Arts and culture

The Savannah College of Art and Design is opening a new fashion museum at its Atlanta campus.

SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace says the museum will host exhibits, films and lectures on international fashion. The SCAD FASH museum opens to the public Saturday, with free admission from noon to 5 p.m.

The first exhibit features work by Oscar de la Renta, including gowns on loan from first lady Laura Bush and dresses worn by Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey.

Officials say it is one of the largest fashion museums in the U.S.

"Priceless Wellness"
Zeng Yi

The striking black and white photographs on display at a new exhibit at The Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum and Library span three decades in the lives of residents of several Chinese villages in the late 1970s through the early 2000s. The time period marked a moment of sweeping economic reform in the Asian nation, and with it, the rapid development of booming metropolises.

But that is not the China captured in "The People’s China…Village Life by Master Photographer Zeng Yi.”

Author, Joshilyn Jackson, left, and author William Faulkner in 1954.; Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Van Vechten Collection


In her last installment of “Writer to Reader” for “City Lights,” Decatur novelist Joshilyn Jackson confessed she was contemplating killing off one of her lead characters.

Now she says she’s not so sure about making such a dramatic plot twist. It’s all because she’s not a “plotter,” like Katherine Anne Porter and William Faulkner, but a “pantser.”

“Pantsers,” Jackson says, are writers who “sit and wait to see what happens.” For her, “writing outlines is a waste of time.”

By the 1930s, there were more than 5,000 Rosenwald schools built around the rural South.
Courtesy of the University of Virginia Library.

In the early 1900s, schoolhouses began popping up in African-American communities all around the rural South. The buildings looked simple, but their impact was significant. They provided many Southern black children with their first opportunity to receive an education. 

Eventually, they would become known as the Rosenwald Schools because a Chicago businessman and philanthropist named Julius Rosenwald helped make them a reality.

Jennifer Wen Ma/Courtesy of Flux Projects

UPDATE: This event has been postponed due to weather.

On Saturday, 20,000 people will gather in the Old Fourth Ward for this year’s Flux Night. It is a massive public art installation put on by Flux Projects, an organization dedicated to art in public spaces. New York-based arts curator Nato Thompson was asked to craft the event this year.

The event, however, took a hiatus in 2014. Executive Director Anne Dennington said that was because Flux Projects needed to reconsider the event.

Dana Haugaard with his sculpture and sound piece "No Here More Than Here" in his studio at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.
Myke Johns

Things are about to get considerably noisier at one Atlanta art gallery. This week, artist Dana Haugaard opens “No Here More Than Here,” a sound and sculptural installation at the Mint Gallery. 

In the exhibit, viewer's voices are amplified and used to vibrate a metal water table, creating ripples and patterns. It invites the audience to actually have a physical effect on the artwork.

As a musician, Kristin Hersh says Angier's "rhythm and melody...captures both sides of our brain at the same time."
Lena Moses-Schmitt

Great science writing is more than a dry explanation of the natural world around us.

It brings that world to life, using the literary tools that make readers care about the subject. Natalie Angier is widely credited with bringing a kind of poetry to her science writing — and, if Kristin Hersh is to be believed, a kind of music.

In this installment of Page-Turners, singer-songwriter Hersh explains why she loves Natalie Angier’s book “The Beauty of the Beastly.”

Kristin Hersh and Vic Chesnutt playing together at The Mint in Los Angeles in 2000
Kerina and Michael Marcon

A new nonfiction book by singer-songwriter Kristin Hersh looks at her long friendship with the late Vic Chesnutt.

Originally from Athens, Georgia, Chesnutt was a musician's musician. He never achieved commercial success, but his 17 albums were championed by artists such as R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe and the Indigo Girls. 

Chesnutt died in 2012 after an overdose of muscle relaxants.

An image from "The Wind Rises," a 2013 Anime film produced by Studio Ghibli, distributed by Toho. The film will be shown as a part of Emory Cinematheque's free series of animation and anime-inspired films from Japan this fall.
Courtesy of Studio Ghibli


A lot of film coverage in Atlanta is about commercial films in major theaters.

But there are also plenty of alternative screenings happening all over the city too, and often at universities.

Emory University is no exception. Every semester, Emory’s Cinematheque series has a theme. This fall the theme is Japanese animation, or anime.

“City Lights” contributor Matthew Bernstein, professor and chairman of the Emory film studies department, recently spoke with his colleague Ryan Cook, who is curating the series.

Betsy Riley / Atlanta Magazine


If your taste in metal-finished goods runs as deep as a hammered copper imperial pint mug, you’re in luck.

The new Williams-Sonoma location at Ponce City Market has that item in stock and much more in a copper collection that’s just one component of a sizable home store.

“City Lights” contributor Betsy Riley said that’s a reflection of the comeback copper is making in the interior design world.

But this isn't like the blindingly shiny brass from another generation, the “beige and turquoise” one might find in a Molly Ringwald movie, Riley said.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is seen in this 1922 photo. An 18th century Scottish mansion where Doyle once lived was saved from a Big Mac attack on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 1999 when the city of Edinburgh slapped a preservation order on it.
AP Photo

In her latest installment of “Writer to Reader,” Decatur novelist Joshilyn Jackson confronts an issue some authors are reluctant to discuss:

Literary homicide.

“It’s becoming clear that one of my main characters may not make it to the end,” said Jackson, who is at work on a new novel set in Georgia. “I think I’m gonna kill her. It’s not a decision I take lightly.”

It’s part of a larger discussion about how writers and readers relate to their own literary characters, often in very emotional ways.

Comedian and writer John Hodgman finds dark genius in Stephen King's "Cujo."
Bex Finch

Before his stint on "The Daily Show," and before he played the PC in those Mac commercials on television, John Hodgman wrote three books of hilarious counterfeit facts: “The Areas of My Expertise,” “More Information Than You Require,” and “That is All.”

This year, during his annual summer “self-imposed exile” in Maine, he read "Cujo," by Stephen King. He recommends it, as much for the pain it provides as the pleasure.

The Cathedral of St. Philip's choir, Nov. 2014
Courtesy The Cathedral of St. Philip

How do you pick out the music you want hear? Do you raid your CD collection, browse Pandora or perhaps rely on your favorite WABE arts program?

John Hodgman performs at The Plaza Theatre this Tuesday. No word on whether he'll bring this ukelele.
Bex Finch

One does not explain the comedy of John Hodgman simply. On "The Daily Show," the writer and comedian applied his academic, verbose persona to playing “The Deranged Millionaire.” He’s also written three books of counterfeit facts.

These days, Hodgman hosts “The Judge John Hodgman Podcast,” where he adjudicates callers’ personal disputes to comedic, and sometimes poignant, effect. He’s also touring the country with his unique brand of stand-up and will be in Atlanta this week.

Eric Liu.; Voice of America;


What does it mean to be American? That's a question on the lips of a lot of people these days, whether they're running for president or being part of the Black Lives Matter movement. Everybody's fighting to give voice to their version of America.

(Left to right) Paul Rudd is Brian Fantana, Will Ferrell is Ron Burgundy, David Koechner is Champ Kind and Steve Carell is Brick Tamland in ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES to be released by Paramount Pictures.
Gemma LaMana / Paramount Pictures Corporation

Georgia is known these days as the Hollywood of the South. It’s no understatement to call the state a major movie mecca and a hotbed of arts production. Dozens of movies and television shows are filmed in the state every year. State officials have estimated the impact of movie and television production in Georgia as high as $6 billion.

Here’s a look at some of the top movies filmed wholly or in part in Georgia over the past 40-plus years.

“Deliverance” (1972) 

Amy Kiley on "The Rosie Project:" "As journalists, we always hear what someone tells us...and reading this book was an opportunity to get fully inside someone’s head."
Kate Sweeney / WABE

Amy Kiley is not only Atlanta’s “All Things Considered” host. She is also a founding member of the unofficial Public Broadcasting Atlanta staff book club.

Salman Rushdie at the Canada 2020 Crossing Boundaries Conference on March 26, 2007.
Canada 2020 /


Salman Rushdie's new novel, "Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights," seems to transpose the “Arabian Nights” of long ago to modern-day New York City. A thunderstorm overturns the city and upsets the laws of the universe with myth and magic.

Rushdie wrote: “This is a story from our past, so far back we may argue about whether it's history, mythology or fairy tale. On this we agree: that to tell a story about the past is to tell a story about the present.”

Author, Karen Abbott and her book, Liar Temptress Soldier Spy
Author photo: Nick Barose / Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers


Decatur novelist Joshilyn Jackson continues her “Writer to Reader” series for “City Lights” by discussing how she and fellow authors support one another and their work.

She said this point was emphasized in a graduate writing class that encouraged writers to discover one another through mutual topical interests.

“Find your tribe,” she said.

Stacey Bode

Opera singer Jamie Barton is one of Georgia’s greatest talents.

A Rome native and Atlanta resident, the mezzo-soprano won the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 2013 and the Richard Tucker Award earlier this year. She has graced opera houses and recital halls around the globe.

Barton is gearing up for her role as Giovanna Seymour in “Anna Bolena” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, but she is also performing a new recital program in Atlanta next week.

Denis O'Hayer with three Pogo books from his collection
Kate Sweeney / WABE

Pogo is widely considered to be one of the greatest comic strips of all time. 

Running for 27 years, it had a voice, a mood and a look unlike anything that had appeared in the funny pages before, and it influenced a great many cartoonists who came after.

In this installment of Page-Turners, WABE’s Denis O’Hayer tells us about the first time he read Pogo — and what about it spoke uniquely to him. 

 Erin Greenway (as Widow Quinn), Chris Rushing (as Christy Mahon), Sophie Edwards (as Pegeen Mike) pose for a photo promoting Aris Theatre's production of "The Playboy of the Western World" by J.M. Synge.
Jessica Fern Hunt

In 1907, riots erupted in the streets of Dublin during and after the opening performance of a play that deeply offended public morals.

“The Playboy of the Western World,” written by playwright John Millington Synge, earned the wrath of Irish nationalists and others unhappy with the work’s theme of patricide.

Next week, an Atlanta theater troupe that celebrates Celtic culture will stage the play. Aris Theatre begins its second season reviving “Playboy,” which will continue through Oct. 11.

Alex Caplow, Sam Lee, Justine Bowe, Gabe Goodman and Joey Sulkowski as Magic Man performs during Music Midtown 2014 at Piedmont Park on Saturday, Sep. 20, 2014, in Atlanta.
Katie Darby / AP


The period right after Labor Day kicks off a full slate of fall-oriented festivals in metro Atlanta, and some are already underway.

Here are several Atlanta-area major fall festivals that will celebrate the arts, music, food and drink, books and culture up to the Thanksgiving season:

  • The National Black Arts Festival began in July and concludes on Sept. 19. Community- and youth-focused dance events are planned on the final weekend.

Courtesy of Factory Girls

The South isn’t known for its runway, but there’s an organization here in Atlanta that’s trying to change that.

Factory Girls is a fashion incubator. Rosa Thurnher and Regina Weir founded the organization, and Felicia Ruiz is their new partner.

Together, they act as a fashion consulting team and do anything and everything to help fashion designers make their products.

Unlike fashion hubs like Los Angeles and New York City, resources for designers in the Southeast are hard to find. That’s where Factory Girls steps in.

A hip-hop production company will be teaming up with the city of Atlanta to make an announcement about their participation of an upcoming large art exhibit.

Organize Noise and the City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs will hold a news conference Monday morning on Monday to discuss ELEVATE 2015. The mission behind ELEVATE is to focus on internationally known and cultural experience through art.

The theme of the 9-day celebration will be under the tag name "Forever I Love Atlanta" (F.I.L.A.) The group Organized Noize includes Rich Wade and Ray Murray.

Courtesy of the Center for Puppetry Arts

On Nov. 14, the Center for Puppetry Arts will open its new museum with a large section dedicated to Jim Henson and his puppets. For those unfamiliar with big birds and prissy pigs, Henson is the creator of the Muppets and multiple TV shows including “Sesame Street."

Cheryl Henson, Jim Henson’ daughter, was in Atlanta last week to present at Dragon Con. She is the president of the Jim Henson Foundation, which awards grants to puppet performers and innovators.

Legendary Folk Musician To Open Atlanta Music School

Sep 10, 2015
Paul Natkin/Old Town School of Folk Music

Folk musician Frank Hamilton is starting a music school here in Atlanta. This fall, the Frank Hamilton Folk School will offer classes on how to play the guitar, banjo and fiddle at the Epworth United Methodist Church in Candler Park.

The Candler Park school is not Hamilton’s first education venture. In 1957, he co-founded the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. It serves a large community with about 6,600 students every year.

Visitors take photographs of an exhibit at the High Museum of Art
Silver Starre /


If you’re thinking about bringing a selfie stick with you on your next trip to the High Museum of Art, think again.

Better yet, leave it at home, according to Atlanta arts writer and critic Felicia Feaster, because you won’t be able to get it past the entrance.

She said the High has placed an outright ban on those ubiquitous digital camera devices as museums are being deluged with visitors who prefer to capture an image instead of a solemn moment of contemplation with art.

Author, Joshilyn Jackson and her book, Someone Else’s Love Story.

For more than a decade, Decatur novelist Joshilyn Jackson has belonged to a "critique group" she says has been invaluable to her own works. 

In the latest segment of her "Writer to Reader" series for "City Lights," Jackson explains the difference between a critique group and a readers group.

As she continues her latest novel-in-progress, Jackson agrees with a writer friend who says the value of those groups is the outside perspectives they solicit: "Fresh eyes are the most important thing."

Jennifer Lawrence attends "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2" press line on day 1 of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 9, 2015, in San Diego, Calif.
Richard Shotwell / AP Photo

When it comes to TV and film production, Georgia is booming. There are more than 30 TV shows and movies filming in the state this month alone, and hundreds of TV shows, films and music videos are made in Georgia every year. With so many in production, casting companies are always looking for talent and extras.