Amy Kiley | WABE 90.1 FM

Amy Kiley

Host, All Things Considered and Marketplace

Amy fell in love with radio while serving as the news director at her college station, Northwestern University’s WNUR. After working as a host and show reporter at Milwaukee Public Radio, Amy headed south to be the local voice of "All Things Considered" for WMFE in Orlando. Now, she’s excited to serve WABE’s Atlanta-area listeners through that role.

Amy has filed stories for NPR, Marketplace, the BBC and a number of national print publications. She has earned fellowships in legal and immigration reporting as well as awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Associated Press in Florida and other organizations.

Along the way, Amy lived in New Zealand and Argentina and picked up graduate degrees in music and liturgy.  

Courtesy of Peter Ferrari

A controversial city of Atlanta ordinance that regulates publicly visible art on private property appears to be dead.

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Georgia Department of Education

Georgia's music industry generates about $3.7 billion for the economy each year, and a new state law seeks to grow that number.

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John Davisson / Invision/AP

Plenty of musicians visit metro Atlanta, but Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls has lived here since she was a child. Though a Grammy-winning, international music star, she still calls Decatur home.

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Her fans might know her voice, but they might not know she met fellow Indigo Girl Amy Ray at Laurel Ridge Elementary School in DeKalb County.

Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods in his office at the state Capitol, Feb. 13, 2015.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Georgia now has its first STEAM-certified school, and it's right here in metro Atlanta.

On Tuesday, Henderson Mill Elementary School in DeKalb County received that official recognition from the state. The certification means it meets all requirements for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and it also offers a strong arts curriculum.

Georgia now has its first STEAM-certified school, and it's in DeKalb County.

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On Tuesday, April 18, Henderson Mill Elementary School received the certification. That means it meets all requirements for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and it also offers a strong arts curriculum. Henderson has designated teachers for both music and visual arts.

Courtesy of Atlanta Ballet

Atlanta Ballet will stage "Firebird" April 14-16. It's the first performance since the announcement that half the company's dancers are leaving.

This is the first season with Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director Gennadi Nedvigin. He has a new vision for the company, and, in "Firebird," it shows.

“I want to bring different styles of ballet to the city, to the company that would attract the largest audience possible,” he said.

Right now the company leans toward contemporary dance techniques. Nedvigin wants more variety.

J Hooper / Atlanta Ballet

The Atlanta Ballet is losing about half its company. Five dancers are quitting; eight more are being fired.

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That's according to the web publication ArtsATL. Its executive editor, Laura Relyea, spoke to WABE's "City Lights" Thursday as part of the show's ArtsCast segment. She said many dancers don't like the company's recent return to a more classical style.

David Goldman / Associated Press

The 2017 legislative session in Georgia is over. A list of bills now just needs approval from Gov. Nathan Deal to become law. This year, several measures in support of the arts saw votes in the state House and Senate. 

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Here’s which bills passed and which failed when it comes to Georgia’s arts.

Atlanta Sales Tax For The Arts: Failed

Mayor Kasim Reed has given United Consulting until this upcoming Monday evening to make a decision.
Andrew Harnik / AP Photo

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed proposed a one-tenth of a penny sales tax for the arts in his State of the City address last month, but time is running out to make it happen.  

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Norman Mackenzie, director of choruses for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, poses for a portrait on July 9, 2015.
Stephanie M. Lennox / WABE

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus has won almost as many Grammy Awards as Adele. But whereas Adele makes millions, ASO singers get paid … nothing.  A visit to an ASO rehearsal explains why these singers volunteer.

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To get into this choir, performers need a great voice that blends well with others and the ability to read music really well.

Meaghan Curry has those skills. 

"I get so much joy out of singing with the chorus and getting to hear this orchestra,” she says.

Kim Kenney / Atlanta Ballet

A proposed sales tax to create a steady stream of funding for the arts in Atlanta appears to be dead.

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Mayor Kasim Reed needed Georgia lawmakers to sign off on the plan in order to put it before voters as a referendum in November. The idea was to let constituents decide whether they wanted to pay a one-tenth of a penny tax to support music, dance, theater or other artistic ventures in the city.

Ballethnic Dance Company

The City of Atlanta could get a small sales tax to support the arts. For every dollar spent in the city, one-tenth of a penny would go into a fund for music, dance, theater, fine art or other creative endeavors. That money would generate an estimated $15 million a year. City leaders hope to let voters decide the matter in a referendum this November. 

City Lights Host Lois Reitzes discussed the plan with WABE Arts and Culture Reporter (and "All Things Considered Host") Amy Kiley.


Courtesy of Atlanta United

The inaugural season is now underway for Atlanta's new Major League Soccer team. Atlanta United FC lost to the New York Red Bulls in Sunday’s opener at Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium. But, in other ways, the match was a “win” for the new team.

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Twenty-five minutes into the game, Yamil Asad scored the first goal in Atlanta United history. Then, right at the end of the game, New York scored twice – finishing the game with an Atlanta defeat.

Fox Theatre in Atlanta on Peachtree Street
Allison Guillory / WABE

A bill to allow casinos in Georgia is dead for this year, but its sponsor, state Sen. Brandon Beach, says he'll bring it back next year.

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In the meantime, Beach says he wants to address the concerns of critics. Some doubt casinos would benefit the economy and fill state coffers as promised. Others worry about gambling addictions.

Andrea Corredor

It's Black History Month, and some Atlanta Public Schools students celebrated recently with a civil rights anthem.

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In 1939, Dr. Nathaniel Bronner Sr. was the only male graduate of Apex Beauty College on Auburn Avenue.
Courtesy of Bronner Bros.

The nation's largest African-American beauty show turns 70 years old this weekend. A hair product company called Bronner Brothers puts it on twice a year in Atlanta. This weekend’s show runs from Saturday, Feb. 11 through Monday, Feb. 13.

The brand name might sound masculine, but behind it is a league of black women who overcame Jim Crow laws to lay the groundwork for the African-American hair care industry.

Dan Raby / WABE

Georgia's music industry could start to get more tax breaks like TV and film companies do under a bill set to be introduced this month.

State Rep. Matt Dollar from Marietta said a study committee found music is big in Georgia, but not all musicians stay here.  

Pixabay Images

Atlanta's music scene is legendary, and recording studios are a big part of it.  But, some studios have caused noise complaints.  A few have seen deadly shootings.

That prompted a proposed city ordinance to regulate new recording spaces.  It's set for a full council vote on Tuesday.

If the ordinance passes, new studios would have to be sound proof and have a special use permit.  They also couldn't open within 300 feet of homes. 

Pixabay Images

Television and movies have a $6 billion impact on Georgia's economy each year.

Now, some lawmakers are eyeing more arts to bring in money: the for-profit music industry.

State Reps. Spencer Frye, a Democrat, and Matt Dollar, a Republican, are members of a study committee that explored how to support that industry. 

Now, they're ready to propose legislation.  The two representatives spoke with WABE's Amy Kiley.  Dollar began with an overview of the committee.

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Courtesy of MailChimp

Conventional wisdom says for-profit employees work for paychecks, and nonprofit employees want to make a difference.

Two Atlanta companies have turned that wisdom on its head. They made philanthropy a part of their business model and found it has paid off.


Aspen Institute

Dr. Tom Frieden will step down as head of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Inauguration Day.  That's standard practice when a new president takes power.

WABE’s Amy Kiley spoke with Frieden about his time with the CDC and the future of the institution.  He started by addressing concerns that a new administration might reduce funding for the CDC or change its priorities.

Interview Highlights:

The Woodruff Arts Center is home to the High Museum, the Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Alison Guillory / WABE

After years of symphony lockouts, tight budgets and bad press, it has finally been a good year for Atlanta's dominant arts organization in 2016. The Woodruff Arts Center is home to the High Museum, the Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. 

Last year, the ASO opened its season with a performance of Mahler's "Resurrection Symphony," but now, resurrection might be a better theme for the Woodruff Arts Center.

Courtesy of Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church

December 12 is the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe.  It's especially important to Catholic Latinos.

Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Atlanta has a large population with roots in Guatemala and Mexico, so it celebrated the feast.

It started with a Mass.  Then, the celebration moved to the church hall.  There, parishioners told the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe with a play, music and dance.

Some people who stopped by Creative Loafing's Crafts & Drafts event at Atlantic Station also visited the mall's stores.
Hadj Cruz

Black Friday is this week. For years, it's been a day when sales attract shoppers to area stores.

More recently, it's had to compete with Cyber Monday. That's a day retailers offer big discounts online.

That takes money away from brick-and-mortar shops. This season, forecasts says holiday internet sales should rise at least 7 percent. 

Georgia Supreme Court building
Nick Nesmith / WABE

Gov. Nathan Deal is remodeling the states's judicial branch.

He named three new justices to the Supreme Court of Georgia Wednesday. Two of them come from a new law that expands the high court, starting in January.

Nels Peterson and Michael Boggs will be promoted from the Court of Appeals. Boggs also co-chairs the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform. The governor's other pick is Solicitor General Britt Grant.

Nick Arroyo for the Atlanta Music Festival

The Atlanta Music Festival begins Nov. 14.  It features days of workshops and performances to celebrate the region's musical and cultural heritage with a focus on African-American traditions.

The Atlanta Music Festival will culminate with a gala concert.  Singer Jessye Norman will perform, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Taylor Branch will also take part.

Al Such / WABE

Atlantans will vote on two sales tax referenda on Election Day that would fund transportation projects. 

The Atlanta T-SPLOST would run for five years and provide four-tenths of a penny in taxes. SPLOST stands for "special purpose local option sales tax." The "T" means the money would go to transportation. 

The MARTA referendum would give a half-penny sales tax to that agency for 40 years. 

If both pass, one big winner could be the BeltLine.



MARTA bus in traffic, Jan. 19, 2015, Atlanta
Alison Guillory / WABE

Atlanta-area voters will have a chance to vote on three sales tax measures as part of the general election.  The ballot items would put money toward different types of transportation-related projects in different parts of the Atlanta area.

MARTA Referenda

Atlanta voters will have a chance to vote for or against a half-penny sales tax that would put money toward MARTA for the next 40 years. It would take effect in 2017. 

Al Such / WABE

About 37 million Americans practice yoga, and some people in Atlanta are starting to do it in unexpected places. They do it on paddle boards out on Stone Mountain Lake, at area malls and at a park just off the BeltLine. WABE stopped by one yoga class to learn why hundreds of people there have left the gym behind.

Yoga As Community

The class is at a field near the Old Fourth Ward Skate Park. There, hundreds of people cram together yoga mats and move together like synchronized swimmers.