Arts | WABE 90.1 FM


Arts and culture

Atlanta Gets Rebuilt at Phipps Plaza

Apr 2, 2012
Photo by: Sonny Abesamis |

Building things out of Lego bricks is a nearly universal childhood experience. The interlocking plastic blocks came out of Denmark in 1949 and have spread to toy boxes and living room floors the world over ever since.  One way the company has been banking on the toy’s popularity is by opening a number of Lego-themed attractions around the world.

Atlanta musician Jeffrey Bützer has been playing solo around town since 2005. He’s one of the guys behind the popular Charlie Brown Christmas shows that have taken place at the EARL for the past four years. This weekend, Bützer—a pianist, accordionist, drummer, guitarist…et cetera, is putting out his first 7 inch record.

Handel's Messiah is one of the Christian world's most popular musical works ever. Containing hummable tunes, rousing choruses, virtuoso arias, and deeply spiritual texts, the full piece clocks in at around two hours.

17-year-old Miranda Lynch is headed off to film school in the fall, and wanted to bring her parents Tom and Sheri Lynch to StoryCorps before she left. Miranda asked her dad Tom a few questions while mom, Sheri, listened in. 

In 2008, an Irish accordionist by the name of Liam O’Connor set the Guinness Record for the “fastest fingers in the world.”  Liam played an amazing 11.64 notes per second.


Mar 13, 2012

Here's the first installment of a new occasional series, “Storytellers," This is an installment of our occasional series, “Storytellers” – short stories, essays, and poems from metro Atlantans. 

Randy Osborne co-runs Carapace, a monthly gathering live storytelling without notes in Midtown Atlanta. We asked him to share a story about springtime, and he told us this quiet, thoughtfully-paced tale of surprising connections with family and strangers—and the bonds that exist beneath the surface.  

Mableton resident Wilder Saint-Velus had what you might call an unusual childhood. He grew up in Haiti until age 13, and then came to the United States on a dangerous journey, unchaperoned. Wilder hasn’t seen his parents or siblings since he left Haiti in 1992, but hopes someday to be reunited with them.  At StoryCorps, Wilder’s father-in-law Ralph Williams asked to hear the story of his journey. 

It's an election year and for some families, this week's Super Tuesday vote has been part of dinner conversations around Atlanta. As the election season continues, Youth Radio's Rebecca Gittelson wondered what kind of intergenerational conversations might be happening about politics and how young voters are shaped by their parents.

While the High Museum continues its celebration of the modern masters and contemporary upstarts up on the second and third floors, there is a much more subdued—but no less impressive—exhibit in the lower level of the Weiland Pavilion. It’s the work of folk artist Bill Traylor, a homeless man who spent most of his days on the streets of Montgomery, Alabama, drawing the people, animals and landmarks around him.

This is the anniversary week of what became known as “Bloody Sunday.”  On March 7th 1965, Civil Rights demonstrators in Alabama were turned away violently while marching from Selma to Montgomery.  They then continued their march, days later, under protection from the Army and National Guard.

Bette Prestwood’s husband Charles was a Methodist minister who was among a minority of white clergy in Alabama fighting for racial justice at the time. At StoryCorps, Bette told her daughter, Beverly, about her recollections of that week back in '65. 

Roald Dahl’s 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been adapted numerous times—perhaps most memorably in the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder as the gleefully enigmatic chocolatier Willy Wonka.  That story of one fateful trip to a candy factory is now coming to the opera stage—the Atlanta Opera has mounted a production of The Golden Ticket, and WABE's John Lemley spoke with their cast and crew about the show.

Wrath of Con, The Foreigner and Montana Skies

Mar 1, 2012


The AJC's Shane Harrison talks about budget-friendly events this week in Atlanta.

“Wrath of Con” at Dad's Garage

Georgia Ensemble Theatre presents “The Foreigner”

Montana Skies at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

Christopher O’Riley is widely considered to be one of the leading classical pianists of our time. You may know him as the host of the radio program From the Top, which champions young musicians in onstage performances. 

In recent years, he’s been mixing it up a bit in his own performances. Along with Chopin and Shostakovich, he plays tunes by rock bands like Radiohead and Cocteau Twins. This weekend, O’Riley brings his unique crossover repertoire to Emory University’s Schwartz Center.

Lee Rushing, of Flowery Branch, was known as Lisa Rushing growing up, but early on, he realized that his physical body didn’t match who he knew himself to be on the inside. He told his story to his partner, Allison Rushing.

Theatre in the Square in danger of closing

Feb 29, 2012

Marietta’s Theatre in the Square is in danger of shutting its doors. Board members for the theater will decide the organization’s fate on March 16.

Board Chair Mike Russell says the theater has been struggling since 2005 because of the economy. He says recently things have been even more difficult. Russell says the theater owes its landlord more than $125,000 and needs $400,000 to stay open through the end of June.

New Rose Window

If a film could be part documentary and part poem, then this would describe General Orders Number Nine. Robert Persons’ film, which describes the conflict between a Southern city and its surrounding landscape, comes out on DVD and Blue-Ray this week. Last August, host John Lemley sat down to talk with Persons. John started out by asking him how the idea for the film came about.

WABE's Kate Sweeney produced this story.

Get Delicious

Feb 27, 2012
Kate Sweeney

A partially-edible toy piano. A keyboard whose keys move in-and-out as well as up-and-down. Those wishing to see strange new instruments like these, among others, flocked to last week's Margaret Guthman Competition, hosted by Georgia Tech. Now in its fourth year, the competition annually attracts inventors from around the world to present apparatuses that challenge the very idea of what music-making means. 

WABE's Kate Sweeney went, and brought back this report.

A new exhibit at The High museum of Art might appeal to not just the artistically curious, but also the sports enthusiast.  The showing is called simply, “The Art of Golf” and runs through June 24, 2012.   WABE’s David Barasoain produced this report. 

February 22nd is Groundhog Day, but this date in history has a rich significance beyond Punxatawny Phil, going all the way back to the Middle Ages and the Christian holiday of Candlemas, which is largely forgotten in the western world. 

Bishop Neil Alexander, of Atlanta’s Cathedral of Saint Philip, has written a great deal about liturgical seasons.  City Cafe's John Lemley met with him at the Cathedral, to discuss Candlemas and this date's history in winter weather prediction. 


The Alliance Theater's Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition awards student playwrights with professional productions of their work. This year the honor went to Yale School of Drama graduate Megan Miroshnik. Her play, The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls,  opens this week. WABE's Myke Johns has the story.

A look at the volatile life of artist Mark Rothko

Roberto Llopart and his wife Danielle Bartone are both teachers. But during recess, Roberto has taken on an athletic role that's changed life on the playground.

Executive Director of the Decatur Book Festival and curator of Daren Wang stops by to talk about local area books and book events.

With New Jersey's Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights in the headlines this past fall, and a controversial anti-obesity campaign in Atlanta grabbing the nation's attention just this month, the release of a new film about an overweight boy confronting cruel kids at school could not be more perfectly timed. The Fat Boy Chronicles was filmed in Newnan, Georgia, based on a 2009 book written by two former teachers who wanted to speak out for the children they care for so much. One of those teachers, Michael Buchanan, stopped by our studios to tell us more about the book and film.

This week's Have Your Say.

Atlanta, GA – This week we asked about something that you treasure, that has value only to you.

This week's Have Your Say.

Atlanta, GA – This week we asked about something that you treasure, that has value only to you.

The end of an era, as Atlanta's landmark gay-and-lesbian bookstore says goodbye, with a final event.

Atlanta, GA – This week, landmark gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender bookstore, Outwrite, held its final reading, after announcing its impending closure this fall. Amid the poetry and prose, WABE's Kate Sweeney spoke to patrons about the place that's acted as a literary hub and personal haven for so many, for so long?and why that's changed.