlanta Film Festival made opening and closing film announcements for the March 15-24 fest, with tickets expected to go on sale soon. Four other fest bookings already are on sale.

  • “Mud,” an Arkansas-filmed drama starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, will be the opening night feature on March 15. Actor Ray McKinnon will be in attendance at the Plaza Theatre screening. Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, the Mark Twain-inspired drama, about teens who help a fugitive (McConaughey) evade bounty hunters, received positive notices at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals.
  • “The Spectacular Now,” directed by Athens native James Ponsoldt (”Smashed”), will close the fest on March 23, also at the Plaza. (March 24 is dedicated to encore showings.) It stars Miles Teller (”Rabbit Hole”) as a charmer with a drinking issue who catches bookish Shailene Woodley (”The Descendants”) on the rebound. After a Sundance showing, …

Continue reading ‘Mud,’ ‘Spectacular Now’ among Atlanta Film Festival highlights »

Culture notes: Theatrical Outfit pays off mortgage; Ga. Shakespeare tops $1 million; MODA picks new leader

THEATER
In a dramatic conclusion and new beginning, Theatrical Outfit pays off mortgage
Theatrical Outfit, the Atlanta troupe that marked its 35th anniversary last year, recently held a note-burning ceremony to celebrate paying off the mortgage on its home since 2004, the Balzer Theatre at Herren’s.

Retiring the $1.2 million mortgage makes Theatrical Outfit one of the few metro Atlanta professional theaters to own its own home. Artistic director Tom Key called it a “testament of perseverance.”

The historic downtown storefront was the home to Herren’s Restaurant from 1934 until 1987. Herren’s was the first white linen restaurant in Atlanta to voluntarily desegregate. The first African-American couple to dine there, Dr. Lee and Delores Shelton, are Theatrical Outfit season subscribers.

The theater company renovated it with energy efficiency in mind, and it became the first LEED-certified theater in the U.S.

“This brings a nearly 10-year journey to an end and begins a …

Continue reading Culture notes: Theatrical Outfit pays off mortgage; Ga. Shakespeare tops $1 million; MODA picks new leader »

Culture notes: Tyson to play Fox; Arts Health Day; Art Papers auction; Ludwig Symphony in Valentine mood

THEATER
Tyson to go a round at Fox
“Mike  Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” the one-man Broadway monologue that the controversial ex-boxer has described as a “rollercoaster of emotions,” is headed out on a 10-week tour that brings it to Atlanta and the Fox Theatre at 8 p.m. April 20. Directed by Spike Lee, the show was announced Tuesday, and tickets, $57.15-$142.50 (including fees), already are on sale via 1-855-285-8499, www.FoxAtlTix.com. HOWARD POUSNER 

ARTS
The art of staying healthy
At a time when many Americans can’t afford health insurance, individual artists are particularly vulnerable. That’s the impetus behind an Arts Health Day program being offered for free from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Little Five Points Community Center. Presented by C4 Atlanta, Alternate Roots and WonderRoot, it will include a keynote talk by Jim Brown of the Actor’s Fund on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, panel discussions, yoga and tai chi demonstrations and a health …

Continue reading Culture notes: Tyson to play Fox; Arts Health Day; Art Papers auction; Ludwig Symphony in Valentine mood »