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Column: Workshops offer inspiration to women seeking jobs
by Sally F. White
Northside Neighbor Columnist
April 10, 2013 06:36 PM | 2686 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
JumpSTART Your Career is signing up applicants for its spring series of free, year-round workshops April 17 through May 8 at Oglethorpe Presbyterian Church on Lanier Drive in Brookhaven.

The four-week free series is built around two-hour evening classes focused on: pursuing self-discovery, practicing teamwork and interpersonal skills, building self-confidence and self-esteem, improving communication and networking skills, enhancing job readiness through writing effective resumes and preparing for interviews, researching potential employers and careers with the help of workshop resources and formulating a plan of action with specific steps that lead toward a chosen career.

This year marks the seventh anniversary for JumpSTART’s successful programs. Created and funded by the nonprofit Alexandra Surdyk Jones Foundation, classes have given aid, support and inspiration to women challenged to find a first job or facing re-entry into the work force.

JumpSTART volunteers partner with community centers and churches to provide classroom facilities for the workshops centered on business readiness.

Since its inception JumpSTART has offered free workshops along with online classes, and has served more than 800 women of all ages in a supportive and caring atmosphere with the mission to empower them to achieve personal and career goals.

Registration and information: (770) 883-6856 or visit

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The 24th annual Companeros Awards Luncheon April 18 at noon at the Georgia Aquarium on Baker Street in downtown Atlanta will honor Latin American community leaders.

Hosted by the Latin American Association, the benefit will feature a seated luncheon with keynote speaker Juan Andrade, Ed.D., president of the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute. Patricia Janiot, senior anchor for CNN en Español, will serve as mistress of ceremonies for the event. It will pay tribute to outstanding leaders and share stories of hope and inspiration about those who have made a difference in the Latino community.

The three outstanding leadership award recipients are: Andrew Griffin Jr., Ed.D., for Outstanding Community Leadership and Service; the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Georgia-Alabama chapter, for Outstanding Public Service; AT&T for Exemplary Corporate Leadership; and Brianda Cabrera-Medrano for the Perseverance Award.

Established in 1972, the nonprofit association serves more than 50,000 individuals annually. The goal is to help Latinos achieve self-sufficiency, put down roots, build a better life for themselves and their families and contribute to strong, thriving communities.

As the leading service provider for Latin Americans in metro Atlanta, the association offers a range of programs that guide Latinos with solutions to address their basic needs and provide them with the information and skills necessary to achieve educational, social and economic aspirations and reach their fullest potential.

All proceeds from the luncheon are dedicated to the association’s mission in the Atlanta area.

Tickets and information: (404) 638-1819 or visit

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The Forward Arts Foundation is presenting a special exhibit April 18 through June 1 at the Swan Coach House Gallery in Buckhead.

It features works by the 2012-13 Emerging Artist Award recipient BORN and the four finalists who are recognized as the most dynamic up-and-coming artists in the Atlanta area.

Emerging from Atlanta’s street art scene, BORN had his first solo show, “Accidental,” at Beep Beep Gallery in the Old Fourth Ward in 2011. Growing up in the city, he spray-painted his pseudonym around town before he discovered artist M.C. Escher and admired the blend of fine art, science, invention and mechanics.

As BORN’s auto-mechanic career changed, his art style became more abstract, more art than text — the basis of graffiti art. He said he is inspired by the term “Wabi Sabi” and the tenets of the traditional Japanese notion of beauty that nothing lasts, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect. His newest body of work has authenticity, texture and the humility of old things lovingly made anew.

The first-place Emerging Artist cash award of $10,000 is given annually with a showing at the Swan Coach House Gallery. The four finalists — S. Andre Keichian, Kevin Byrd, Romy Maloon and John-Paul Floyd — will receive $2,000 each and also display their work.

The exhibit is sponsored by foundation members Mickie Keough and Eileen Millard. An opening-night reception with the artists April 18 is being hosted by: Betty Edge, Sara Hehir, Nancy Hooff, Becky Warner, Jana Simmons, Sarah English Perry, Jody Weatherly and Loraine Williams.

In 1965 a group of extraordinary Atlanta women established the foundation. The distinguished art patrons’ leadership was matched by their determination, and transformed the carriage house of the historic Swan House estate on the Atlanta History Center campus in Buckhead into a thriving restaurant, gift shop and art gallery. The three entities are administered by the nonprofit foundation, which supports the visual arts community in Atlanta.

Information: (404) 266-2636 or visit

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Talented young musical theater stars will take the stage April 18 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre near Vinings to reveal the Georgia High School Musical Theater Awards, also known as the Shuler Hensley Awards.

Fashioned after Broadway’s Tony Awards with a glamorous red-carpet intro leading to stage performances by theater students from across the state, the ceremony will be aired on television with WSB-TV sister station ME-TV, and WSB-TV news anchors Jovita Moore and Fred Blankenship serving as co-hosts with Shuler Hensley. The awards will include performances from the six schools nominated statewide for best overall production, plus leading actor and actress.

Over the past seven months, a group of 40 Atlanta-based professionals from the arts community fanned out across Georgia to evaluate and provide professional feedback to high school performances culminating in the Shuler Hensley Awards. The highlight of the awards show will be appearances by Hensley, a Tony Award-winning Broadway and film star, and the Shuler Student Ensemble representing this year’s competitors.

“It’s an incredible honor to be so closely linked to this community where it all started for me,” said Hensley, a Cobb County native. “Having grown up in the arts, I recall the magic of actor-audience relationships and importance of participating part in high school musicals.”

Forty-seven high schools from throughout the state are participating in the competition. Students and teachers will showcase their talents to receive standing ovations from arts professionals, community leaders and adoring fans and families. Two award recipients will take away more than a gleaming glass trophy.

The award-winning leading actor and actress will be eligible to compete this summer in the National High School Musical Theater Awards on Broadway in New York. Conceived as an annual showcase and celebration for high school theater programs, the awards ceremony is an initiative of ArtsBridge, a community outreach program which encompasses the awards.

Tickets are $16 plus applicable fees.

Tickets and information: (770) 916-2800 or visit

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A small cadre of women and men who enjoy sewing and creating quilt art banded together a year or so ago in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody to socialize and ply their art.

As the four founding quilters invited others of all skill levels — from novices to experienced quilt artists — to join their informal home gatherings and share sewing experiences, tips, gadgets and materials, they named themselves Connecting Threads.

Starting April 18, the group is partnering with the Discover Sewing shop on Sandy Springs Circle in Sandy Springs to host a morning open house in the classroom space. From 10 a.m. to noon, light refreshments will be offered as members demonstrate their skills by showing the various steps in producing artistic covers/quilts and hopefully attract other eager sewers to join in discovering the fine points of quilt making.

Helping coordinate this first informal public meeting are Eleanor Brazell and Judith Roe. They insist newcomers only need to have an interest. No expertise in quilt making is necessary to join the new sewing circle.

Information: (770) 551-9797.

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Bruce Gamble, an award-winning author and expert on World War II history, will be the featured speaker at the April 18 World War II Round Table luncheon at Petite Auberge restaurant on North Druid Hills Road in DeKalb County.

Gamble was originally from Pennsylvania and served as a Naval flight officer from 1980 to 1988 during the closing years of the Cold War. He was deployed in the Pacific and Indian oceans and at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. After he was diagnosed with a malignant spinal cord tumor and managed a period of strong recovery, he retired in 1989 and began volunteering at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola.

This launched him into a second career as a freelance writer and on to publish five books to gain national recognition as one of the most respected authors on the war in the Pacific. He has also been featured on PBS, the History Channel and Fox News.

The nonprofit round table meets for lunch 10 times a year, September through June, for a social half-hour plus a speaker-oriented program focused on patriotic elements. The luncheons are open to members, their families, non-members and those interested in preserving history for a nominal $15 fee.

Organized in 1986, the round table’s diverse membership includes men and women, retired officers and enlisted personnel from all branches of the military, along with family and friends who gather to share and remember.

Key elements of the members’ patriotic undertaking have more than 200 experiences narrated by active participants during World War II. These records are preserved on DVDs and kept available in the Atlanta History Center’s library for future generations of Americans.

The commander of the group is Randolph Goulding.

Information: (770) 436-4254 or visit

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With the mantra “Giving back has never been so tasty!” this year’s Dining Out benefit series May 3 at 60 premier Atlanta-area restaurants will raise funds for the March of Dimes to improve the health of babies.

This will mark the 29th year for participating restaurants to host a benefit table for a unique four-course VIP menu and wine parings. Individuals and companies may purchase a table — price depends on the restaurant — with the money being passed along to support March of Dimes research programs.

This year’s patrons who purchase a table in advance will be invited to a patron party April 18 at the Buckhead home of Crissy and Chris Klaus. Chef Carvel Grant Gould of Canoe restaurant in Vinings is serving as honorary chef for the benefit. Co-chairs for the dining series are Betsy Camp and Brenda Smith.

The March of Dimes history begins with President Franklin Roosevelt’s personal struggle with polio in 1938. It led him to create the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis at a time when polio was on epidemic rise prior to World War II.

The foundation became known as the March of Dimes in 1976 and established a polio patient aid program and funded research for vaccines developed by Drs. Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin. As these vaccines effectively ended the epidemic of polio and the original mission was accomplished, the nonprofit March of Dimes Foundation turned its focus in 1958 to preventing birth defects and infant mortality.

The effort has led the way to discover the genetic causes of birth defects, to promote newborn screening and to educate medical professionals about the best practices for healthy pregnancy. Since 2003, the foundation has responded by initiating an intensive, multi-year campaign to fund research and help mothers have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

Reservations and information: (404) 720-5314 or visit

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Set on a Buckhead estate on Old Plantation Road, the 2013 Atlanta Symphony Associates Decorators’ Show House & Gardens will be on display April 20 through May 12.

It will commence with a ribbon-cutting and opening night party April 19, and access for all tour dates will be by shuttle bus from the Piazza at Paces’ Medici building at 3284 Northside Parkway. Tuffeau is a French-inspired estate designed by William T. Baker, one of America’s most famed residential designers.

The house is considered to be one of his finest works, a testament to the fine craftsmanship and detailing of Baker’s architecture. The house is entirely clad in French limestone. Its slate room and zinc dormers are a faithful interpretation of great houses found outside Paris. French paneling, marble mantles, wood parquet floors and casement windows will come to life with interior design enhancements.

Notable Southeastern designers will showcase their talents by transforming more than 30 design spaces in the estate into spectacular interior art. Each room will be redesigned to fit a unique theme paying homage to Baker’s architectural talents, and will include musical elements as a tie-in to the symphony.

“This year’s designers represent sophistication, quality and distinction,” said Natalie Miller, the 2013 chair. “With these qualities, attendees can look forward to an exquisite blend of modern and traditional styles.”

and Mike Troy are serving as honorary co-chairs with Amy Musarra the design chair. The grand opening “Noir et Blanc: Black and White Affair” April 19 will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a champagne ribbon-cutting ceremony and a tour of the house. It will culminate with dinner, dancing and dessert. Black or white formalwear is de rigueur.

An added element for 2013 is the Decorators’ Show House & Gardens’ partnership with the Atlanta Botanical Garden to include the home’s gardens as part of the annual Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour May 11 and 12 with discounted exchange tickets. There also will be an array of eight related events with personal appearances and lectures during the run of the show house tours from April 21 through May 10.

Also new this year, retailer IKEA will partner with the associates to design a room to support education programs for kindergarten through 12th-grade students. A design team from IKEA will transform the terrace bonus room and donate all the furniture contents to be raffled off at the end of the show house agenda.

As the nonprofit auxiliary of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the associates will allocate all of the Show House & Gardens proceeds to benefit the orchestra’s education and community engagement programs.

In its 68th season this year, the orchestra is one of America’s leading orchestras performing great music and presenting leading artists as it engages community music lovers. It also reaches more than 67,000 students and underserved residents of metro Atlanta through its education and community outreach programs.

Tickets and information: (404) 733-4935 (information only) or visit

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