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Arts and culture

Patti Austin performs during an event to honor singer-songwriter Carole King with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, at the Library of Congress, Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in Washington.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Black Rider Productions

The 11th annual Buried Alive Film Festival kicks off this Wednesday, featuring the best of independently produced horror films, including some made by Atlanta filmmakers

Instead of sticking exclusively with fear and gore, the festival takes a rather broad definition of horror.

“We try to bend what horror can be,” said Festival Director Blake Meyers. Event Director Lucas Godfrey continued, “A lot of it is just weird, suspenseful, dark, and arthouse-y.”

Buried Alive includes 15 feature films and 75 shorts this year, so Godfrey and Meyers offered some recommendations.

Bruce Rogovin

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Alloy Orchestra Accompanies 'Metropolis' At Rialto

Nov 11, 2016
Archives New Zealand

Twenty-five years ago, the Alloy Orchestra had its first concert. Now, it’s a yearlong touring ensemble.

Seeing the orchestra, though, is not just a musical event. They play their original scores alongside silent films.

The group is only a trio but manages to create a wide range of music. Each show features a synthesizer with thousands of sounds but also their “rack of junk.”

Georgia’s Literary History Has Much To Offer

Nov 10, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

After visits to Mississippi and Alabama, travel contributor Kevin Benefield brings the last leg of his exploration of the “Literary South” home with a look at what Georgia has to offer.

“Georgia is ‘Gone With The Wind’ country,” Benefield explains, referencing the Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by Margaret Mitchell.

So, the first stop on Benefield’s trip is the Margaret Mitchell House in Midtown. The ground floor apartment, where Mitchell wrote her famous novel, includes a look at how she lived while writing "Gone With The Wind."

Dan Carmody / Studio7

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

ASO's Talent Program Members Perform This Weekend

Nov 10, 2016
Courtesy of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Since 1993, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has promoted diversity through its Talent Development Program. The program provides support for black and Latino music students from performance opportunities to free music lessons with symphony musicians.

Atlanta Symphony clarinetist Alcides Rodriguez is one of the Talent Development Program’s teachers.

Fay Fox

Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton is equally at home in the concert hall and on the opera stage.

While Barton quite literally calls Atlanta home, the Rome, Ga., native is a world-traveling opera star on the rise. After winning both the Main and Song Prizes at the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, and in 2015 winning the coveted Richard Tucker Award, to say that Barton’s career has taken off is quite the understatement.

With each performance, audience demand for a solo album only grows. Now, as the saying goes, the wait is finally over.

Children Read Puts Books In Hands Of Young Readers

Nov 8, 2016
Alison Guillory / WABE

In recent years, Atlanta has ranked number one for income inequality. So the following national statistics on reading have a special impact on our city:

About 60 percent of lower-income families do not have any children’s books at home, and on average, lower-income children have only been read aloud to for 25 hours before they reach kindergarten. That’s compared to 1200 hours for middle-income children.

City Lights: First Folio; Children Read; And More

Nov 8, 2016
Ali Guillory / WABE

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Ali Guillory / WABE

As far as first editions go, Emory University's Michael C. Carlos Museum has one currently on display that rivals most: it's a copy of the first folio of the plays of William Shakespeare. 

Alison Guillory / WABE

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Nick Arroyo for the Atlanta Music Festival

The Atlanta Music Festival begins Nov. 14.  It features days of workshops and performances to celebrate the region's musical and cultural heritage with a focus on African-American traditions.

The Atlanta Music Festival will culminate with a gala concert.  Singer Jessye Norman will perform, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Taylor Branch will also take part.

Photo courtesy Hank Stewart

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes";

Photo courtesy Hank Stewart

On Monday, a collection of Atlanta dignitaries including Congressman Hank Johnson and former news anchor Monica Pearson will gather to name Hank Stewart as the city’s poet laureate. Stewart has been a writer and spoken word poet for 25 years, as well as a public speaker and foundation president. 

Julie Romano

Film mavens can rejoice: November welcomes two film series put on by the Atlanta Film Society, the organization that runs the Atlanta Film Festival.

The first film series is the ¡CineMás! Film Series, featuring three films from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamante's film "Ixcanul" kicks off the series and has been heralded for his use of non-actors and highlighting of indigenous life in Guatemala.

Courtesy of Cocoa Brown

With her husky voice and tremendous energy, Cocoa Brown splits sides in comedy clubs around the country.

“I don’t tell jokes. I tell the truth,” said Brown, explaining her comedic approach, in an interview with Lois Reitzes. “People are getting my life, just a little exaggerated.”

In the teachings of her comic mentor Darcel Blagmon, the equation for comedy is “simplification times exaggeration equals funny.”

David Goldman / Associated Press

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes";

Erhard Rom

“War cannot be described in film, or in theatre, or in opera … you can’t replicate the actual experience. But what you can actually achieve is [to] tell the universal truth about what it is to be a soldier.”

That’s according to Tomer Zvulun, the general and artistic director of the Atlanta Opera. Zvulun identifies with the soldier’s experience because he is a veteran himself, having served as a combat medic in the Israeli army.

City Lights: Gaby Moreno; 'Silent Night'; And More

Nov 2, 2016
Musician Gaby Moreno poses for a portrait on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012, in Los Angeles.
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Al Such / WABE

For more than a year, novelist Joshilyn Jackson has been keeping listeners up to date on the progress of her upcoming novel. After sending her manuscript to her publisher in July, Jackson has reached another milestone – giving the novel an official title.

On this edition of “Writer To Reader” Jackson explained the process of giving up the working title of the novel.

“In my head, this book has been ‘Origin Story,’ well, from its origin,” she said.

Atlanta Symphony Kicks Off Elements Series

Nov 2, 2016

Water, wind, earth and fire dominate the next three concerts in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's season.

Inspired by his own compositional pursuits related to the elements, Music Director Robert Spano saw that certain pieces in the symphony’s season could fit nicely into an elements series.

“They are quite rich symbols around ideas and emotions and affect,” said Spano in an interview with Lois Reitzes.

John Bazemore/AP

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Tim Whitby / Alamy Stock Photo

Too old to trick-or-treat?

Then we have some bone-chilling suggestions for you, if you're feeling a little adventurous. Atlas Obscura is a virtual guidebook to our world's hidden and curious wonders. Now, Atlas Obscura is offering a sampling of those curiosities in the form of a "real" (read: hardback) book, subtitled "An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders."

City Lights: Halloween Thrills; Fashion; And More

Oct 31, 2016
Itsuo Inouye/AP

Monday on "City Frights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of the Savannah College of Art and Design

Jeffrey Taylor’s friends and peers have told him to never change his name.

“I’ve had people tell me your name is perfect, just make sure it’s Jeffrey Taylor,” he said.

They are referring to his name’s elegance and classiness, perfect for the fashion world. The young designer recently graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He’s an Atlanta native, having attended Southwest DeKalb High School.

“My love and my eye is really for women’s luxury evening ware, couture, bridal — anything that is dramatic and romantic and can tell a story,” he said.

EAP Pictures/Double Raven Pictures

“This show is a blend of ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘American Horror Story.’”

That’s one way actor Keith Brooks describes “Edgar Allan Poe’s Mystery Theatre,” a new public television historical drama series based on the life of Edgar Allan Poe, interwoven with the enigmatic author’s most bizarre tales. So far, only the pilot has been shot, but the creative team behind the new series already has the rest of the season sketched out. All this Georgia-based team needs is the financial backing and distribution to get the show running.

Courtesy American Public Television

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of A24 Films

Barry Jenkins spent many years shoveling popcorn, curating and introducing films at the Telluride Film Festival.

And his own film, "Moonlight," premiered there earlier this year. It's his first feature film in eight years, a long interlude for most film directors, but the wait has clearly been worth it.

The New York Times, The New Yorker and just about every other major publication has heralded the film as the best film of the year.

Ballethnic Dance Company

Atlanta’s Ballethnic Dance Company has seen its share of success and setbacks in its 26-year history.

Nena Gilreath and Waverly Lucas founded the country’s second African-American classical ballet company in 1990. The real-life couple actually met while performing with the country’s first African-American classical ballet company, the Dance Theatre of Harlem.