Friday, May 22, 2015

5 things to do: Thundercat

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2015 at 7:00 AM

5 things to do in Atlanta today

1. Thundercat at Piedmont Park

2. CreativeMornings with Gil Weinberg at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

3. TimeGate 2015 kicks off at Marriott Century Center

4. Entre Amigos: Vino y Vida at Calo Dance Studio

5. The Modern Atlanta Dance (MAD) Festival at Theatrical Outfit

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Frank Barham, Margaret Kargbo killed in accident during charity journey to Savannah

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 4:00 PM

An Atlanta disability activist and musician and local arts advocate were both killed on Wednesday as they neared the end of a statewide journey to Savannah to raise awareness about disabilities.

Frank Barham, 60, was traveling from Atlanta to Savannah, charting 30 miles a day in his wheelchair, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, help more disabled people living in underserved communities gain access to wheelchairs, and to perform a concert. Atlanta arts supporter Margaret Kargbo was documenting the journey and escorting the Atlanta resident in a support van that followed behind.

According to the Savannah Morning News, a fully loaded tractor trailer struck the van from behind around 4 p.m. near the border of Screven and Effingham counties in southeast Georgia. The impact caused the van to hit Barham before catching fire in the median.

Carrie Johnson of Villa Rica, the driver of the van, was transported to a burn center in Augusta, the Morning News reports. The driver of the tractor trailer, who the newspaper identifies as Kenneth Richards of North Augusta, S.C., was uninjured. The Morning News says charges are pending.

Barham, who became a paraplegic in his mid-20s after a car accident, was traveling to Savannah as part of Wheel 2 Live. According to Barham's website, the route followed the path of Gen. William Sherman’s “March to the Sea” during the Civil War. He was scheduled to perform at Telfair Square in Savannah on Friday. The concert has been canceled.

Kargbo is a well-known and valued member of the local arts community who chaired the board of C4, the local arts nonprofit.

"The board and staff of C4 Atlanta would like to express our condolences to the families on the loss of Margaret Kargbo and Frank Barham," C4 said in a statement. "Our thoughts are also with Carrie Beth Johnson during this time. Our hearts are heavy with grief. The community lost two great heroes in the arts.
Margaret and Frank both carried a strong presence as widely admired advocates. Their loss will be felt throughout the community."

Before she died, the Howard University graduate served as the public affairs director at Women Engaged, a nonprofit aimed at involving more women in social and political movements. A GoFundMe page has been launched to help Kargbo's family and cover expenses.

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Weekend Arts Agenda: 'Ship of Fools' sails into the Goat Farm

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 2:43 PM

For Tanz Farm's Series 4, audiences can check out the American Premiere of Ship of Fools, from Tel Aviv-based choreographer Niv Sheinfield and dramaturg Oren Laor. Sheinfield's known as one of the leading choreographers in Israel, and his partnership with Laor has wielded several successful pieces and productions. Performances are Thurs., May 21 through Sun., May 24, at 8 p.m. It's all going down at the Goodson Yard factory space at the Goat Farm. Tickets are $15-$25, and you can buy them here. Till then, check out the trailer above for a sneak peek into what's on deck for the weekend performances. 

"The Bread Story" by Kate Lamb - KATE LAMB
  • Kate Lamb
  • "The Bread Story" by Kate Lamb
The Mammal Gallery and Broad Street Visitors Center (located across the street) will play host to, "a group exhibition filled with imagery that will challenge your thoughts and entice your eyes." What does it all mean? Titled To Be Honest, and running through June 5, visitors can see photo and other mixed-media works from local artists, Erin BranchAndrew SiskJordan BaileyMaddy BoothCaitlyn DibbleDrew McCrarySarah ResnickNaomi WebbTyte SingletonMegan Seibel, and former CL photo interns Kate Lamb and Mia Yakel. There's an opening reception Fri., May 22, at 7 p.m, which includes food, booze, and music from DJ Miss Kitty. Naturally, there will be a dance party.

Atlanta Dance Connection - KARA JACOBSEN PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Kara Jacobsen Photography
  • Atlanta Dance Connection
The Modern Atlanta Dance Festival (MAD Festival) is of the proper drinking age. The two-night event happening Fri., May 22 and Sat., May 23, at Balzar Theatre at Herren's is celebrating its 21st year of showcasing the local modern dance scene. This year's event highlights include the 24 Hour Dance, in which performers were locked inside of Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery on May 16, and given 24 hours to create a piece with a single prompt as inspiration. Grab tickets here

"Monarch" by Son of the Moon - COURTESY SON OF THE MOON
  • Courtesy Son of the Moon
  • "Monarch" by Son of the Moon
Mexico is coming to Juniper Street. From Fri., May 22 to Sun., May 24, and in collaboration with the Mexico Tourism Board, the 905 Juniper retailers will play host to the Monarch Festival, celebrating Mexican culture, via food, art, and live music, The event also includes cooking demonstrations and a special Mexican brunch menu from the Lawrence paired with tequila tastings at Tequila Goza. Along with the food, Atlanta-based artist and graphic designer Son of the Moon will present his exhibition In the Time of the Butterflies, an homage to legendary Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. You can get the full breakdown here.

  • Courtesy Decatur Arts Festival
Not that one needs an extra reason to visit downtown Decatur, but this weekend is arguably one of the best excuses for spending some quality time in the Square. Along with several arts and craft vendors, this year's Decatur Arts Festival includes live musical performances, improvisational and stand-up comedy, a children’s festival and parade, literary events, and dance performances. So yeah, from Sat., May 23 to Sun., May 24, it's more or less a cultural hodgepodge of awesomeness over on the Eastside. The festivities kick off with Friday's Art Walk from 5-10 p.m. You can find all the details here.

Through May 31, MINT Gallery and Jane Garver are inviting folks out to the solo exhibition of Rachel Simone James. Titled How to Be a(n) <#$>>, the show is part of the artist's Process Residency with the gallery. From May 1 to May 16, James was using the gallery as an open space and studio. Now, visitors can check out her "works in process," as well as this latest project, which centers on her interview-based approach involving sculpture, audio, and performance. Get the full details and gallery hours here.

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Winners named in Downtown Connector bridge design competition

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 2:10 PM

Midtowns 10th Street bridge reimagined by two Georgia Tech students
  • Midtown's 10th Street bridge reimagined by two Georgia Tech students
Two of the more unsightly bridges spanning the Downtown Connector could soon become a tad less unfriendly.

A coalition of civic and architecture groups has selected the designs to transform two bridges in Midtown and Downtown into places where people actually enjoy walking, biking, or just hanging out.

Created by Midtown Alliance, Central Atlanta Progress/Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, American Institute of Architects and the Architecture and Design Center, the Atlanta Bridgescape Competition pitted top designers against each other in an effort to revamp Atlanta’s “unfriendly” bridges, according to Jennifer Ball of CAP.

In Midtown, the winning design for 10th Street bridge was created by Max Neiswander and Luke Kvasnicka, two soon-to-be grad students who have lived together since their sophomore year at Georgia Tech. Their design, titled "(sin)uosity" — it's a play on sine, the trigonometric function — would partially cover the 10th Street bridge in what looks like a sort of birdcage.

“Most nights, we’d come home, sit in the living room, and start spitballing ideas and sketching drafts,” Kvasnicka says. “We had a pretty similar aesthetic goal in mind and our skillsets really complement each other.”

Continue reading »

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Time and Place: Shaky Boots

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 10:41 AM

7:52 p.m., May 16, 2015, 3200 George W. Busbee Parkway N.W., Kennesaw
  • Perry Julien
  • 7:52 p.m., May 16, 2015, 3200 George W. Busbee Parkway NW, Kennesaw

This photo was taken during Dierks Bentley’s performance at Shaky Boots Music Festival at Kennesaw State College. Most live music-performance photography these days is limited to the first three songs. In that time I try to anticipate a moment when the musician gives his audience more than just playing their instrument or singing into the microphone. I haven’t photographed much country music and I was excited to see how animated most of the musicians were both performing and interacting with the crowd.

In the moments before this photograph was taken Bentley raised his guitar overhead as if he was going to smash it into the ground. With his guitar pick between his teeth I followed the trajectory of his guitar waiting for the possibility of the guitar shattering into multiple pieces, as if off the cover of The Clash’s "London Calling" album. Instead he stopped the forward motion of the guitar just inches off the ground and laid it carefully on the stage. Nevertheless, I felt the photo still expressed the energy and passion that went into Bentley’s performance during his set.

Check out more photos from Shaky Boots here.

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First Slice 5/21/15: Eaves to amend financial disclosures

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 9:01 AM

Fulton County Chairman John Eaves

Fulton County Chairman John Eaves says he will amend two of his personal financial disclosures to include details about a business his then-wife owned, among other details. Eaves says the omissions were an oversight.

Georgia lawmakers are still yukking it up with ALEC lobbyists and being opaque about what goes on in the closed-door, right-wing policy meetings.

Atlanta Beltline officials tonight will brief residents and businesses on plans for the North Avenue Plaza, a gathering space alongside the Eastside Trail and Ponce City Market.

East Atlanta residents plan to invigorate a barren corner about one mile from the nightlife and restaurant strip with "a playground, a community garden, a dog park, an outdoor movie screen, a community hearth and a pop-up bar." And they're doing the work themselves in less than a month.

Lisa Gordon, the chief operating officer of Atlanta Beltline Inc., has been selected to serve as Atlanta Habitat for Humanity's president and CEO.

The parents of a Clark Atlanta University student who disappeared on her way to graduation are asking for information about her whereabouts.

"Do you feel like these people with window tints are a threat to society?"

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5 things to do: Margarita Wars

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2015 at 7:00 AM

5 things to do in Atlanta today

1. CL's Margarita Wars at Park Tavern

2. Ruth Reichl at A Cappella Books

3. Airing Your Dirty Laundry at Atlanta Preservation Center

4. Mac McCaughan (of Superchunk), Flesh Wounds, and more at 529

5. An Evening with Roz Chast at Alliance Theatre

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

More award nominations for CL - this time 2 from AFJ

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 5:52 PM


More awards! The Association of Food Journalists really really liked Creative Loafing's 2014 Food Issue with the theme of "Legacy" and Austin L. Ray's cover story on Red Brick Brewing. Read all about it over on Omnivore, won't ya?

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Greg Barris brings psychedelic variety show Heart of Darkness to ATL

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 1:50 PM

  • Michelle Alexis Newman

A staple of the New York comedy scene, Greg Barris has been described by PAPER magazine as “the perfect combination of very good looking, hilarious and super-weird,” was featured on the critically acclaimed web series "Modern Comedian," and released his album, Shame Wave, on ASpecialThing Records in 2012. 

Barris is the creator of Heart Of Darkness, a psychedelic showcase of comedy, live music, and fringe scientists. The show regularly sells out in New York and has traveled around the country including this month's Bridgetown Comedy Festival. This week, Barris is bringing Heart of Darkness to the Hangar in Old Fourth Ward for one special night. 

CL chatted with Barris about his inspiration for the show and what we can expect for the Atlanta edition.

Heart of Darkness is a variety show, but with elements that definitely are not typical of your average variety show. Can you explain the show layout a little bit?
Heart of Darkness is a transformative act of psychomagic intended to help unveil our authentic selves.

There’s a science element to the show. When looking to book those bits, what kind of topics jump out at you and makes you want to add them to the show?
I'm always looking for people of noteworthy intelligence who are working passionately about something and have made some kind of discovery that, most likely, the general population will ignore or not even be aware of for a long time because of how long this type of information takes to filter down. So the idea is to get a direct connection to the information and then have a town hall-style meeting about it. This can literally be about anything; we've had Graham Hancock talk about ancient civilizations and the origins of man, to Andrew W.K. talking about the philosophy of partying.

How did Heart of Darkness come about? What was your inspiration for this show?
Robert Anton Wilson appeared to me in a vision in the form of one of the Archangels. I was floating in a sensory deprivation tank with an intravenous mixture of lysergic acid diethylamide and ketamine when everything went pure white. When I woke up, I knew exactly what I had to do .

What do you get out of doing these shows that you don’t get from doing your typical stand-up showcase?
A new visceral life affirming experience and lots of touching. 

I imagine a show with so many moving parts is a little difficult to take on the road. How different are your road shows compared to the NYC ones? 
The show is certainly a ragtag version of when I do the show in NYC where I have my full band, the Forgiveness, and many other resources at our home venue at Union Hall. These shows will be a road version and I'm going to gather the most interesting people around and collaborate with them and the audience to have a real good time. 

Have you done any elements/bits that are exclusive to your road shows? 
Every show is always very different; it's never the same show on the road or not. 

Do you have anything planned for the Atlanta show you can tell us about?
We have only one seat in the I Love You Chair, we will also be forgiving sins so bring a sin and be forgiven, bring a gift for the Procession of Gifts. There will be the amazing Jarrod Harris, and very special guest musicians and a lot of secrets and surprises and special things and oh, I'll be there.

Heart of Darkness. $8-$10. 9 p.m. Fri., May 21. 151 Sampson St. N.E. 706-313-0842.

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Mother of Ariston Waiters demands officer's arrest, police chief's resignation, new federal investigation

Posted By on Wed, May 20, 2015 at 11:33 AM

Ariston Waiters mother and daughter take part in a prayer vigil following the Union City Council meeting.
  • Max Blau
  • Ariston Waiters' mother and daughter take part in a prayer vigil following the Union City Council meeting.
Union City's Council meeting was filled to capacity last night. Security guards had to turn away residents at the door who were trying to take care of water bills, sidewalk cracks, and other routine issues in the small Fulton County city southwest of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Most of the approximately 100 people inside the Council chambers were there for another reason: the unsolved case of Ariston Waiters.

It's been three years since Waiters, a 19-year-old unarmed African-American father, was shot twice in the back by former Union City Police Officer Luther Lewis during an attempted arrest. A Fulton grand jury at the time decided not to indict Lewis. The U.S. Department of Justice launched a probe but stopped short of pressing charges.

But new evidence released this week has prompted Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to reopen their respective investigations into the incident.

At last night's meeting, Freda Waiters, the mother of Ariston Waiters, presented the Union City Council with a list of demands related to her son's death. Her wishes included the immediate arrest of Lewis for the murder of her son, the resignation of Union City Police Chief Chuck Odom, and officials' support in calling for another federal investigation. Waiters said officials from multiple departments have largely ignored her son's case in what she called a "coverup."

"This was a death that never should've happened," Freda Waiters told Union City Mayor Vince Williams, who sat under the seal bearing the city's nickname, the "Progressive City." "My son should be here, walking around, laughing, talking, like all of us. My child was a human person, like all of us. The way his murder was covered, like he was just an animal on the street, that's not acceptable in this world."

Mawuli Davis, a local civil rights attorney who's representing Waiters, told reporters the new information surrounding the case — as well as overlooked details — should result in the criminal prosecution of Lewis. He asked the Union City Council to send a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice asking for a federal probe. He also urged councilmembers to do the "things within your power" such as terminating officers involved in Waiters' fatal shooting.

In response, Williams said he would do his part to "make sure that justice is served" by handing over all available information subpoenaed by Howard for his investigation. Reading a prepared statement, Williams said at the meeting that officials would not make additional comments to allow Howard to conduct his investigation. He told Freda Waiters that Union City elected officials have discussed taking some sort of action, though he stopped short of sharing specifics, citing legal reasons.

In a recent interview with the AJC and WSB-TV, Union City Police Officer Chris McElroy, who was Lewis' supervisor on the scene where Waiters died, said the shooting has "not sat right with me from the first time I arrived on the scene." McElroy said Odom instructed him to not write a statement about his concerns, and later watched the police chief boast about helping Lewis stay out of jail.

The GBI has also shared a previously unreleased video of Lewis re-enacting the fatal shooting that contradicts parts of previous statements he's made about the events leading up to Waiters' death.

"My fire holster was sitting right here, I let his hand go, I got my gun out and when I come like this, he grabbed my gun," Lewis said during the re-enactment. "I come up like this and I went with everything I had, bam, bam, and just pushed back in and pulled the trigger twice."

After Freda Waiters spoke to the Union City Council, dozens of people gathered on the building's front steps for a prayer vigil in honor of her son. State Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, who was addressing the crowd along with other local leaders, noted that he's "never seen a case break open like this" in his time as a community activist and elected official. Freda Waiters, who plans to meet with Howard later this week, says she's hopeful the new investigation will lead to justice in her son's fatal shooting.

"I'm going to keep praying that more is done, not just for my family, but for every family in America that goes through this," she said. "No mother should ever have to lose her child to something like this. For me, and for the other ones that go almost four years with a murder that was covered up and everybody still walks and shows their face, as if it's just another day, is unacceptable."

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