Arts

Arts and culture

Kyra Semien / WABE

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Photos of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia taken on Thursday, January 29, 2015. (Photo/Brenna Beech; brennabeech17@att.net)
Brenna Beech / WABE

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

Remembering Diamond Lil, Atlanta Drag Pioneer

Aug 12, 2016
Mark Denton

Atlanta lost one of its most vivacious performers this week. Diamond Lil was one of the pioneers of Atlanta’s buxom drag community. She passed away Tuesday morning after a battle with cancer at 80 years old.

Diamond Lil was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1935. As a little boy, she was already fascinated with women’s wear, donning her first drag ensemble at the age of five.

That night was just the first time that Diamond faced harassment in Savannah.

Myke Johns / WABE

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Jane Sheppard/Kara Starzyk

Journey is a buzzword, but the actual meaning — as well as the metaphoric — have been part of Thomas Swick’s life for a long time.

Thomas Swick is a travel writer based in Florida. In the first part of his recent book, “The Joys of Travel and Stories that Illuminate Them,” he designates seven joys of travel: anticipation, movement, break from routine, novelty, discovery, emotional connection and heightened appreciation of home. The second part of the book includes stories from his many years of travel, including how he met his wife in London.

Alison Guillory

Best-selling novelist Joshilyn Jackson is not afraid to describe herself as “redemption-obsessed,” nor is she afraid to describe herself as a pragmatist who does not take premonitions seriously.

“When I have feelings about things or dreams or intuitions, I attribute them to bad clams,” Jackson explains.

That is, until she read a call for volunteers to help serve in prison.

In this edition of "Writer to Reader," Jackson talks about what drove her to follow up on the volunteer opportunity and the results of her actions.

Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Atlanta's biggest art museum has a lot more work to put on its walls.

In the last year, the High Museum of Art has acquired 530 new works across all seven of their departments. In the High's African Art collection, Head of Collections Brett Abbott points out a carved wooden stool, featuring two figures of a man and a woman.

"It's a really beautiful example of this kind of wooden 19th century stool from Cameroon," he explains. The stool was one of many works which were gifted to the High.

Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of the Atlanta Shakespeare Company

The Atlanta Shakespeare Company has performed William Shakespeare's 37 plays over the course of 26 years. This week, three actors will perform all the plays in two hours.

That’s the premise behind the 1987 play “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged),” which opens this week at the Shakespeare Tavern.

Kate Sweeney / WABE

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of Shev Rush PR

Some words are simply untranslatable, but the meaning remains universal. Take, for example, “Gigil.” It’s Filipino for that irresistible urge to pinch something cute. Or “Waldeinsamkeit” – that’s German for the feeling of being alone in the woods. “Bazodee” is Trinidadian slang for a feeling of confusion, often because of love or lust.

It’s also the title of a new film set in Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean island nation where the two dominant groups in the country are those of South Asian (sometimes referred to as East Indian) and African descent.

High Museum: Where Are The Women In Sneaker Design?

Aug 5, 2016
Courtesy of Sophia Chang

Since June, the High Museum hasn’t featured Monet or Picasso but sneakers.

The exhibit, “The Rise of Sneaker Culture,” includes 155 pairs of sneakers and looks at how they evolved and became an important part of American footwear.

But sneakers have played a much larger role in men’s footwear. And to unpack that, the High is hosting a panel tonight asking “Where are the Women in Sneaker Design?”

Gabbie Watts / WABE

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Fred Hayes / Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC

One of Atlanta’s most celebrated and hard-working playwrights has officially broken into television.

Topher Payne is the award-winning playwright behind "Evelyn in Purgatory," which was recently published by Samuel French. His play "Perfect Arrangement" was produced off-Broadway at Primary Stages last fall. And now, "My Summer Prince," his first TV movie, is premiering on The Hallmark Channel on Saturday. 

Gabbie Watts / WABE

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.   

Dustin Chambers

Over two weeks in July, we heard speeches from politicians, celebrities and citizens at the Republican and Democratic national conventions.

But what about outside the convention walls?

Dustin Chambers, a photographer in Atlanta who works for local and national publications,  just returned from photographing both conventions. Without credentials to go inside, he focused on the action outside, attempting to capture the human side of the zeal in this election cycle.

Theresa Davis of Atlanta's Art Amok! Slam Team reads from one of her books of poetry at Java Monkey Speaks in Decatur. The Java Monkey Slam Team will represent the host city of Decatur in the National Poetry Slam.
Mary Claire Kelly / WABE

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

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.   

Former Atlanta Symphony director and choral giant Robert Shaw was given a daunting task during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

How Novelists Stay Busy When They Aren’t Writing

Aug 3, 2016
Felipe Dana / Associated Press

When novelist Joshilyn Jackson finally turned her book “Origin Story” in to her publisher she could see relaxing summer days right around the corner.

“I had this giddy, high week of prancing about being generally disgusting and full of myself,” Jackson admits.

Rick Bowmer / Associated Press

"How could The New Yorker display ignorance? Not only was that depiction of Atlanta insulting, it was entirely wrong. Was the editorial staff unaware that Atlanta was urban, not rural?"

Lois Reitzes reflects on the controversial cover of The New Yorker released on July 22, 1996 and the cultural misconceptions of the South that continue to haunt us at ArtsATL.

Associated Press

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Theresa Davis of Atlanta's Art Amok! Slam Team reads from one of her books of poetry at Java Monkey Speaks in Decatur. The Java Monkey Slam Team will represent the host city of Decatur in the National Poetry Slam.
Mary Claire Kelly / WABE

More than 400 poets from all over the United States will spend this week in Decatur, competing in the National Poetry Slam, which is being hosted in Georgia for the first time. 

Poets in San Francisco hosted the first National Poetry Slam competition in 1990.

Host city coordinator Daryl Funn won a bid to host the competition in his native city of Decatur in 2013.

Courtesy of Clarion Call Media

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Atlanta Welcomes Inaugural Musical Theatre Festival

Aug 1, 2016
Gabbie Watts / WABE

Local musical theater artists have united for the inaugural Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival. From their mission statement, the festival seeks to “cultivate the next generation of theatre artists by mentoring talent, propelling new musicals forward, and celebrating the community in a supportive, nurturing, and creative environment.”

Beyond just presenting completed pieces, founder Benjamin Davis wanted the festival to act a workshop for artists.

Brian Hainer

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.  

Composer Michael Torke has had a robust musical career, and one of his pieces was included in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Courtesy of Sweetwater Brewery

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Atlanta Promoter Talks About Underground Music Scene

Jul 29, 2016
Eric Cash

If you have ever been to a music event, a promoter has had something to do with it.

A promoter is the point person between venues and bands, making sure the right music ends up in the right place. In Atlanta, there are veteran promoters who have been in the business for years, booking venues like thousand-seat amphitheaters. Then, there is the new crop of promoters who program anything from DIY house shows to smaller venues.

Local Talent Kicks Off City Winery's Brunch Series

Jul 29, 2016
Courtesy of Chandra Currelley and Mose Davis

After a delayed opening, City Winery at Ponce City Market is in full swing with a long list of concerts.

The venue pairs the culinary with culture, and this weekend it is hosting a jazz brunch featuring local talent. This is the first in a series of brunch performances that will happen every other month.

The jazz brunch will feature singer Chandra Currelley and the Mose Davis Trio. Currelley and Davis spoke with Lois Reitzes about the intricacies of preparing a concert where food is being served ... noisily.

Courtesy of True Colors Theatre Company

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

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