City Lights with Lois Reitzes | WABE 90.1 FM

City Lights with Lois Reitzes

Weekdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. on WABE's Live Stream

"City Lights" explores the ways in which people express themselves creatively and enhance our lives.

In addition to a wide range of music, "City Lights" covers theater, dance, pop culture, visual arts and more. WABE has long been a partner with many organizations in Atlanta and through "City Lights" we're deepening those relationships to serve our community with even greater arts and cultural content. 

Photographer Steve Schapiro at Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta for his exhibition, 'Selma'.
Jason Parker / WABE

Through a long, productive career, Steve Schapiro’s work has graced the covers of publications ranging from Life to People magazines, but there’s one quality of these photos that remains constant: the capturing of human emotion.

This past weekend, he gave an artist talk about his life and photo documentation during the Civil Rights movement at Jackson Fine Art gallery in Atlanta, where his photos of the 1965 march in Selma, Alabama, are on view through March 14.

Italy and the Holocast, Inc.

The annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival begins this evening. For the next few weeks, Atlanta residents can catch screenings of more than 50 feature and short films at different theaters around the metro area.

Shana Tucker performing in WABE's Studio A in January 2015.
Jason Parker / WABE

Shana Tucker is a Durham, N. C.-based cellist and singer-songwriter. Drawing inspiration from the pop music of the 1980s, film scores, and world music, she infuses her playing with her classical and jazz upbringing into a style she calls "ChamberSoul."

WABE's Erin Wright sat down for a conversation with Tucker to talk about her music and her most prominent gig to-date, performing as cellist and mezzo-soprano in Cirque du Soliel's "KÀ" in Las Vegas. 

Critical Coverage Drawing Recognition At BURNAWAY

Jan 22, 2015
Susannah Darrow in the BURNAWAY office.
Jason Parker / WABE

Susannah Darrow is co-founder and executive director of BURNAWAY, a non-profit arts organization based in Atlanta. The group aims to provide critical coverage and create dialogue about arts in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast.

They have an online arts publication and a critic-in-residency program, among other offerings. In support of their goals, BURNAWAY recently won a $50,000 grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Hit Those Chickens

Jan 22, 2015

This is an installment of our occasional series, “Storytellers” – short stories, essays, and poems from metro Atlantans.

In this installment, we have a story of love. Sometimes, romantic dreams serve us well. But sometimes, we need to leave them behind in order to move on with life. Storyteller Shannon Turner picks it up from there.

In 2013, Buffalo Mountain United Methodist Camp -- the camp that Shannon Turner describes in her story -- was nearly devastated by a flash flood.

Stephannie Stokes/WABE

It’s not unusual to catch a glimpse of the past along Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue. Historic, and sometimes crumbling, buildings still stand from the early 1900s, when the street was a thriving African-American commercial district.

But recently, some have discovered a different kind of history on display in the neighborhood ─ a nearly century-old advertisement, uncovered by the 2008 tornado ─ and it’s serving as a grisly reminder of how African-Americans were once treated outside the Sweet Auburn community.

Then A Tornado Came Along…

Evan Agostini / Invision/AP

Think back to life before the web, when people wrote letters, and bought tickets from a person behind a window-to see a Picasso, you might have to go to the library or hop on a plane. Never in human history has the way we share information been so dramatically altered in such a short time, so we’re asking leaders in the arts community how they’ve adjusted to the times.

Gaia's #ifTheyGunnedMeDown mural at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta.
Jason Parker / WABE

Street artist Gaia was identified by Forbes magazine in the 2015 "30 under 30" list of arts leaders. He recently completed a large mural at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta.

Atlanta Opera Brings New Interpretations, Technology To Stage

Jan 16, 2015
Atlanta Opera

We've asked the leaders of major Atlanta arts organizations to come in and share their thoughts with us for a mini-series we're calling "Arts 2015." The local luminaries shared with us their reflections and forecasts on their particular fields and the unique challenges and benefits of being a leader of the arts in Atlanta.

The Atlanta Opera is one of these major organizations. The Opera was founded in 1979, and it produces main stage opera productions and arts education programs.

Success Through Diversity At The Rialto

Jan 16, 2015

We've asked the leaders of major Atlanta arts organizations to come in and share their thoughts with us for a mini-series we're calling "Arts 2015." The local luminaries shared with us their reflections and forecasts on their particular fields and the unique challenges and benefits of being a leader of the arts in Atlanta.

One of those leaders is Leslie Gordon, director of the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University. In her ten-plus years at the helm, Gordon has transformed the landscape of the downtown theater. 

Bekah Medford, Jennifer Alice Acker, Karen Howell, Mark Cabus, and Kelly Criss in "One Slight Hitch" at Georgia Ensemble Theatre
Dan Carmody/Studio 7

Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s current production is a play by Lewis Black — yes, that Lewis Black: the very angry man who can be caught ranting on "The Daily Show" and in his own stand-up comedy specials. It may surprise some of his fans to discover that not only is Lewis Black a playwright, but that his play, "One Slight Hitch," is a romantic comedy.

Alliance Theater

The Alliance Theatre believes in “getting ‘em while they’re young”… in this case, quite literally.

Their program, Theater for the Very Young, is in its fourth season of bringing the performing arts to children.

WABE's Lois Reitzes recently sat down with Rosemary Newcott and Olivia Aston Bosworth from the Alliance, as well as actor Jose Miguel Vasquez, to talk about their current show, "The Lizard and El Sol."

Courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation.

This week the New York Times published an article about a photograph by Gordon Parks, the first African-American staff photographer for Life magazine in the early 1950s.

Frank Carroll /

We've asked the leaders of major Atlanta arts organizations to come in and share their thoughts with us for a mini-series we're calling "Arts 2015." The local luminaries shared with us their reflections and forecasts on their particular fields and the unique challenges and benefits of being a leader of the arts in Atlanta.

Photo: Sim Cannety-Clarke, Courtesy of Polenzani Management

Tenor Matthew Polenzani has performed in front audiences at the Metropolitan opera, Deutsche Oper, La Scala and the Lyric. 

This Saturday, audiences in Atlanta will also be able to enjoy his singing, when he makes his debut at Spivey Hall.

City Lights host Lois Reitzes reached him over the phone to discuss his upcoming recital with pianist Julius Drake.

Rain Pryor is the daughter of legendary comedian Richard Pryor. Her mother was Jewish and growing  up with a mixed cultural and racial heritage was not always easy.

Her search for identity led her to produce a one-woman show named "Fried Chicken and Latkes." She’ll be performing it here in Atlanta this weekend. "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes recently spoke with her about the idea behind the production.

More information on the event may be found on Atlanta PlanIt.

Grant Leighton

Have you been looking for something to do this weekend? If so, join host Lois Reitzes as she speaks with Atlanta PlanIt's very own Kimberly Harbrecht about upcoming events. This time around, the pair talk about everything from classical performances to comedy productions.

Mason Bates

Symphonist Mason Bates is a master in merging musical genres with a fluidity that seems effortless.

The 37-year-old Chicago Symphony Orchestra composer-in-residence is known for dropping ambient electronica beats into an orchestral symphony.

His compositions such as “Alternative Energy” ─ a four movement symphony which recreates industrialist Henry Ford's junkyard, a modern particle collider, a futuristic nuclear wasteland and a pristine rainforest ─ have earned him national recognition as a trailblazer in the classical music world.

WonderRoot moves to former Tech High in Atlanta
Ryan Nabulsi / / for WABE

Earlier this year, the nonprofit WonderRoot signaled a major shift in scope when it announced a move to a building 14 times its current size.

The arts group has a unique mission. Dedicated to inspiring social change, WonderRoot’s projects range from youth art programs, to dance showcases, to a variety of social activism projects. So as the group readies for the renovation of its building-to-be, WABE’s Kate Sweeney headed over for a preview tour, to find out what exactly the expansion means — both for WonderRoot and for Atlanta’s arts community as a whole.

Trains parked in the roundhouse at the Railroad Model Club
Ryan Nabulsi / / for WABE

The Railroad Model Club of Atlanta has been around for more than seven decades, operating its vintage train set-up from the same second-floor room on Edgewood Avenue for nearly that entire time.

So, why doesn’t anyone know about it? Kate Sweeney went to find out.

The Railroad Model Club of Atlanta welcomes visitors the first Saturday morning of every month. Find out more here.