Reporter’s Notebook: Casting director buys local historic farmhouse, Alliance Theatre becomes new host for Poetry Out Loud Competition, rock band shows Star Bar support
This week 98 years ago, former president Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Warm Springs, Ga., for the first time, seeking solace from his polio complications. Roosevelt invested his own money into a treatment center, founding the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation in 1927. He also built a home known as “The Little White House,” where he died in 1945.
On to other recent news:
Historic farmhouse buyer was inspired by reality TV casting
A background in casting home renovation reality TV motivated one of the new owners who is saving a historic Roswell farmhouse.
Brandy and Jared Kirschner were announced last month as the buyers of the Hembree Farmhouse on Hembree Road, which dates to around 1835. They made the purchase of the endangered farmhouse, which will need extensive rehabilitation and upgrades, through a Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation program involving a permanent preservation agreement.
Brandy Kirschner is a casting director and producer whose credits include such HGTV series as “Life Under Renovation” and “I Bought a Dump…Now What?” She told SaportaReport that became a motivator to find a historic home to rehabilitate.
“I have been working for home renovation shows for over a decade, and I have been inspired by those that I have featured on those shows that have specifically taken on these incredible historic homes,” she said. “In that process, I had kind of immersed myself in this community of old house lovers!”
Her friends knew about the “obsession” and notified her when the Georgia Trust offered the farmhouse for sale. The plan is for the house to become home to her mother, who works as a historic site docent and demonstrates Colonial and Civil War-era cooking and crafts.
“I cried tears of joy when I got the call from the Georgia Trust,” said Brandy. “This is a chance to establish a legacy property for our family while also keeping it accessible to the community in any way we can.”
— John Ruch
Alliance Theatre becomes new home for Georgia’s Poetry Out Loud Competition
This week, the Alliance Theatre announced a new partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation and Georgia Council for the Arts to become the new home of “Poetry Out Loud” in the state.
“Poetry Out Loud” encourages high school students to learn about poetry through memorization and recitation of the written word. The theatre will coordinate the program with schools across Georgia before hosting the Atlanta regional semi-finals next year.
The program will introduce students to classic and contemporary poetry, encouraging them to learn about literary history and contemporary life and help them master public speaking skills and build self-confidence.
“This new initiative allows us to scale that work statewide, encouraging teens to embrace poetry, proclaim it loudly, and perform it with artful confidence that promises to inspire,” said Dan Reardon, Director of Education at The Alliance Theatre.
Online registration is now open. Schools and organizations must register online by Dec. 16, 2022, to participate in the 2022/23 program.
— Allison Joyner
Rock band Magnapop and famed zine-maker show Star Bar support
The Atlanta rock band Magnapop is teaming with a famed music scene chronicler to support the endangered Star Community Bar with a concert poster proclaiming, “Developers can bite my ass.”
Known for such 1990s singles as “Close the Door” and its close ties to R.E.M., Magnapop is scheduled to play the Star Bar on Nov. 12 ahead of a European tour. Among others on the bill is Pylon Reenactment Society, which features Vanessa Briscoe Hay, frontwoman of the legendary Athens band Pylon.
For the Star Bar show, Magnapop has commissioned a special poster from Henry Owings, known for recording the Athens and Atlanta rock scenes in his zine Chunklet and his work in promoting concerts and designing and releasing albums. The band said on social media that it will sell the poster at the show, with proceeds going to the bar’s “legal fund” and “good fight.”
However, there is no such fund or legal battle, according to bar co-owner Luke Lewis. He said the bar is currently focused on finalizing an agreement to extend its lease into sometime next year. The landlord of the well-known bar and music venue at 437 Moreland Ave. in Little Five Points, Point Center Partners, has teamed with Third & Urban on a controversial redevelopment proposal for the site and a neighboring school. The concept would replace the bar with a commercial building, but offer it a new basement-level space, which remains a point of contention.
“I also do not foresee that being a road we go down unless talks between Star Bar, Point Center and Third & Urban descend into utter chaos,” Lewis added about legal action, emphasizing that the bar is continuing its talks with the team. “… The wheels of commercial real estate and redevelopment grind very, very slowly.”
Magnapop and Owings could not immediately be reached for comment.
— John Ruch
City officials ask dog owners to leash up pets
The City of Atlanta has rolled out its LeashUpATL campaign, presented in partnership with the Atlanta Police Department and Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), encouraging residents to keep their dogs leashed unless in a designated leash-free area.
City ordinances require dogs to be on leashes in public areas unless otherwise designated. Folks who allow their dogs off-leash in undesignated areas could receive maximum fines of up to $1,000.
There are eight off-leash parks in the city, including Piedmont Park, South Bend, Renaissance Park, Walker Park, Freedom Barkway, Kirkwood Dog Park, Mozley Park Dog Park and Melvin Drive Park Dog Park.
“The safety and wellbeing of all Atlantans, and our furry friends, is our top priority,” said DPR Commissioner Justin Cutler. “To maximize the safety and enjoyment of our parks and greenspaces, the department offers eight off-leash dog parks throughout the city with more on the way!”
Click here for more information about the City of Atlanta’s pet ordinances.
— Hannah E. Jones
College Football Hall of Fame Welcomes Six New Members to Board of Directors
The College Football Hall of Fame announced the appointment of six new members to the nonprofit’s board of directors. The roster of corporate and civic leaders will help define the organization’s vision for the future. They include:
- Susan A. Cahoon, Partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
- Brett Jewkes, Executive Vice President/Chief Brand and Communications Officer for AMB Sports + Entertainment/Blank Family of Businesses
- Dr. Mona Lisa Pinkney, Sr. Site Leader, Atlanta Technology Center, Global Technology for Nike
- Bob Schuler, Senior Vice President, Event Sales and Operations for International Market Centers
- Michael Ford, Corporate Vice President of Global Workplace Services for Microsoft (appointed in 2021)
- Gregory J. Slavonic, retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, former Under Secretary of the Navy and currently the President and CEO of Blue Water Strategies (appointed in 2021)
“On behalf of the Hall’s leadership and entire board of directors, we welcome our newest members to our team,” said Kimberly Beaudin, President and CEO of the College Football Hall of Fame. “These strategic additions are titans within their own industries, and their depth and breadth of experience will certainly provide important voices as we plan for the future.”
— Derek Prall
Decatur Beer Festival back after two-year hiatus
After a two-year wait due to COVID, the 20-plus-year-old Decatur Beer Festival — now renamed A Decatur Backyard Beer Festival — will return on Saturday, Oct. 15 at Legacy Park.
The festival will include 70 craft beer makers, live music and activities with local nonprofits like improv musicians with the Frank Hamilton School of Music and food samplings from chefs with the Refugee Women’s Network.
The event is organized by local nonprofit Simply Us Doing Our Share, created by Dave Blanchard, Tom Moore and Mike Gallagher, community members known for Brick Store Pub, LEON’s Full Service, Good Word Brewing and Giving Kitchen. All festival proceeds will be donated to Legacy Decatur, supporting their initiatives like Bicentennial Fund, Decatur Land Trust and Creative Village.
Over the festival’s last 20 years, over $1.6 million were donated to local nonprofits.
Click here for more information and tickets.
— Hannah E. Jones
Leadership Atlanta calls for Class of 2024 nominations
Each year, Leadership Atlanta selects around 80 leaders in the city for a nine-month executive-level series and now, the team is seeking nominations for its Class of 2024. Established over 52 years ago, Leadership Atlanta is a network of leaders dedicated to improving Atlanta by serving its communities.
Through retreats, seminars, service projects and community tours, the community leadership program is created to help local leaders explore critical community issues, build connections and strengthen their leadership skills.
Leadership Atlanta is seeking folks who hold leadership positions, have a strong commitment to the community through voluntary service and have the drive to effect change.
Those who were nominated will receive application information in December. The application portal will also open in December. Folks can reach out via email with questions.
Click here for more information on the nomination and application process.
— Hannah E. Jones
Atlanta Greek Film Expo is back for seventh year
From Oct. 28 to 30, Atlanta’s cinema and culture lovers will have the chance to view new feature films from Greece and Cyprus and the 2022 Atlanta Greek Film Expo. Hosted at the Regal Tara Cinema, the weekend’s line-up includes four films that were deemed the best of recent international film festivals.
Screenings include “Tailor,” “Smyrna, My Beloved,” “Senior Citizen” and “King Otto.” The four films — three Greek and one Cypriot — are each in Greek with English subtitles.
Click here for tickets and additional information.
— Hannah E. Jones
East Point hosts job fair for Customer Care Department
On Friday, Oct. 14, the East Point Customer Care Department will host a job fair at City Hall on East Point St from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.
Customer Resource Specialist, Billing Coordinator/Auditors and Collections Supervisor are the positions available for $16 per hour and up with benefits, competitive salaries, pension, paid time off and sick and annual leave.
Applicants must have experience working in a call center, cash handling, local government, banking and utility. Business casual attire is strongly encouraged, along with a resume and references.
To apply for these positions or learn more about the job fair, click here.
— Allison Joyner
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