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Column: Southeast Emmy Awards coming to Buckhead
by Sally F. White
Northside Neighbor Columnist
June 04, 2013 12:16 PM | 2997 views | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Southeast chapter will hand out the Southeast Emmy Awards for Television Excellence Saturday at its annual black-tie gala at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Buckhead.

The more than 200 Southeastern 2013 nominations just from Atlanta stations for outstanding achievement in television news across 80 categories will be announced during the formal evening gala. Monica Pearson, who retired last year after 37 years of service as a WSB-TV anchorwoman and who has also received more than 30 Emmy Awards during her illustrious career, will be the hostess. Other Emmy presenters will include leading television personalities and news anchors from around the Southeast. Kenneth Dean, with WLBT in Jackson, Miss., will be inducted into the chapter’s Gold Circle, for those with 50 or more years of service to the television industry.

The festivities will begin with a red-carpet celebrity entry followed by a champagne reception, a formal dinner and the televised awards ceremony. For the first time this year, the red-carpet entry will be streamed live by Georgia Public Broadcasting, which will rebroadcast the awards presentation later this summer.

As one of academy’s 19 regional chapters, the Atlanta-based nonprofit is the standard-bearer for excellence in the television broadcasting industry and the gatekeeper of the prestigious regional Emmy Awards. The Southeast chapter represents the most experienced and talented television professionals from all disciplines of the industry and from each of the television markets in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Asheville, N.C.

Tickets and information: (404) 350-8879 or visit

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The Atlanta-Toulouse Sister Cities Committee members in Atlanta are inviting members and friends to a connoisseur tasting of French wines Sunday at Portofino restaurant on Paces Ferry Place in Buckhead.

Since 1974 the nonprofit committee has operated under the umbrella of Sister Cities International. Its mission is to bring the citizens of Atlanta and Toulouse together for cultural and art exchange and building educational ties with schools in both cities as they exchange visits and information to bridge a closer relationship with France on a direct city-to-city basis.

The genesis of the alliance was a 1974 meeting between then-Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson and then-Toulouse Mayor Pierre Baudism when they signed a proclamation declaring Toulouse and Atlanta sister cities. Jackson had lived in Toulouse as a child while his mother pursued a doctorate in French. He said the two cities would make excellent American-French partners.

The wine tasting evening is just one of several annual activities the organization hosts to entertain and educate the American-French connection. Next is a new members’ retreat to the North Georgia Mountains in July, an assist program for students from Atlanta’s Price Middle School to visit France and a fall hospitality event to greet French students attending the Georgia Institute of Technology, plus ongoing activities with the Alliance Française, the French Chamber of Commerce and the office of the French consul general in Atlanta.

“Speaking French is not a requirement for membership, just interest in French culture and travels and education. We welcome newcomers to join our mission to connect Toulouse and Atlanta citizens,” said Sister Cities President Betty Davis, of Sandy Springs.

Reservations and information: (404) 578-6114 or visit

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The Georgia State University School of Music will showcase its Harrower Summer Opera Workshop talent at the annual Opera Gala benefit Sunday at 103 West in Buckhead.

Special guest artist-in-residence Frederica von Stade will be featured in operatic performance along with participants from across the U.S. who were selected through a series of competitive — live and taped — auditions to take part in the 2013 three-week workshops.

Founded by renowned Atlanta voice coach Irene Callaway Harrower in honor of her late husband Peter Harrower, a professional bass-baritone and professor of music at the school, the advanced music studies inspire and educate young vocalists.

Sessions cover acting and movement classes, private vocal coaching and instruction in stage makeup, foreign language diction and master classes with international vocal artists and participation in fully staged productions.

The annual formal gala dinner serves as a fundraiser for general opera studies at Georgia State. Reservations are required by today.

Tickets and information: (404) 413-5914 or visit

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Hosted by the Atlanta Preservation Center, Sunday Supper: The Archive will take place this Sunday and will kick off a series of archival lectures at the historic Lemuel P. Grant mansion on St. Paul Avenue in Atlanta’s Grant Park.

Presented by BURNAWAY, an Atlanta-based nonprofit online arts meeting place that challenges readers to “look beyond what merely is and envision what could be,” the program will feature lectures expanding on art, culture and music history from archives in Georgia and the Southeast.

Guests will be welcomed with a cocktail reception and a three-course dinner prepared by Chef Robert Phalen of One Eared Stag, an Inman Park restaurant.

The evening’s lecturers include keynote speaker Richard Pearce-Moses, director of the master of archival studies program at Clayton State University in Morrow. Other speakers are: Boyd Coons, the center’s executive director; Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier, a photographer and painter who excavates local histories; Tom Zarrilli, an artist and researcher; and Margo and Art Rosenbaum, who will present oral histories and Appalachian folk ballads.

The citywide nonprofit center promotes the preservation of Atlanta’s architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings, neighborhoods and landscapes through education and advocacy as it strives to be a part of saving, shaping and celebrating the city’s historic-built environment.

Tickets and information: (404) 688-3353 or visit or

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To follow up with a sunny Mother’s Day weekend, Father’s Day will be commemorated by the National Father’s Day Council with the Father of the Year Awards dinner June 13 at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Atlanta. The reception and dinner will honor three exemplary Atlanta fathers and raise funds to benefit the city’s chapter of the American Diabetes Association.

The three Atlanta fathers elected for 2013 honors have demonstrated the ability to balance their successful personal lives as they serve as role models for their children and make a positive difference in their communities. They are: Percy Vaughn, regional executive director of Kia Motors, and his wife Audree have two adult children and four grandchildren; Dhruv Pandya, retired computer scientist and physics professor, and his wife Hansa have three adult children and three grandchildren; and James R. Gavin III, MD, PhD, clinical professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, clinical professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine and president and CEO of Healing Our Village, and his wife Ann have three adult sons.

The 72-year-old council started as the contemporary nonprofit National Father’s Day Committee, and originated with the program established to enhance the meaning of Father’s Day (observed June 16 this year) and encourage universal observance of Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. Since 1999 the annual conferring of Atlanta Father of the Year Awards to contemporary lifestyle leaders has been a philanthropic partnership with the council and the American Diabetes Association. Proceeds go to programs to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by the disease.

Tickets and information: (404) 320-7100, ext. 3057 or visit

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Spellabration, the signature benefit for Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta, is set for June 13 at the Fox Theatre in Midtown. Each year the event combines a Scrabble tournament, a spelling bee and a silent auction into a unique evening of socializing and literate fun.

Northside volunteers and Literacy board members helping coordinate the 2013 event are Betsy Wallace and Linda Mote.

According to a news release, more than 660,000 Atlanta-area adults are functionally illiterate — unable to read newspapers, find a job, understand a prescription or vote. Adult illiteracy is a major social problem with the greatest impact on employability and social problems.

The mission of the nonprofit Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta is to increase adult and family literacy in the metro area, primarily through free volunteer tutoring programs. Since 1986, trained volunteers have worked one on one with adult students at the lowest literacy levels to improve their reading and writing abilities. In 1992 the volunteers added English as a second language and family and workplace literacy programs.

Tickets and information: (404) 377-7323 or visit

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