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The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is offering complimentary tickets to federal employees while the partial government shutdown drags on.

Here’s the media statement released by the ASO on Friday afternoon:

In support of Federal government employees, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) will offer up to two complimentary tickets to select 2018/19 Delta Classical concerts. Visit aso.org/FEDERAL for a complete list of eligible concerts.

“As a small token of appreciation for Atlanta’s Federal employees, we wanted to provide this opportunity to show our support,” said Russell Wheeler, ASO Senior Director of Sales.

To redeem, visit the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office, located in the Woodruff Arts Center at 15th and Peachtree Streets and present your government issued ID. Box office hours are Tuesday through Saturday noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Offer expires Feb. 8, 2019.

The post Atlanta Symphony offering free tickets to federal employees during shutdown appeared first on Atlanta INtown Paper.

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The dual-branded AC Hotel and Moxy Hotel is now open in Midtown.

Noble Investment Group and Marriott International have opened the dual-branded AC Hotel and Moxy Hotel in Midtown.

Developed on an entire city block between 14th Street and 13th Street, the AC Hotel Atlanta Midtown offers 133 rooms with, according to a press release, “sophisticated, sleek design elements; plush seating; and multifunctional workspaces.” Playing off the location near arts venues like the High Museum and Fox Theatre, the hotel features bold mural-style pieces and sculptural elements created to represent dance and theatre.

Moxy Atlanta offers 155 rooms and communal areas with industrial features including reclaimed pallet ceilings and iron finishes. Guests will check-in at Bar Moxy and be welcomed by a complimentary cocktail, mocktail or coffee.  “Welcome Home,” a 54-foot long mural by renowned Atlanta artist, GREG MIKE, takes center stage in the lobby. The site-specific mural features his signature large format black and white bear peering over couches.

Above both hotels is High Note, a rooftop area featuring a pool, cabanas and bar, meeting space, state-of-the-art health and fitness and an outdoor entertaining area with fire pits. Executive Chef Jeremy Hartman is leading the European-style food and beverage offerings.

Working with the Midtown Alliance, the hotel has established a pedestrian connector called the Arts Walk. The hotel’s ground-level path will provide connectivity between 13th and 14th Streets while featuring installations from local artists. The Arts Walk will eventually span from 10th Street to the Woodruff Arts Center.

The post Noble Investment Group opens dual-branded AC and Moxy hotels in Midtown appeared first on Atlanta INtown Paper.

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The dual-branded AC Hotel and Moxy Hotel is now open in Midtown.

Noble Investment Group and Marriott International have opened the dual-branded AC Hotel and Moxy Hotel in Midtown.

Developed on an entire city block between 14th Street and 13th Street, the AC Hotel Atlanta Midtown offers 133 rooms with, according to a press release, “sophisticated, sleek design elements; plush seating; and multifunctional workspaces.” Playing off the location near arts venues like the High Museum and Fox Theatre, the hotel features bold mural-style pieces and sculptural elements created to represent dance and theatre.

Moxy Atlanta offers 155 rooms and communal areas with industrial features including reclaimed pallet ceilings and iron finishes. Guests will check-in at Bar Moxy and be welcomed by a complimentary cocktail, mocktail or coffee.  “Welcome Home,” a 54-foot long mural by renowned Atlanta artist, GREG MIKE, takes center stage in the lobby. The site-specific mural features his signature large format black and white bear peering over couches.

Above both hotels is High Note, a rooftop area featuring a pool, cabanas and bar, meeting space, state-of-the-art health and fitness and an outdoor entertaining area with fire pits. Executive Chef Jeremy Hartman is leading the European-style food and beverage offerings.

Working with the Midtown Alliance, the hotel has established a pedestrian connector called the Arts Walk. The hotel’s ground-level path will provide connectivity between 13th and 14th Streets while featuring installations from local artists. The Arts Walk will eventually span from 10th Street to the Woodruff Arts Center.

The post Marriott opens dual-branded AC and Moxy hotels in Midtown appeared first on Atlanta INtown Paper.

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Pinch ‘N’ Ouch Theatre is presenting a rousing, passionate version of the glam-rock musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” directed by Grant McGowen, running through Feb. 2 with the current cast; then it runs Feb. 7-March 2 with different leads.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Trask and book by John Cameron Mitchell, who was the original Hedwig when the show opened Off-Broadway in 1998, Pinch ‘N’ Ouch’s production features Chad Darnell as the “internationally ignored song stylist” of undefinable gender. To elaborate a bit, Hedwig begins life as Hansel, a “girlyboy” who loves rock music but is stuck in East Berlin. He finds a boyfriend, an American soldier who says he can get Hansel to America if he will get a sex-change operation and they can leave as man and wife.

But things go awry, and Hansel, now Hedwig, finds herself in a Kansas trailer park, deserted by the boyfriend and still dreaming of glam-rock music stardom. To add insult to injury, her new boyfriend Tommy Gnosis steals Hedwig’s music and becomes a wildly successful rock star.

Much of this narrative is related to the audience by Hedwig, who has become a world-weary sophisticate in spite of herself, and a smoothly confident singer and raconteur, who tells us everything, with the aid of a six-piece onstage band. Mr. Darnell’s performance is savvy and accomplished; he has an easy, almost mesmerizing concentration, which makes it difficult to take your eyes off him.

This is fortunate, for much of this 90-minute show is Hedwig’s alone—but not quite all. Hedwig is aided by her assistant and back-up singer (and husband, sort of) Yitzhak, played extremely well by Courtney Lakin. Yitzhak becomes more important in the show’s moving final minutes; I shall reveal nothing here.

Interestingly, many of the musicians (the band is called The Angry Inch) are also actors, so the stage virtually vibrates with histrionic experience. They are Anthony Triceri, Peter Strickland, TJ Hassan, John A. Carter, and Steve Lock Franks, who is also music director. The projection artist is Thien Vuong—some wonderful background designs vie for our attention. And the theatre is very intimate: You can’t escape Hedwig even if you try (you won’t). And if you’re in the first couple of rows, be warned—you’re in lap dance range.

If you’re new to “Hedwig,” some of these goings-on may strike you as frivolous fantasy. It’s not. Even though the show is wildly theatrical and often funny, there’s also a touching humanity, an eternal note of sadness (as the poet says) just beneath the surface. Mr. Darnell’s Hedwig is no blushing ingenue; she’s a grown woman who has known pain, sorrow, and disappointment. Yet there is a gallant, fierce strength as well. As the show’s notes say, this play is for anyone who has felt life gave them an inch when they deserved a mile.

Director McGowen has the good sense to give some experienced actors room to play; his direction is seamless and invisible.

I haven’t mentioned the songs, like “The Origin of Love” or “Sugar Daddy”; go and discover them yourself, as well as this musical comedy/drama—which is a most welcome start for 2019.

For tickets and information, visit pnotheatre.org.

The post Theatre Review: ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ at Pinch ‘N’ Ouch Theatre appeared first on Atlanta INtown Paper.

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By Cleo Creech

Komansé Dance Theater (KDT) takes it name from the Haitian/Creole word for beginning, as in the beginning of a conversation or dialogue. Creative Director Raianna Brown takes that mission seriously as she brings Skid to the stage at the Ferst Center for the Arts, at Georgia Tech on Jan. 25 and 26.

Inspired in part by the work of writer and social justice pioneer James Baldwin as well as current social justice issues like gentrification and homelessness, Skid explores the effects of societies torn apart and individuals who are tossed aside and have their humanity ignored. The KDT dancers bring us along on this journey, using elements of classical and modern dance, tap, West African influences and even trap music, jazz and hip-hop.

Creative Director, Raianna Brown works to create a safe space for young dancers to explore their own experiences as well as inviting and challenging the audience to connect on a very personal level on issues that are too often framed as only affecting the “other” In society.

Skid is also the product of a new Art@Tech program that promotes collaborative projects that cross multiple university disciplines. In Skid KDT is partnering with 3D print fashion designer, Shami Oshun, to create a truly unique and engaging performance space.

Creative Director Brown is known to a lot of the Atlanta Dance community. She started dancing when she was only four and further honed her craft through Spelman’s Summer Dance Institute as well as Price Performing Arts Center. She’s since gone on to train with numerous national dance institutions including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet in San Francisco.

She’s also taken on commissions for a number of previous local productions, many of these dealing with social justice issues. Dance patrons may have seen her work in past presentations of in Human (GA Tech), King Kunta (Emory) and 4 Hours. Her dance piece I Can’t Breath, which deals with incidents of police violence against black men, was performed in Atlanta then later restaged in Sorrento, Italy.

So from Dancer then Choreographer, the role of Creative Director seems a logical next step for Brown. She strikes you as one of those people who are always on the go, and always working towards and focused on her next big challenge. She’s also genuinely engaged and concerned about the world around her and her part in it, what she as an artist can bring to the table. With Dance as her medium, Brown seeks to bring authenticity and vulnerability to works that seek to highlight human connection and truth.

For tickets and information, visit this link.

The post Komansé Dance Theater brings ‘Skid’ to Ferst Center Jan. 25-26 appeared first on Atlanta INtown Paper.

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The AMP’s Junior Orchestra practices for a concert.

Like most music programs, Atlanta Music Project was hard at work the months leading up to their holiday concert. They rehearsed every Saturday morning, arriving as early as 9 a.m. with voices and violins, trombones and trumpets. But AMP students are exposed to an assortment of music, as vibrantly diverse as the musicians amongst them, all year long.

AMP empowers under served youth to help them realize their potential through music. The tuition-free program goes to neighborhoods where families either don’t have access or funds to attend music academies to build youth choirs and orchestras.

“If there are students interested in getting high quality music training, they generally have to travel or pay. Those are barriers that block out many of the families we are here for. So instead, we bring everything to them by going into the neighborhood with our teaching artists, instruments and unique performance opportunities, all at no cost to the families,” said AMP co-founder and director Aisha Moody. “We know what we are doing: we are a community of artists and educators. We grew up in the music world and it’s a part of us. We know that if you can just get here, we’ll do the rest of the work.”

AMP uses an immersion approach modeled after a program founded in Venezuela called El Sistema, and uses music as a tool for social change. Students first learn to play melodies and enjoy creating music before reading music and theory.

Most of the kids in the orchestra program had never touched an instrument before joining AMP. Through instrument “petting zoos,” they were able to test out instruments to see what they liked best, while staff might help nudge children in a certain direction to help build the sound of the orchestras.

Corey Jones practices the trombone.

“Sometimes the need of the orchestra dictates an instrument,” said Brian Kellum, director of orchestral programs and projects. “There are certain instrument families that are more needed than others, so we might gently nudge a child in that direction or go out into the community and look for a talented young artist.”

Since its inception in 2010, AMP has remained free for all musicians, but there is a strict attendance policy. Tuesday afternoons are reserved for wind instrument practice, Wednesday afternoons for string instruments, and all musicians stagger groggy into Sylvan Hills Middle School on Saturday mornings for full rehearsals.

“[Parents] take it very seriously and see the work that goes in. There is a lot of trust in what we are doing. They know that if they do make those sacrifices as parents, their kids will benefit in the end.” Kellum said.

Corey Jones, a junior at Charles R. Drew Charter School, said AMP gives him the challenges he was seeking. The trombonist, pianist and production student has attended summer programming with AMP for three years and joined the project’s new All Star Senior Orchestra last fall. “It feels good to be in a room full of people who want to play music, want to sound good, and do sound good,” Jones said.

Jones does not toot his own horn, or at least outside of the orchestra. A trombone teaching artist from AMP first taught the students the importance of teamwork amongst musicians. “Sometimes it can be confusing to understand your role in a team. Everyone wants to shine, but some people are meant to just support. Though my instrument is the second most powerful instrument in the band, it’s really a supporting instrument,” Jones said.

The AMP Choir

The All Star Youth Orchestra and Choir started last fall with four new ensembles: a Junior Youth Orchestra and Junior Youth Choir for middle school students, and a Senior Youth Orchestra and Senior Youth Choir based on musical skill. For the first time, AMP decided to ask for a registration fee for the program – a one-time $25 administration cost. Cricket Wireless made a $125,000 donation to AMP, which will go toward giving 100 students full scholarships to participate in the organization’s new ensembles.

AMP’s dream is to consolidate its rehearsal, offices and storage space in one location. The team dreams of a headquarters in south Atlanta complete with private practice rooms, large classrooms, office spaces and a performance hall to host smaller concerts.

For Moody, the future AMP home must reflect the musical mission. “Excellence is the standard here. They are insanely talented and very driven, so all they need are the right people to give them the right tools.”

For more information about Atlanta Music Project and upcoming concerts, visit atlantamusicproject.org.

The post Listen Up! Atlanta Music Project offers immersive musical education for local youth appeared first on Atlanta INtown Paper.

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The familiar glowing letters that spelled out EQUITABLE at the top of the 100 Peachtree building might be gone, but bright new digital signage is lighting up the Downtown skyline.

Georgia’s Own Credit Union, which has its headquarters at 100 Peachtree, launched the interactive signage last Thursday. The digital building-top signs are the first of their kind in the city.

The two LED signs on each side of the building were manufactured by local companies: Duluth’s Formetco and Douglasville’s DeNyse Sign Companies. The installation of the signs was successfully completed on schedule by Atlanta-based Skanska.

“This project has been a unique experience for the Skanska team, from lifting 160 tons of steel with a Sikorsky S-64 Aircrane helicopter to installing the sign structure to watching the sign go live for the first time,” said Kevin Bell, Vice President for Skanska’s Building Operations in Georgia and South Carolina. “This challenging project required extensive planning, and while the weather wasn’t always on our side, we finished on schedule and in time for the Super Bowl. We truly appreciate the support from Georgia’s Own, Zeller Realty Group, the Atlanta Police Department and the local community.”

The signs are already attracting attention for colorful artwork from “Off the Wall: Atlanta’s Civil Rights & Social Justice Journey” initiative created by local art nonpfrofit WonderRoot,

A collaboration between WonderRoot and the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee that began in June 2018, “Off the Wall: Atlanta’s Civil Rights & Social Justice Journey” uses murals, media and community conversations to elevate and amplify Atlanta’s role in civil rights, human rights and social justice movements.

The post Former Equitable building in Downtown gets new digital signage appeared first on Atlanta INtown Paper.

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Buckhead’s Atlanta Plaza building at 950 East Paces Ferry has been renamed Salesforce Tower Atlanta after an 18 month renovation, which includes a reimagined main lobby and facade upgrade with matching multi-tenant corridors, elevators, new cafés and enhanced connectivity with the Lenox MARTA station. The building’s namesake tenant is expanding the company’s regional headquarters inside the building and plans to add 600 new jobs.

GoATL Fund, an impact investment fund launched by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, has announced its most recent closing, a $1 million investment in Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.’s loan fund to support their expanding portfolio of multi-family affordable housing in neighborhoods with historically deprived levels of affordable housing and ones at risk of expiring affordability covenants. More information about the GoATL Fund can be found at cfgreateratlanta.org.

More than 1,300 of Atlanta’s leaders celebrated Georgia Power Chairman, President and CEO Paul Bowers as he received the 29th annual Four Pillars Award. The award recognizes an outstanding individual in the region and the state who demonstrates the ‘Four Pillars’ of leadership – quality, responsibility, vision and integrity – and exemplifies the council’s mission of promoting balanced and responsible growth.

Spacelab

The architects and designers at Atlanta-based tvsdesign have opened a pop-up office space called Spacelab in the Sweet Auburn district’s historic Constellations building. The space was  designed for testing furniture and products in a real-world setting to offer better design for their clients. “In their line of work, sometimes designers specify products they haven’t had a chance to see and touch in person,” says Elaine Elder of Illuminations Lighting. “Spacelab is a great remedy for that and we look forward to being involved in future Spacelab locations.”

Natural and holistic pet food and product retailer Hollywood Feed is now open at1289 Northside Drive, Suite 620.The shop offers premium dog and cat food brands, along with toys, regionally-sourced pet beds and treats, and other pet accessories. For more information, visit Facebook.com/HollywoodFeedNorthside.

JLL has completed a $4-million-dollar renovations at Downtown’s Hurt Building, one of the city’s oldest and most iconic skyscrapers. JLL handles project and development services, retail leasing, office leasing and property management on behalf of the owner, Gamma Real Estate. Renovations include a reimagined lobby and amenity-focused penthouse floor.

Lawn Love, a San Diego based digital marketplace for lawn care and gardening, has launched in Atlanta. The service enables users to schedule various types of yard work through the use of their mobile app or website. Users are then connected with pre-screened, qualified lawn care technicians. All payment, scheduling, and service reviewing are then completed on the Lawn Love platform. For more, visit lawnlove.com/atlanta-lawn-care.


Central Atlanta Progress
and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District have unveiled new master brand logos designed by local agency, My Friend’s Nephew. In addition to a new visual identity, CAP also completed a redesign of its website, AtlantaDowntown.com.

The post Business Briefs: Salesforce Tower debuts, Spacelab opens on Sweet Auburn and more appeared first on Atlanta INtown Paper.

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The Gulch today (Photo by Collin Kelley)

The Redlight the Gulch Coalition announced at a rally this morning at City Hall that four labor unions have joined the organization protesting the development deal for the 40-acre Downtown property adjacent to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The unions include International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 77;  Laborers International Union of America, Local 515; International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Local 33; and United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers, Local 136. Spearheaded by community think-tank Georgia STAND-UP and the Housing Justice League, Redlight the Gulch has been raising money to mount a legal challenge to the $5 billion development of offices, hotels, homes and retail from LA-based CIM Group, which will utilize $1.9 in public money to complete. The coalition objects to diverting tax dollars for a private development and inadequate affordable housing among other issues.

The City of Atlanta and the Department of City Planning (DCP) have launched ATL Permit Navigator, a business development portal designed to streamline the city’s permitting process. The site will help guide customers through complex projects such as renovations and new business development, including information on  zoning and building regulations, paying fees and obtaining licenses. Permit and zoning information is available in six languages, including: Spanish, French, Hindi, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean. Visit the portal at https://permits.atlantaga.gov/.

Autter, a rideshare app for teens, has launched in Atlanta. Designed to transport middle and high school aged children back and forth to practices, school, rehearsals, games and social activities, Autter allows parents and teens to schedule their rides in advance, receive text reminders and ride updates, get real-time geo-tracking, use an internal rating system, and pre-load destinations to save time when scheduling. The company does extensive, multi-level background checks on its drivers to ensure safety.

The post News Briefs: Labor unions protest Gulch deal; city launches permit navigator; teen rideshare service appeared first on Atlanta INtown Paper.

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Photo courtesy RUNATL

Atlanta already has an international reputation for being runner-friendly thanks to the annual Peachtree Road Race, but now the city is becoming a destination for those who want to keep fit while going on vacation.

Yes, “runcations” are now a thing and companies are sprinting to meet the demands of “runcation” travelers.

City Running Tours, offered in fourteen major North American cities including Atlanta, use a casual jog pace to cover more sightseeing ground than traditional walking tours. And Westin Hotels and Resorts has partnered with New Balance to create a workout gear lending service for impromptu training while traveling.

Atlanta company Big Peach Running Co. hosts group runs from their seven locations throughout the city. Marketing director Dave Martinez credits Atlanta’s runnable streets for encouraging him to lace his sneakers up 10 years ago after a long hiatus. Now “Dolomite Dave,” Martinez’s stage name for The RUNATL Podcast, is a Good Form Running instructor for Big Peach Running Co. and couldn’t live without his meditative daily jogs. “Especially in the mornings, when there are not a lot of people on the streets, you get to enjoy the city while it’s quiet and just getting started – and you get to see the sunrise and skyline,” he said.

Martinez, a marathon runner and triathlete, knows some of the best routes in the city. Sticking to the sidewalks is his number one piece of advice for inner city runs, but he also recommends exploring neighborhoods for residential routes. Silver Lake, nestled behind Oglethorpe University, is Martinez’s best-kept secret running route. He particularly likes Inman Drive, known for its twists and turns with a backdrop of elegant homes. “It’s a very challenging run because it’s hilly, but it has lots of trees and plenty of shade. It’s quiet and secluded and you feel like you are in north Georgia, but you are still inside the city,” Martinez said.

Curious which routes attract those on “runcations?”

Iconic Atlanta: See many of Atlanta’s most popular spots on a running loop totaling only 3 miles. Start at Centennial Olympic Park and run south down Marietta Street. Turn right on Centennial Olympic Park Drive to see CNN Center and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Another right onto Martin Luther King Jr. Drive takes joggers past Underground Atlanta and on to the Georgia State Capitol. Tracking back, runners can see the city from a different perspective, as well as snap a photo of the Skyview Ferris Wheel.

Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail: Explore some of the city’s cultural hubs with a longer run from Piedmont Park to Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market and the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. Starting at Piedmont Park, run south along the Atlanta BeltLine past Ponce City Market and on to Krog Street Market, clocking in 2.5 miles. Turn right onto Irwin Street for a one mile jog over to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic. Circle back, but first take a pit stop at the Atlanta BeltLine Center for more information on the popular trail.

Two Miles in Midtown: From Piedmont Park’s entrance at 12th Street, run south to 10th Street along Piedmont Avenue. Take the rainbow cross walk to run west to the Margret Mitchell House. Next, run north on Peachtree Street for .5 mile to Colony Square, turning right down 14th Street to circle back to Piedmont Park. End with a run through tranquility in Piedmont Park’s Six Springs Wetlands.

The post Hit the Road: Runners are combining vacation time to take ‘runcations’ in Atlanta appeared first on Atlanta INtown Paper.

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