City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Archive for the ‘Atlanta’ Category

Inside Access comes to a close, but our Atlanta events coverage lives on

It’s been a wild time on this blog, but for now, I’m hopping over to the AJC features department to cover some attractions, write stories, take pictures and help out the newsroom in different ways.

This is totally not an April Fools’ Day prank — we’re shutting down the Inside Access blog. You’ll still be able to find the archives online, and the Weekend To Do Lists will continue, but as of next week, they’ll appear on the Best of the Big A blog.  We’ll continue to post Know Before You Go info, too! That will show up on before big events around town.

The Twitter account has a new name: @ajcATLevents. A few of us will work together to provide similar types of info and answer your questions. (There are still actual humans on the other end of it! Be our friend!) You can also follow @AJCbestofbiga on Twitter and @ajcATLarts, too.

Thanks for reading, and as always, have fun!

Jamie G.

P.S. In case of boredom emergency, here’s video of a lamb jumping on a bed. I …

Continue reading Inside Access comes to a close, but our Atlanta events coverage lives on »

Celebrate and make a ‘Fundred’ to help New Orleans at Atlanta Contemporary Art Center on March 18

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This "Fundred" bill could help clean up lead in New Orleans. Want to add one to the pile? Visit the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center on March 18.

The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center is looking for a few more hand-made “Fundreds” before the money-sized art works are collected during a free celebration on March 18.

Organizers, including artist Mel Chin, plan to collect 3 million interpretations of $100 bills designed by kids and adults. “Fundreds” from more than 100 U.S. sites will be delivered in a vegetable oil-powered armored truck to Congress to show how much funding is needed to clean up lead contamination around New Orleans. You can learn more about the project at

Want to go? Fundred Pick-up Celebration. 2-4 p.m. Fundred-making drive, 4-5:30 p.m. entertainment and pick-up. Free. Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, 535 Means St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-688-1970,

Continue reading Celebrate and make a ‘Fundred’ to help New Orleans at Atlanta Contemporary Art Center on March 18 »

Q &A: Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, speaking at Georgia State on March 25


Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns will speak at Georgia State on March 25, between production on at least six more documentaries.

Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns spent years making “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” but since its debut on public television last year, he hasn’t waited to start something new — or several somethings. Already on his list of films-in-the-works: documentaries about prohibition, the Dust Bowl, the Central Park jogger case, Vietnam,  the Roosevelts (including Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor) and an update of “Baseball.”

“This is pretty insane,” he said. “I love my work too much. I feel like I have the best job in the country. It permits me to travel around and dive into the complexity without becoming like the screamers on cable.”

Complexity and deep dives last, he said. Attendance at National Parks jumped after the films broadcast. People still come up to him almost daily to discuss his 1990 film about the Civil War and …

Continue reading Q &A: Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, speaking at Georgia State on March 25 »

Center for Puppetry Arts announces 2010-11 season


"The Lion, The Mouse & Other Aesop's Fables," by Red Herring Puppets of Fairview, N.C. is on the Center for Puppetry Arts 2010-11 series.

The Center for Puppetry Arts announced its 2010-11 season this week, one packed with family shows, a few not-for-kids shows, films and workshops. Some of the shows written locally by Jon Ludwig include “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”,”The Body Detective” and “Beauty & The Beast, and there are plenty of shows produced by other theaters, as well.

I’ve posted the list below, or you can see more details on the shows, times and prices.

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

May 25-June 6:
“Stellaluna” by Tears of Joy Theatre of Portland, Ore.
June 8-20: “The Lion, The Mouse & Other Aesop’s Fables,” by Red Herring Puppets of Fairview, N.C.
June 22-July 3: “Hansel & Gretel,” by Tanglewood Marionettes of Ware, Mass.
July 6-18: “Billy Goats Gruff and Other Stuff,” by All Hands Productions of Atlanta
July 20-Aug. 1: …

Continue reading Center for Puppetry Arts announces 2010-11 season »

Access Points 28: Georgia Aquarium’s coral reef

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Did you recognize this week's Access Point? You might if you spend a lot of time around the coral reef inside Georgia Aquarium. AJC photos by Jamie Gumbrecht

There were dozens of guesses at this week’s Access Point, and no, it’s not an up-close shot of human skin. (The camera and lenses I dug out of AJC storage just aren’t that powerful.) It is, though, a living creature inside the Georgia Aquarium’s Tropical Diver exhibition — coral, an animal (not a plant!) related to sea anemones and jellies.

This one, in fact, is a leather coral, sarcophyton sp., that came to the Aquarium as a donation from a home hobbyist in North Carolina. Like all the other donated, purchased, shared or rescued coral there, it went through a quarantine period before it was planted inside the tank.

Atlanta’s is the second-largest coral exhibit in the United States, and there’s more to come. (Here’s a detailed article about it from a few years ago in Reefkeeping Magazine.) This is an example of a barrier …

Continue reading Access Points 28: Georgia Aquarium’s coral reef »

Missing Conan O’Brien? He’s coming to the Fox June 14!

Not so long ago, if someone had told me that Conan O’Brien was coming to the Fox Theatre, I would’ve thought, “Oh, that’s nice.” Guy is funny, sure, but we can see him most nights on TV.

Now that we can’t, though, expect tickets to his June 14 performance here to go quickly.

Read more about at Rodney Ho’s Radio TV Talk blog, or just hop in line — tickets are on sale now.

Want to go? Conan O’Brien performs. 8 p.m. June 14. $54.55-$98.75. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-881-2100,

Continue reading Missing Conan O’Brien? He’s coming to the Fox June 14! »

What do you think of ‘Spring Awakening’ at the Fox?


"Spring Awakening" and all its teen angst is at the Fox Theatre through March 14.

A list of ways I will sort “Spring Awakening” into my memory:

  • Musicals I’m unlikely to see performed by high school drama programs.
  • Theater experience I don’t want share with anybody I’ve only just met.
  • Conversely, theater experiences I don’t want to share with my dad.
  • Musicals that address puberty and sex, but not like in, say, “Once Upon a Mattress,” where the young are comically naive, or even in “West Side Story,” where the young and naive are in love.
  • Shows that use words I’m not allowed to type in this family-friendly blog in a musical way.
  • Shows that include words like “labia majora” in the script.
  • Shows that make me wonder, “Wait, which of those 1990s radio hits belonged to Duncan Sheik?”
  • Shows where audience members laugh uncomfortably, hoot like high school kids, raise their eyebrows and mutter “Oh, hell no…” when two characters begin to kiss, and then stand on their feet to applaud at …

Continue reading What do you think of ‘Spring Awakening’ at the Fox? »

Panda Mei Lan to exit quarantine, celebrate Earth Hour

For the first time tomorrow, Mei Lan, the Atlanta-born panda who recently moved to Chengdu, China, will be released from quarantine to greet the public in her new home.

Tai Shan, the National Zoo panda that Mei Lan plane-pooled with to China, left quarantine today.


Mei Lan at Zoo Atlanta. AJC file photo

Meanwhile, she has also been chosen as an ambassador for Earth Hour 2010, the one-hour window starting 8:30 p.m. March 27 when people and organizations worldwide turn out the lights. (Earth Hour is a program of the World Wildlife Fund, whose logo is a panda.) Lanterns will be lit March 10, too, on each of the seven continents as a countdown to lights-out. In Asia, the lantern launch will be at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Mei Lan’s new home. Here’s a Q&A the AJC recently did with Heather Roberts, the keeper who made the journey to China with Mei Lan.

As for the pandas still at Zoo Atlanta, Mei Lan’s little brother, Xi Lan, has been weaned from his mama, and …

Continue reading Panda Mei Lan to exit quarantine, celebrate Earth Hour »

Vote for Atlanta’s best festival on Best of the Big A blog!


If you've got a favorite festival around Atlanta, whether it celebrates a vegetable or local history, time to nominate it for the Best Festival on Best of the big A. AJC file photo

Nevermind the weather forecast, here’s just one more sign that spring has arrived: the AJC’s Best of the Big A blog is asking you to pick the best festival around Atlanta. After all the festivals and fairs we’ve discussed on this blog, I know you’ve got opinions on the matter. It could be books, chili, rides, crafts, flowers, animals, music or a certain neighborhood that gets you to vote — as long as it comes in the form of a festival.

Here’s how it works: voters nominate their favorites in the Best of the Big A blog comments. One week later, we tally the top vote-getters and ask you to pick among the top 5. Finally, we’ll announce the winner one week after that.

Keep an eye out — I’ll have another big announcement involving Best of the Big A later this week, too!

For instant updates, follow

Continue reading Vote for Atlanta’s best festival on Best of the Big A blog! »

PHOTOS: Atlanta ‘Twilight’ convention March 6-7

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Actor Christopher Heyerdahl, who plays Marcus in the "Twilight" series movies, spoke at a conference dedicated to them in Atlanta on March 6. It continues through the weekend. AJC photos by Jamie Gumbrecht

It’s thousands of people and a parade short of Dragon*Con, but the mood at a “Twilight” convention going on this weekend at the Westin in Buckhead felt very much the same: curious and companionable.

Visiting actors including Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen), Daniel Cudmore (Felix), Gil Birmingham (Billy Black) and Christopher Heyerdahl (Marcus) faced questions like Who was most interesting to hang out with? Why doesn’t your character wear shoes?, What’s your nationality? and What’s your pet peeve?

Yes, the audience was mostly teen girls, but there were sections, too, like the TwilightMOMS panel, where women who’ve escaped high school were able to get together and say, “Hey! I’m not the only one in her 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, who thinks this is great!”

Rebecca Dewalk, Tiffany Murphy, Lynn Milton and Erin Fisk talk about other vampire and romance series during the Twilight Moms panel.

North Georgia Twilight …

Continue reading PHOTOS: Atlanta ‘Twilight’ convention March 6-7 »