Erin Wright | WABE 90.1 FM

Erin Wright

Radio Producer

Erin Wright produces "City Lights" and "Strike Up the Band." After studying viola, German and Musicology at UGA, Erin began working at Public Broadcasting Atlanta in 2011. 

Ways to Connect

Spencer Weiner / Associated Press

This Cultural Olympiad story was produced in partnership with ArtsATL as part of "Atlanta Remembers: The 1996 Olympics," WABE's series on the impact of the 1996 Summer Olympics on Atlanta, 20 years later. For more stories, click here.

Sept. 18, 1990. Maynard Jackson was serving his third term as mayor when, on that September day in Tokyo, the president of the International Olympic Committee announced that Atlanta had won the bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

Charlie McCullers / ArtsATL

This Cultural Olympiad story was produced in partnership with ArtsATL as part of "Atlanta Remembers: The 1996 Olympics," WABE's series on the impact of the 1996 Summer Olympics on Atlanta, 20 years later. For more stories, click here. To read the whole story on ArtsATL, click here.

Brandon Amato

Joey Ward understands that it's not cheap to go out to dinner these days, so he tries hard to make it worth your while.

A night dining out at Gunshow, the Kevin Gillespie restaurant where Ward is executive chef, is akin to an evening spent at the symphony or at an art gallery opening. The chef told host Lois Reitzes on "City Lights" that cooking itself is a form of art.

Courtesy of Village Theatre

While best-known for his endlessly quotable character Kenneth Parcell on the NBC sitcom "30 Rock," actor and comedian Jack McBrayer has actually spent most of his career on the improv stage.  

McBrayer should feel at home this weekend when he's onstage at the second annual Atlanta Improv Festival, hosted by the Village Theatre near downtown Atlanta. It will also be a sort of homecoming for McBrayer, who was born and raised in Macon and graduated from high school in Conyers.

illa hip hop musical
Courtesy of John Ridings

"Hamilton" has been nothing short of a Broadway phenomenon, bringing hip-hop and history to America's most storied musical stage. 

Atlanta Area Suzuki Piano Association

In traditional music pedagogy, a student learns to play their instrument or sing while simultaneously learning to read music. That's like learning to talk and read a book at the same time, according to 20th century violinist and pedagogue Shinichi Suzuki.

GSU Winter 2015
Alison Guillory / WABE

In early May, Georgia State University announced its plans to form a College of the Arts separate from the current College of Arts and Sciences. The new college's founding dean, Dr. Wade Weast, is a musician by training who has earned three degrees in trumpet performance and who spent the first years of his career gigging and teaching.

Though the decision to form an independent arts college was made before his arrival at GSU, Weast discussed the reasoning behind the move with Lois Reitzes on "City Lights." 

Kristian Bush from Sugarland; playwright Janece Shaffer with WABE's Lois Reitzes
Al Such / WABE

When Katy Perry sang with Dolly Parton at this year's Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony, the pop star knew how to dress the part: big hair, bright colors and bedazzled boots.

But country music didn't always embrace sequins and satin, which one Atlanta playwright noted on a visit to Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame. Janece Shaffer told Lois Reitzes that the costumes "went from church wear — brown slacks and string ties — to these bedazzled, crazy things."

Matthew Guard

Music can help guide us through some truly frightening, traumatic events. For Skylark Vocal Ensemble artistic director Matthew Guard, Sergei Rachmaninov's "All-Night Vigil" or "Vespers" helped him cope with his child's complicated birth.

Alison Guillory / WABE

Dogs have lived aside humans for thousands of years, but it is only in the last few decades that we've begun to understand the depth of intelligence, intuition and emotion in our canine companions.

Bernard Walsh/Roadside Attractions via AP

"Metropolitan." "The Last Days of Disco." And now, "Love & Friendship."

Whit Stillman is the kind of filmmaker who only releases a movie every decade or so, but it's worth the wait. 

"Love & Friendship," starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny, is based on a little-known Jane Austen novella called "Lady Susan." Austen's nephew published the novella some 50 years after her death. Mr. Stillman borrowed the title of his new movie from another obscure Jane Austen work, a short story she wrote when she was just 14.

Courtesy of Vega String Quartet

The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival kicks off its 35th season next month, but the celebrations start a little earlier this year with a concert at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Courtesy of Spivey Hall

Spivey Hall is pulling out all the stops for their upcoming season; 2016-2017 marks Spivey's 26th year as one of the world's finest concert halls, and its 25th year with the grand Albert Schweitzer Memorial Organ. 

Sam Dixon, Spivey Hall's executive and artistic director, knows the value of this organ well.

"To think of Spivey Hall without the organ is impossible," Dixon told Lois Reitzes on "City Lights," "because the organ was central to Emilie Spivey's conception of the Hall from the very beginning."

Naoko Takano (cropped) /

Anyone who has attempted to get brunch in Atlanta on a Sunday morning knows what an endurance test it can be — and that feat is maybe twice as difficult on Mother's Day.

Although that time spent fending off your growing hunger may bring you and your mother closer together, the "City Lights" staff and Atlanta PlanIt's Kimberly Harbrecht have compiled a list of alternative events for Mother's Day.

Jeff Roffman / The Atlanta Opera

Verona's star-crossed lovers return to Atlanta this weekend in Charles Gounod's opera "Romeo and Juliet."

William Shakespeare's tragic tale of love and lust is endlessly adaptable, so what makes Gounod's interpretation unique? The Atlanta Opera's general and artistic director Tomer Zvulun, in conversation with Lois Reitzes, says that Gounod takes a story that is remembered for its intimate chamber scenes and "unapologetically, shamelessly, takes this story and expands it to a grand opera – an extravagant, grand opera."

ASO Music Director Robert Spano
Angela Morris / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

The 2016-2017 year marks the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's 72nd season. For Robert Spano, it's his sweet 16th year as the ASO's music director.

Before taking the symphony to Carnegie Hall for a triumphant Shaw Centenary concert, Spano visited WABE to share the upcoming season's highlights with "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes.

Frank Micelotta / Invision/AP

Henry Winkler is the protector of an extraordinary Holocaust legacy.

The actor best known to baby boomers as "The Fonz" and to younger generations for his work on "Arrested Development" and much more, grew up with parents who had narrowly escaped Nazi capture. The rest of Winkler's extended family did not survive.

Sundown Wednesday, May 4 marks the beginning of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

When Henry Winkler visited WABE in March, he shared his family's story.

Roger Mastroianni

Since the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Americans have used the expression "the first 100 days" as a benchmark of the executive's success and accomplishments. The first 100 days are, supposedly, the time that a president's power and influence is at its greatest.

Al Such / WABE

This story is part of WABE, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and ArtsATL’s The Shaw 100th series. For more stories, click here.

What distinguishes the "Shaw Sound?" What makes the late conductor's choral recordings so peerless, so unsurpassed?

Courtesy of Nola Frink

This story is part of WABE, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and ArtsATL’s The Shaw 100th series. For more stories, click here.

"There's a terrible job available at the Symphony. Come take it and don't ask any questions."

The terrible job was receptionist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Nola Frink took it without question. A few short weeks later, Frink became Robert Shaw's personal assistant, a position she held for 26 years.

Cooper Sanchez

In the spring of 2015, the Historic Oakland Foundation presented their first-ever "Arts at Oakland," an annual event partnering local artists and the storied Oakland Cemetery with the aim of showcasing and interpreting the landmark's history through art. The program debuted with "The Cryptophonic Tour," a sound art installation with audio arts collective ROAMtransmissions.

Jeff Roffman / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

This story is part of WABE, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and ArtsATL’s The Shaw 100th series. For more stories, click here.

More than any other musician, Maestro Norman Mackenzie is the most direct connection to Robert Shaw.

Georgia State University

This story is part of WABE, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and ArtsATL’s The Shaw 100th series. For more stories, click here.

Job interviews are often awkward at their best, and disastrous at their worst. For Georgia State professor John Haberlen, one particular interview profoundly influenced his own life and career.

Oliver Quinlan (cropped) /

This story is part of WABE and American Graduate's Advancing Atlanta: Education series. For more stories, click here.

Some 2,500 years ago, Plato said that music "is a more potent instrument than any other for education." On "City Lights," two Atlanta educators made a case for music education in 21st century schools.

Al Such / WABE

This story is part of WABE and American Graduate's Advancing Atlanta: Education series. For more stories, click here.

Alison Guillory / WABE

This story is part of WABE and American Graduate's Advancing Atlanta: Education series. For more stories, click here.

From his early and iconic role as "The Fonz" on "Happy Days" to his late-career peaks on shows like "Arrested Development" and "Children's Hospital," Henry Winkler has been making people laugh with his quick wit. Growing up, however, Winkler found school anything but funny.

Courtesy of SCAD

Novelist James Baldwin wrote that "all art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists ... are forced, at least, to tell the whole story."

Artist Jeffrey Gibson has a kind of confession: he has not always told his whole story. Gibson is half-Cherokee and a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, an identity he once repressed in shame and anger. 

M.D'Angelo / Shore Fire Media

In April of 1916, centuries of British occupation in Ireland turned violent. While this was not the first Irish insurrection against their British oppressors, the events of 1916 proved especially significant. The 1916 Easter Rising, as it's now known, led to full Irish independence and far warmer relations with their Anglo-Saxon neighbors.

Jennifer Bienstock / MJCCA

Once upon a time, at a Jewish Community Center not so far away, a special theater company was born. It was named "Habima Theatre," from the Hebrew word for "stage."

Jerry's Habima Theatre (re-named in honor of its longtime supporter) at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta is Georgia's only theatrical company featuring a cast of adult actors with special needs. These are adults with developmental disabilities like autism or Down Syndrome — and serious acting chops.

Ken Howard / Opera Theatre of St. Louis

Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance" ranks among the most riotous of comic operas, a genre that reminds die-hard opera fans and newcomers alike that not all operatic stories involve untimely deaths and forbidden passions. That does not mean that a lighthearted work, like "The Pirates of Penzance," is lightweight material.