Arts and culture

Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky / Wikimedia

Friday on "City Lights at Lois Reitzes":

Sharon Schuster

A line in the opening paragraph of Faith Salie's new book, "Approval Junkie", reads "I'm wary of total self-acceptance. I'd rather fail dramatically than risk complacency."

Writer Lauretta Hannon with her favorite subversive, Leo Tolstoy.
Kate Sweeney / WABE

Lauretta Hannon's favorite author of all time is Leo Tolstoy. She loves the Russian author's sprawling novels like "Anna Karenina" and "War and Peace."

But her favorite Tolstoy — the book that has sat dog-eared and bookmarked at her bedside for more than 20 years — is one not many people have heard of.

"A Calendar of Wisdom" was banned for decades after its publication in 1910, but Hannon says its nuggets of sagacity still inspire her day after day. In this installment of "Page-Turners," she talks about why.

Stephannie Stokes / WABE

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes"

A3C Festival and Conference

School is out for most metro-Atlanta students, and some will soon head to summer camp – even those who can't afford it. ChopArt, a nonprofit organization that empowers homeless youth through art-related programs and projects, is offering a free, seven-day, over-night art camp for homeless teens in Atlanta. 

Malika Whitley founded ChopArt in 2010 when she lived abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. The organization then traveled to Hyderabad, India, where it continues to serve thousands of youth. This is its second year in Whitley’s hometown Atlanta.

Michael Delli Carpini (cropped) /

"City Lights" travel contributor Kevin Benefield continues his exploration of national parks in the South. Today Benefield's highlighting South Carolina's Congaree and the Gulf of Mexico's Dry Tortugas parks.

Despite only existing as a national park since 2003, Congaree is the Southeast’s largest old-growth bottomland hardwood forest. While visitors can see abundant wildlife in the swamps and rivers, Benefield says “it’s all about the trees.”

Courtesy of Robert Sherer

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of Tino Rodriguez

The Zuckerman Museum’s exhibit Art AIDS America closed this past weekend but not before three Republican Cobb County lawmakers condemned the art as “garbage” in the Marietta Daily Journal.

Hans Pennink / Associated Press

A few weeks ago, best-selling author Joshilyn Jackson heard a poem, Katherine Perry's "Baby Picture," that got her thinking about life.

“It 'poem haunted' me, stuck,” she says.

On "Writer to Reader," Jackson explains that the poem not only had her contemplating the finiteness of life, but also thinking about a novel she had read called “High Drama In Fabulous Toledo” by Lily James. The book compares life to a cafeteria line. Once a decision is made it can be difficult, if not impossible, to go back.

GSU Winter 2015
Alison Guillory / WABE

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Actor's Express

June is just over a week away and brings with it prime wedding season. For those of you looking at a calendar full of ceremonies and receptions, Actor's Express has the show for you.

"Significant Other" tells the story of Jordan, the "gay best friend" of a group of women. As each of them get married and as Jordan's own romantic prospects seem to dry up, the play looks at what it means to be single and the changing role of friendship in adulthood.

Rob Grabowski / Invision/AP

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

0:21: Singer-songwriter Kristian Bush and playwright Janece Shaffer discuss their new collaboration "Troubadour," a romantic comedy about an unlikely pair in 1951 Nashville.

Robb Cohen / Invision/AP

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of Bobby Ore Motorsports

With Georgia's TV and film industry growing, there's increasing demand to find people in the state to fill crew positions like camera operators, lighting technicians and make-up artists.

But there's also a growing need for professionals who can parallel park while driving 80 miles per hour.

Stuntwoman Amy Tomberlin Cheek is an instructor with Bobby Ore Motorsports who lives in south Florida.

But because Georgia started offering film tax incentives, her company opened a new school in Dawsonville at the Atlanta Motorsports Park in late April.

Courtesy of Sergei Dreznin


Pianist and composer Sergei Dreznin has been working on his cabaret show “KAMP!” for over twenty years, and that show was recently released as a new recording “KAMP! Songs and Satire from Theresienstadt.”

“KAMP!” comprises adaptations of cabaret songs, poems and letters that inmates composed in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Just north of Prague, the camp had an unusually robust cultural life.

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.

tchelseat (cropped) /

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

National Park Service

With 2016 marking the centennial year of the origins of America’s National Parks System, “City Lights” travel contributor Kevin Benefield has his recommendations for National Parks to visit around the South.

This time he's exploring Biscayne National Park off the Southern Coast of Florida.

While there may not be much to see if visitors have not made their way into the water “below the tranquil surface of the ocean lies a vast and colorful world,” Benefield says. One of the most popular ways to explore the park is by glass-bottomed boat.

Atlanta Choir Director Founds Multicultural Chorus

May 19, 2016
Trey Clegg Singers

Trey Clegg is an important part of Atlanta’s choir community. He is so important that Atlanta’s City Council declared his birthday this year as “Trey Clegg Day.”

Clegg is white, but he has spent most of his choral career in historically African-American churches. He was the director of music at the First Congregational Church of Atlanta and then served as music director and organist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. He sings in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and is involved with many other musical endeavors around the city.

Courtesy of University of Georgia Press

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of University of Georgia Press

Harry Crews' life sounds like one of the wild novels he's known for.

Raised on a dirt-poor tenant farm in South Georgia, he rose through the ranks of university elites and New York publishing houses to become an unlikely and singular voice in literature in the 1960s and 70s. His novels "The Gospel Singer," "Car," "The Hawk Is Dying" and many others have become cult classics, awash in whiskey and grit.

Frank Knaack (cropped) /

If you have ever forgotten the title and author of a book, it can be an exhaustive process figuring out how to recover that information. From consulting with friends to heading to your local bookstore, results can vary.

On this installment of “Writer to Reader,” novelist Joshilyn Jackson looks at what it takes to rediscover a lost book.

Courtesy of Michael Daugherty

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Gerry Broome / Assocaited Press

In response to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which requires transgender people to use the bathroom connected to the sex on their birth certificate, musicians, businesses and cities outside the state are boycotting. For best-selling author Joshilyn Jackson, one notable boycotter is Washington state-based writer Sherman Alexie.

Jordan Strauss / Invision/AP

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Lawrence Kasdan arrives at the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015, in Los Angeles.
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival will present its first-ever Icon Award to "The Empire Strikes Back" screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan.

Kasdan will reflect on his career in conversation with ArtsATL founder Catherine Fox this weekend, and to preview the event, "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes sat down with Emory University film professor Matthew Bernstein.

"Kasdan was a natural choice," Bernstein said about the award's recipient. "He's been such an incredible talent and force in the film industry since the early 1980s." 

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.

Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

John Bazemore / Associated Press

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of Midtown Alliance

Some cities have bridges that are considered iconic and even draw tourists: San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, or maybe the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.

Atlanta’s bridges, on the other hand, don't usually receive much attention, even from the city’s residents.

But that might be changing, according to Rosser International architect and Curbed Atlanta editor Michael Kahn.