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Column: Atlanta History Center to host Juneteenth celebration
by Sally F. White
June 18, 2014 11:08 AM | 5402 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally F. White
Sally F. White
The Atlanta History Center in Buckhead will mark a two-day Juneteenth celebration Saturday and Sunday on its campus on West Paces Ferry Road. The weekend will focus on the commemoration of emancipation from slavery in the U.S. The first Juneteenth was June 19, 1865.

This year’s events have special significance as part of the simultaneous commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to recognize the importance of freedom, progress and shared history and culture.

Guests will participate in festivities including Meet the Past museum theater performances, kid-friendly hands-on activities, storytelling, genealogy workshops, special musical performances and “The Cooking Gene: Tracing My African American Story Through Food” with speaker Michael Twitty, an African-American culinary historian.

Highlights both days are the premiere performances of award-winning playwright Addae Moon’s “The Order of Freedom” in the Kennedy Theater from noon and 2 p.m. The play traces a couple’s journey from slavery to citizenship.

Self-guided tours will be open in the Kinsey Collection’s “Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey — Where Art and History Intersect” and the “Turning Point: The American Civil War” exhibits.

Food from Sweet Auburn BBQ and the Coca-Cola Café’s Chick-fil-A will be sold.

All activities are programmed during the Wells Fargo Free Admission Weekend at the center Saturday from 11 a. m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Funding for the programs is provided by Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council and Wells Fargo.

The center is an all-inclusive, 33-acre destination featuring the Atlanta History Museum, the 1928 Swan House and the 1860 Smith Family Farm, the Centennial Olympic Games Museum, the Kenan Research Center, the Grand Overlook event space and 22 acres of historic gardens with paths and trails.

It also operates the Margaret Mitchell House in Midtown.

Tickets and information: (404) 814-4000 or

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For 13 years a provocative and entertaining annual event known as Atlanta Cotillion has provided important support and $1.2 million in funding for AID Atlanta by hosting one of city’s most daring fundraising galas.

Saturday, AID Atlanta will host Cirque de Nuit en Rouge, an avant-garde, over-21 benefit at the Delta Flight Museum on Delta Boulevard near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Dazzling attired guests will dance to music provided by international DJ David Knapp as they enjoy cocktails and heavy hors d’ouevres, bid on fabulous silent auction items and be amazed by French circus performers. Entertainment also will be provided by Chris Poppycock, a finalist on “America’s Got Talent,” and Dragonhouse, a dance troupe featured on “So You Think You Can Dance.” There also will be some surprise celebrity guests.

This year’s cotillion is being chaired by David Janke.

All proceeds will benefit AID Atlanta’s mission to reduce new HIV infections and improve the quality of life of its members and the community by breaking barriers and building community support.

AID Atlanta is offering free shuttle service from Midtown to the event site, and Uber is donating a portion of all proceeds from that night’s sales to the nonprofit.

Tickets and information: (404) 870-7706 or or

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Saturday’s black-tie event at the Cobb Galleria Centre near Vinings, themed “Saving the Future One Tie at a Time,” will launch an inspirational campaign to help children and their families living with sickle cell anemia.

Hosted by the nonprofit Winning the Battles In Your Mind, the elegant evening will include: a bone marrow donor match drive, a fashion show featuring children 6 to 13 who are battling sickle cell, a formal dinner, a spectacular performance by the Norton Park Dancers, a comedy show and a silent auction to give support to young ones suffering from the malady.

The “One Tie” name references the launch of a national online campaign to sell formal ties to augment financial support for sickle cell patients and their families beyond the benefit evening.

Established by life coach Aretha Cleveland in 2008, Winning the Battles in Your Mind was founded to teach others how to discover their purpose and realize their dreams. As Cleveland journeys through life, she said she believes God provides her with the necessary principles to live her own life to the fullest and inspire others to deal with personal tragedies. She teaches the principles in inspirational seminars and gives financial support through fundraisers and the new online tie project.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in DeKalb County report some 90,000 youngsters under 21 are diagnosed with childhood sickle cell anemia each year. Young Vanessa Gissel and her family inspired Cleveland to say, “My objective is to put a spotlight on the types of sickle cell that affects children and to bring attention to issues around survivorship and ways we can help reach a financial goal for research and family support.”

Tickets and information: (770) 309-3655 or

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Trees Atlanta is introducing an inaugural summer camp series as part of its popular Junior TreeKeepers free environmental education programs in 20 metro Atlanta schools. The summertime program will augment its school-year education about the city’s urban forests, pollinator insects, community connections, environmental stewardship and the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum.

Two five-day camp sessions for elementary and middle students this summer will run Monday through June 27 for ages 11 through 14 and July 14 through 18 for ages 7 through 10.

Participants can report to the Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center on Chester Avenue in Reynoldstown as early as 7:30 a.m. each day and can be picked up by their parents as late as 5 p.m. They will be transported to locations for interactive and hands-on activities in environmental science as well as field trips to local attractions such as Stone Mountain and Fernbank’s 200-year-old forest. Campers will explore the environment, orienteering and GPS mapping, community service, teamwork and much more. Lunch, snacks, a hat, a journal and transportation are included in the weekly registration price. A limited number of scholarships are available.

Trees Atlanta is a nationally recognized nonprofit volunteer citizens group that protects and improves Atlanta’s urban forest by planting, conserving and educating. Since 1985 it has planted and distributed more than 100,000 trees.

Registration and information: (404) 681-4898 or

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The four-day statewide public Roadshow of Alternative Fueled Vehicles will begin Monday at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre near Vinings.

Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols originated the statewide presentations to inform the transportation industry and educate the consuming public on the economics and practicality of implementing alternative-fueled transportation solutions.

Clean Cities Georgia is joining Echols’ effort to present the 2014 showcase displays with informative speeches to expand the presentation to a broader public audience with the 9 a.m. to noon roadshow. There are also similar presentations at seven other locations throughout Georgia set for Tuesday through June 26: Atlanta’s Georgia International Convention Center plus Evans, Warner Robins, Savannah, Clayton, Gainesville and Columbus.

The displays will showcase and demonstrate 10 or more on-site, alternative-fueled cars and trucks powered by clean fuel — electric, natural gas, propane, ethanol, fuel cell and biodiesel.

The 2014 roadshows are open to the public, including students, with reservations and nominal ticket prices which include seminar-style speeches, breakfast and lunch.

No public funds are used for the presentations. The events are underwritten by sponsors and supporters of clean fuels.

Tickets and information: (678) 810-0929 or

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