Best of Atlanta 2021: view

See all the Best of Atlanta 2021 winners

Charmaine Minniefield House of Worship Project

Photograph by Julie Yarbrough Photography

Public Art: Charmaine Minniefield’s House of Worship Project

At Oakland Cemetery, artist Charmaine Minniefield recreated a traditional house of worship and ringing cry (where worshipers gathered in a circle to stomp and praise) for Juneteenth. Now these spaces of worship, considered the forerunners of the West’s first black churches, are expected to be replenished in Emory, South-View Cemetery and Decatur Square. The Decatur edition will permanently replace the Confederate monument at the DeKalb History Center as part of the county’s centennial celebration in 2022.

Adaptive reuse: the works

Just as warehouses turned into culinary wonderland were starting to feel overdone, this 80-acre Selig business brought in celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern to help organize an eclectic dining room and incorporated a game zone. an acre with a canopy of trees. Even the parking garage is nifty.

Place to see the best comics: Atlanta Comedy Theater

Discover comedy superstars such as Tommy Davidson, DL Hughley and Bill Bellamy at the Atlanta Comedy Theater in Norcross. Ms Pat even recorded her Netflix special live here earlier this year. Located in a bustling shopping center, the space straddles the grungy and the upscale. Local comedian Josh Harris also teaches theater classes for aspiring comedians and those daring to give it a try.

New ANP Visual Arts Center: Reeves House

After years of preparation, the Reeves House visual arts center opened in May as a stylish, albeit spartan gallery and cafe, replicating a historic but run-down house from the 1800s. It adds a new artistic dimension to the center. still thriving town of Woodstock.

New zoo attraction: Grant Park Gateway

Where else can you watch giraffes, zebras and elephants on roller skates? Topped with 2.5 acres of green space, this LEED-certified 1,000-space parking lot next to the Atlanta Zoo enhances and beautifies Atlanta’s oldest park (free for people, not cars).

New performing arts center: Lawrenceville Arts Center

Nostalgia for a movie palace meets sleek, modern design at the Lawrenceville Arts Center, the new home of the Aurora Theater. With lavish carpets in gold and royal blue, industrial railings and modern light fixtures, the $ 35 million installation features a 500-seat proscenium stage, a 125-seat cabaret theater, and a court theater. spacious. The spaces are also intended to be educational laboratories for technical theater, deepening Aurora’s partnership with Georgia Gwinnett College and Gwinnett County Schools. The first show in space is Aurora’s feature film Christmas canteen review, until December 23.

New park: Westside Park

Fifteen years of planning and construction culminated in the $ 44 million first phase of what is fast becoming Atlanta’s largest park and a focal point for job-creating Westside investments. The horizon views through the centerpiece, the 2.4 billion gallon tank are already (Insta) famous.

Rodney Cook Sr. Peace Park
Photo courtesy of HDR © 2021 Dan Schwalm

New Neighborhood Park: Rodney Cook Sr. Peace Park

On sunny afternoons, a few blocks from Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Rodney Cook Sr. Peace Park, a stunning new 16-acre green space in Vine City, is teeming with community life. Kids scramble over playground equipment, babies gurgling on picnic blankets, and Tailgaters’ hawks throw in some serious flag football.

Dance Festival: (MC) 2: Culture on the Move | Community on the move

This new annual multicultural dance festival, hosted by Emory faculty member George Staib, brought together 12 local dance organizations last summer at East Point for five days of free conversations, performances and lessons, where the Community members learned the basics of capoeira, flamenco, hip-hop, and Mexican zapateo.

New holiday tradition: the theater at the front

In a season stuffed with chestnuts like A Christmas Carol and Rudolph, the city’s LGBTQ + theater is committed to camping Christmas with new annual productions, including this year’s Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes — Holiday Edition (scheduled from December 10 to 19) and last year Ethel Merman Disco Christmas Show, which fans could download virtually.

New theater incubator for Black Voices: Hush Harbor Lab Theater

Named for the secret signals, passwords, and codes invented by American slaves who called them to a safe haven, Hush Harbor Lab Theater is a “brave space” for new works by black Atlanta artists. Works unveiled this year include Code Noir by playwright Carolyn Cook and a captivating workshop performance from Amina McIntyre’s solo show Nina Simone, Eunice in Paris, starring Atlanta actress Parris Sarter, which aired on Zoom.

ZuCot Gallery
ZuCot Gallery

Courtesy of ZuCot Gallery

Contemporary black art gallery: Galerie ZuCot

Contemporary black artists have a home at the ZuCot Gallery in Castleberry Hill. The gallery, the largest gallery of African-American fine art in the Southeast, was started in 2008 by Troy Taylor, an engineer who developed a passion for collecting art and is named after his grand- mother. The collection includes a wide range of diaspora aesthetics, from vivid figurative paintings by Charly Palmer to Picasso sculptures by Kimmy Cantrell. The exhibitions are open to visitors by appointment only.

Reason to laugh: Mark Kendall’s Atlanta-centric YouTube skits

After Dad’s Garage veteran skit “If MARTA Came to Cobb County” went viral, he quickly wrote and filmed a sequel featuring his team of transit thieves planning a heist of the Gwinnett County house. : “Remember, a lot of work and school is virtual these days so, to get them on the outside, Ronnie will be performing a one-person adaptation from season four of Friends. “

Turn On A Classic: The Terminus Ballet Christmas Movie / Show

Terminus Modern Ballet Theater debuted on Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol as a film in 2020. This year, Marley was dead, to begin with: a Christmas carol told again will be performed live at the Kennesaw State University Dance Theater, then screened in film form December 17 through January 10.

Cabaret Lounge: Libby Whittemore

Throughout the pandemic, Atlanta cabaret queen Libby Whittemore and her longtime musical director Robert Strickland have performed over 70 weekly concerts, all of which streamed live to Facebook from her Buckhead lounge. Fans from as far away as Brazil and the UK include Hallmark Channel movie queen Barbara Niven.

Magical visits of the black girl
Tarika Sullivan and Charlie Jackson from Black Girl Magic Tours

Mural Crawl: Black Girl Magic Tours

Tarika Sullivan was in a doctoral program studying the impact black women’s hair has on the way they move around the world when she realized there was a need for more than she could. describe in his thesis. She started Black Girl Magic Tours to provide a space for black women to celebrate themselves without fear. On the Sprinter tours, get ready to sip “Black-girl-linis” and nibble on delicious cupcakes as you “wall explore” around Atlanta to see artwork depicting black women, painted by black women.

Art Flex: Atlanta’s African Diaspora Art Museum

Who is launching a museum without walls in the midst of a pandemic? Fahamu Pecou. Atlanta’s African Diaspora Art Museum shines a light on contemporary black art and culture through exhibits, programs (Arts Fair, Midnight oil) and artist residencies, all virtually, for now. A brick and mortar location for ADAMA is in the works, but Pecou sees highlighting the global black experience as a borderless endeavor.

The linchpins of film festivals

When festival-goers could not make it to theaters, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, BronzeLens Film Festival, and Cinema release all of them figured out how to virtually present their annual festivals to fans. AJFF teleported actors Jonathan Silverman, Robby Benson and Ron Rifkin to living rooms while BronzeLens reunited online color designers with directors such as Ramazan Nanayev and Gloria Ui Young Ki. The Atlanta Film Festival, meanwhile, offered a virtual screenwriting workshop with Steve Yockey, the former Atlanta playwright who developed the hit HBO series Max. The stewardess. And this fall, Out on Film offered both an in-person festival at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema and a concurrent virtual festival for LGBTQ + moviegoers, including the Atlanta premiere of Jump, darling, the last starring role of Oscar winner Cloris Leachman as a sardonic but supportive grandmother of a drag performer. —Richard L. Eldredge

This article appears in our December 2021 issue.

Comments are closed.