Thursday, October 9, 2008

Eyedrum Exec. Director Robert Cheatam talks about "the Eddies"

Posted By on Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 4:26 PM

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I caught up with Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery’s Executive Director Robert Cheatham this morning. Naturally, with Eyedrum’s tenth anniversary happening this Saturday the conversation went there.

In addition to the normal rounds of music, sound installations, visual arts and mingling that goes on at these kinds of functions, Eyedrum is hosting its first awards ceremony in which they are giving out “Eddie awards” to folks in the community who have done their fair share of heavy lifting for the arts, but often go unsung.

Chad Radford:  What are the Eddies?

Robert Cheatham:  About two or three years ago I was pissed off with some of the awards ceremonies that Eyedrum had been invited to but didn’t win anything, so I wrote a letter to the board and said there needs to be an awards ceremony for the rest of us. It was sort of a tongue-in-cheek thing. The upper echelon was congratulating themselves left and right. So I proposed it, but over time my anger subsided, and with it my interest in the awards subsided, and then when we started talking about the tenth anniversary someone brought it up again.

Who decides the awards' categories and winners?

There is a small committee of a few people – Eyedrum board members and other people from the community -- that formed to decide who gets what and who gives them out.

What are some of the categories?

There’s one for "Best Atlanta Arts Activist," "New Arts Administrator," things like that. The awards themselves are basically modified thrift store items. They’re divided into two categories: Eyedrum stuff that’s given out to board members and things like that. There are also awards aimed toward the larger community, and those are handles a little more seriously. I’m getting an award for being the “Biggest Tool.” You can take that for whatever meaning you can find, but I think it’s pretty much for putting up the walls and uplifting local discourse… that sort of thing.

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