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Column: Press club to hand out awards of excellence
by Sally F. White
Columnist
April 23, 2014 04:28 PM | 3557 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally F. White
Sally F. White
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The Atlanta Press Club is inviting the public to join it Monday at the Commerce Club on Peachtree Street downtown for the annual Awards of Excellence evening reception as it celebrates the best in journalism of 2013.

At the event finalists in the contest will be named and award winners announced. A networking reception will precede the program.

Though the nomination deadline for this year’s honors has passed, residents can nominate journalists for next year’s awards. All journalists who either work for Atlanta news outlets or are based in the city are eligible for an Award of Excellence. Anyone can submit a nomination for an eligible journalist. Nominees for the award are required to submit their work to the judges. Journalists are encouraged to self-nominate.

The important elements being judged are: content, timeliness, demonstrated reportorial skill and impact. Entries are judged by journalist members of the National Press Club.

The Atlanta club was founded in 1964 by a group of print journalists who included such notables as Celestine Sibley, Calvin Cox, Hal Gulliver and Raymonde Alexander of The Atlanta Constitution and George Goodwin, the club’s first public relations member. As the group grew, broadcast journalists were included in its roster.

When the 1980s membership surged and members wanted to be closer to the day-to-day action, the club opened offices at CNN Center in downtown Atlanta. Reflecting Atlanta’s growing position in the international community, it was active in the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. A year later the club moved its office to Georgia Public Broadcasting and rode the new wave of electronic journalism.

Today, it is located in the 191 Peachtree Tower building downtown. Journalists from the print, broadcast and online communities comprise more than half of the club’s 560-member roster, making it one of the largest and most dynamic press clubs in the nation. Editor & Publisher magazine has described the organization as “resurgent, a glaring anomaly at a time when press clubs around the country are fading into oblivion, victims of shrinking city press legions and changing journalistic culture.”

Tickets and information: (404) 577-7377 or www.atlantapressclub.org

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The Nature Conservancy in Georgia will host its 20th annual Hoochie fundraiser Friday at the Goat Farm Arts Center on Foster Street in west Midtown.

Held outdoors in honor of Earth Day, the annual dinner-dance party will have an artistic theme. Guests will explore artists’ efforts to express conservation concerns.

To complement the venue, an Art of Nature theme will explore how the natural world inspires people and will feature a curated art experience by the Barbara Archer Gallery of Inman Park. It will feature regional, national and international photographers, video artists, painters, sculptors and media artists, along with live musical performances by the Bonaventure Quartet, gourmet cuisine by Epting Events and a boutique silent auction. The free Hoochie art exhibit will remain open to the public through May 17.

Friday’s gathering will also update the public on the conservancy’s recent work. Executive Director Deron Davis will be on hand along with conservation leaders John Pruitt, a retired WSB-TV anchor, and Sharon Collins, host of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “Georgia Outdoors.”

The honorary co-chairs are former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn. The event co-chairs are Tom and Newell Harbin, and the Martin and Jennifer Flanagan are the patron co-chairs.

The nonprofit conservancy is a leading global conservation organization protecting nearly 120 million acres worldwide. In Georgia, it has helped protect thousands of acres of land, worked to improve the health of critical waterways and conducted research to ensure the healthy future of the state’s coastal and marine natural resources.

Tickets and information: (404) 253-7218 or www.nature.org/hoochie

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Sunday will mark the 20th anniversary of Lauren’s Run, the CURE Childhood Cancer benefit honoring the memory of two local girls named Lauren and benefiting research programs for pediatric cancer.

The set of races at the Concourse Office Park in Sandy Springs includes serious Peachtree Road Race-qualifying 5K and 10K runs, the 2K Fun Run/Walk and the Tot Trot for children 5 and younger, followed by a picnic for all registered runners or families of children with cancer.

What began as a family affair in memory of Lauren Zagoria and Lauren Kochman, two toddlers who succumbed to cancer, has grown into a major source of support for CURE. Dedicated to conquering childhood cancer since 1975, the nonprofit funds research and provides innovative programming to provide crisis-oriented support to patients and their families.

 “For the past 20 years, we have been giving both the Laurens and other families the opportunity to come together for fellowship, support and healing while raising awareness and more than $3 million for pediatric cancer research, so other families will not have to go through the devastating loss of a child,” said Kristin Connor, CURE’s executive director.

Registration and information: (770) 986-0035, ext. 22 or www.curechildhoodcancer.org

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Two exceptional musicians will be presented by the Atlanta Steinway Society Sunday in a free afternoon concert in the Kellett Chapel at Peachtree Presbyterian Church on Roswell Road in Buckhead.

The 4 p.m. performance will showcase lyric baritone Benjamin Schoening, Ph.D., and pianist Joanna Kim, Ph.D.

Schoening’s particular area of interest as a gifted art song recitalist is songs in the English language. He has performed as a soloist and in operas throughout the U.S.

Kim, a society board member, has performed around the world as both a soloist with symphony orchestras and as a chamber musician. She is director of keyboard studies at the University of North Georgia in Gainesville and on the faculty at the Atlanta Music Academy in Suwanee.

A reception for the artists will follow the performances.

The society was established as a nonprofit in 1980 by a group of individuals united in their devotion to fine music and its performance. It is comprised of people from all walks of life who share a common bond: their love of the piano and piano music.

The organization’s purpose is to afford young pianists the opportunity to further their musical education by awarding scholarships, and to offer music advocates special events throughout the year.

Information: (770) 993-3095 or www.atlantasteinwaysociety.com

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The Georgian Chamber Players are presenting a Mozart in Paris concert Sunday at Trinity Presbyterian Church on Howell Mill Road in Buckhead.

The afternoon performance will spotlight works by legendary Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his compositions written in France in 1778. The program will include a string trio and a piano quintet.

Tickets will be available at the door, and the event will include a reception after the concert for attendees to socialize and meet the players.

Professional musicians Christopher Rex, Reid Harris and William Preucil, now with the Cleveland Orchestra, formed the players in 1984 to perform masterpieces of the chamber repertoire with their Atlanta Symphony Orchestra colleagues and world-renowned guest instrumentalists. During more than two decades, the ensemble has performed with many outstanding local and visiting artists in a variety of intimate settings to share their talents with music-loving audiences.

Though the players enjoy a close affiliation with the Atlanta orchestra, the nonprofit depends entirely on ticket sales and donations from loyal music friends. Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $10 for students.

Information: (404) 931-9544 or www.georgianchamberplayers.org

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Fashionistas are making plans to visit the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum on Spring Street in Midtown May 1 for a nostalgic retrospective fashion show and reception. The special show is part of a series of happenings during the current exhibition, “Return to Rich’s — The Story Behind the Store.”

The event, Be Divine: A Tribute to Fashionata, will reprise the historic series of Fashionata presentations created during the tenure of Sol Kent, iconic fashion director of Rich’s. His extravagant runway shows were part theater, part concert and always in fashion for Atlanta socialites and fashion shoppers.

Kent was made famous for the shows he created, directed and narrated from 1957 to 1994. As models entered the runway Kent told them to “be divine!”  He brought notable designers such as Coco Chanel, Bill Blass and Yves Saint Laurent to Rich’s.

Not only did Kent cause a fashion buzz each fall fashion season, he developed lifelong devotees. In 1984 he established the Sol Kent Scholarship at the Lovett School to honor his involvement with the fundraising fashion show.

The event’s honorary chair is Kent’s widow, Irene Kent. Some 50 fans, models and past associates are serving on the steering and host committees.

The fashion-oriented ticketed reception and show are in collaboration with the museum and a part of a series of special events connected to the store’s 138-year history — from employees to shoppers and community service.

The award-winning exhibit will close May 27.

 “This is rare opportunity to relive one of Atlanta’s truly iconic events,” museum Executive Director Aaron Berger said. “We are excited to tell the story of one of Atlanta’s favorite stores. Rich’s was a part of our city and the South for many generations. Breman is proud to open [the] Rich’s doors once again.”

Tickets and information: (678) 222-3700 or www.returntorichs.org/bedivine

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Dan Britt’s free AGF First Thursday Cabarets are marking their one-year anniversary this month at his space on Commerce Drive in northwest Atlanta. If you missed the April event, mark your calendar and join music aficionados for informal music and light refreshments at 6:30 p.m. May 1. The 2014 series is already organized through Sept. 4. No reservations are required.

Britt, nationally featured vocalist and former executive director of the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, organized the complimentary cabaret music series last year. They feature informal sessions by local performers who have moved on, often to non-musical careers, but enjoy sharing their talents with friends and the public in a fun-filled social setting.

Britt and pianist Amy Holloway started the musical ball rolling last year and have kept going with a variety of vocalists of all genres, mostly Broadway theater style. At the May 1 event, singer Lea Lanier will perform.

“I created a new company last year, A Great Friend LLC, offering personal home care services with a staff of certified nurses aides and located my offices and training center in the complex where I used to perform with the Lyric.” Britt said, “It brought back great memories and the desire to keep on singing for pleasure. When I discovered the space was empty in our office area, I recruited other performers to join me in sharing music with friends and the public. I sponsor the free Thursday sessions as a gift from my company.”

Information: (404) 605-8448 or www.agreatfriend.com

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Artist Lyle Ashton Harris will be honored as the recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize May 2 at a black-tie dinner at the High Museum of Art in Midtown.

For more than two decades, Harris has cultivated a diverse artistic practice ranging from photographic media and collage to installation and performance. Based in New York, he is an associate professor at New York University, and his works have been exhibited across America and internationally at the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Venice Biennale in Italy.

Known for self-portraits and the use of pop culture icons such as Billie Holiday and Michael Jackson, Harris teases viewers’ perceptions and expectations and has been recognized with numerous awards and fellowships.

This year will mark the 10-year anniversary of the prize, which the High established in 2005 in honor of David C. Driskell, a practicing artist and scholar whose work on the African Diaspora spans more than four decades. The annual prize is the first national award to honor and celebrate contributions to the field of African-American art and art history.

The nominations are drawn from a national pool of artists, curators, teachers, collectors and art historians. Proceeds from the dinner go toward the David C. Driskell African-American Art Acquisition Fund and the David C. Driskell African-American Art Endowment.

The evening’s honorary chair is F. Terry Stent. Lovette Russell and Jack Sawyer are serving as the co-chairs.

The High is part of the Woodruff Arts Center and the leading art museum in the Southeast with more than 14,000 works in its permanent collection. The museum is presenting an exhibition, “A Decade of David C. Driskell,” which showcases works by Driskell and past prize honorees.

Tickets and information: (404) 733-4403 or www.high.org/support/driskell-prize

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The Bows ArtSS Bash May 3 will celebrate Art Sandy Springs projects to enhance the community and raise funds for the nonprofit.

Staged in the Motorcars of Georgia showroom on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs among the stylish Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Lotus automobiles, the glittering evening will feature original paintings, small sculptures, photography, printmaking, mixed media and artistic jewelry from talented local artists in a wide range of prices. New this year will be a selection of fine resale art from prominent private art collections.

Adding flair to the event and introducing the ArtSS Mural Project, the Atlanta Hawks will present Molly Rose Freeman as a show-and-tell artist painting a sample of one of her murals.

A sumptuous cocktail buffet by Avenue Catering Concepts will be complimented throughout the evening by Billy Wilkie jazz and blues music. The overall chair is Terry Tomasello. Volunteer sale curators are ArtSS board member Lauren Bernazza, program director of the Abernathy Arts Center, and ArtSS member Ellen Kierr Stein, a mixed media artist at Artists Atelier of Atlanta.

Art Sandy Springs President Cheri Morris invites everyone to join this showcase and sale of local artistic talent and support the nonprofit’s fundraising goals on behalf of the arts in the city.

Founded in 2007 when Sandy Springs was just becoming a city, the organization is dedicated to exploring and supporting five major art forms in the city limits — visual, performing, literary, culinary and landscape. A major project planned for June is the Playable Art Park sculptures along the new Abernathy Greenway Linear Park.

Tickets and information: (404) 256-3949 or www.artsandysprings.org
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