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Column: Gala at the Gate to honor residents making impact
by Sally F. White
Northside Neighbor Columnist
September 18, 2013 05:18 PM | 5131 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist

The National Monuments Foundation will host the third biannual Gala at the Gate to announce the 2013 Middelthon-Candler Peace, Justice and Millennium Gate Awards Sept. 21 at the Millennium Gate Museum on 17th Street in Atlantic Station.

The foundation is an independent charitable trust headed by Rodney M. Cook Jr. and receives no government funding. Four notable Atlantans will be awarded prizes at the event benefiting the museum’s mission to preserve and interpret Georgia’s history, architecture, culture and philanthropic heritage, as well as highlight Georgia’s historical and aesthetic relevance to the U.S. and the world.

The Middelthon-Candler Prizes were created in 2009 by Matthew Middelthon, the great-great-grandson of Coca-Cola founder Asa G. Candler, as a tangible way to continue the family’s extraordinary stewardship of Atlanta’s arts, charitable and civic institutions, and patronage of The Millennium Gate.

The awards are presented every other year by the foundation.

The three 2013 winners of the prestigious awards are: the Justice Prize, to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; the Peace Prize, to retired television personality Monica Pearson; and the Millennium Gate Prize to Kelly Loeffler and Jeff Sprecher, whose visionary business leadership fuels cultural commitment to building community and the economic future of Atlanta.

The gala will begin on the lawn of the museum with a reception under the beautiful triumphal arch monument and proceed with a formal seated dinner, a brief program and dancing at the adjacent Georgia History Museum.

Chairwoman Sarah O’Brien along with honorary co-chairwomen Cyndae Arrendale and Dr. Dorothy Mitchell-Leef are leading more than 50 inspired gala committee members.

Tickets and information: (770) 313-3129 or visit

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The Atlanta Steinway Society 2013 Scholarship Concert will take place Sept. 22 at 3 p.m. in the Kellett Chapel at Peachtree Presbyterian Church on Roswell Road in Buckhead. The event is free and open to the public.

Featured in performance will be three Georgia recipients of the annual $1,000 college piano scholarships: Bethany Michelle Sewall, a junior at Georgia State University; Beth Anne Ake, a sophomore at Kennesaw State University; and Mary Jackson, a sophomore at the University of North Georgia.

You don’t have to own a Steinway or even play a musical instrument to enjoy the performances or join the society. The mission is to promote community enthusiasm fostering appreciation of piano performances and nurturing emerging artists throughout Georgia though piano scholarships and recitals. 

The independent nonprofit society was founded in 1980 and inspired by Barbara Kirby, a Steinway Piano saleswoman. It carries out the vision of creating opportunities for recitals reminiscent of days-gone-by salon concerts and working with colleges throughout Georgia to select student candidates to receive annual piano scholarships.

The organization added a separate endowed piano student scholarship at Kennesaw State University in 2008 and also raises funds for the C. Merrell Calhoun Prodigy Award for young pianists under 15 for an annual private scholarship reward of $450 to $1,000.

Membership and event information: (770) 457-4986 or visit

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A fashionable Shop and Share evening Sept. 26 at the Lilly Pulitzer store at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead will build momentum for the 40th anniversary Language & Literacy Gala benefiting the Atlanta Speech School Nov. 17.

Ten percent of sales from 6 to 9 p.m. will be donated to the ongoing Atlanta Speech School scholarship fund. The goal is: “No child in need of [Atlanta] Speech School services will be turned away because of financial limitations.”

Lilly Pulitzer is the presenting sponsor for the November gala and is hosting this fall fashion-oriented shopping event with the Atlanta Speech School Guild to augment the 2013 fundraising effort.    

Gala co-chairwomen Liza Jancik and Mary Anne Massie and current guild President Yancey McCollum will be on hand as greeting hostesses to enlighten shoppers about the school’s programs.

The school is the nation’s most comprehensive language center for children and adults. Established in 1938 as a one-room school for children with hearing loss, today’s exceptional campus serves children and adults with speech, hearing, language or learning disabilities through clinical and education programs.

In addition to providing professional development for teachers and educators, the school encompasses four schools, outpatient clinics, a learning lab and a professional development institute.

Founded in 1969, the nonprofit guild, comprised of family members and friends, provides the school with classroom volunteers and financial aid support as it generates community interest in the school and its special services.

Information: (404) 695-5131 or visit

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The Forward Arts Foundation and the Swan Coach House Gallery in Buckhead will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Emerging Artist Award with a retrospective exhibit featuring works of past winners. Opening Sept. 26 with an evening reception, the exhibit will remain open to the public through Nov. 2.

Gallery Curator Marianne Lambert has assembled new works by the following emerging artist winners (listed in chronological order): Carl Joe Williams, Debra Elaine Johnson, David Isenhour, Ruth Dusseault, Matt Haffner, Grady Haugerud, Ann-Marie Manker, Santiago De Paoli, Ben Roosevelt, Paul Stephen Benjamin, Cosmo Whyte, Lucha Rodriguez, S. Patricia Patterson, Born and Morgan Alexander.

Volunteer members of the foundation hosting the reception are: Betty Edge, Sara Hehir, Nancy Hooff, Becky Warner, Jana Simmons, Sarah English Perry, Jody Weatherly, Loraine Williams and Eileen Millard.

The foundation instituted the Emerging Artist Award in 1998 to recognize metro Atlanta’s fertile arts community during a period when the community faced decreased funding options for individual artists. It provides a monetary award and a venue for a solo exhibition at the Swan Coach House Gallery to introduce and encourage talented emerging artists. As of 2013, award-winning artists have received a total of $172,000.

The nonprofit foundation supports the visual arts in Atlanta with sales from the Swan Coach House Gallery, Gift Shop and Restaurant located on the Atlanta History Center campus on West Paces Ferry Road.

Information: (404) 266-2636 or visit

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As an energizing leadoff for funding the annual Legendary Party set for Nov. 2 at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead to benefit the world-renowned Shepherd Center in Buckhead, patrons and sponsors are hosting a festive patron party Sept. 26 at the ultra-modern offices of the Greenberg Traurig law firm at Terminus in Buckhead.

Karen Spiegel, chairwoman of the upcoming Legendary Party, themed “The Future Is Now,” will introduce two special four-footed guests, Frosty and Bentley, to show off the new animal-assisted therapy programs at Shepherd during the patron party.

“The highly intelligent blonde Labrador Retrievers bring joy to patients, handle household tasks and respond to more than 40 verbal commands,” Spiegel said. “They will be sporting Shepherd Center black ties accented by orange, the trademark color of presenting sponsor Home Depot.”

Joining in the patron preview are Shepherd founders James, Alana and Harold Shepherd and Medical Director Dr. Don Leslie. Sally and McKee Nunnally will be recognized as dedicated honorary co-chairs for the November event.

Other committee chairs are: Kay Quigley and Sally Dorsey, patron party; Gayle and Jimmy Alston, Jack Sawyer and Dr. William Torres, patron; Cecilia and Allen Wright, ladies and gentleman’s committee; and Elizabeth and Carl Allen, host committee.

Legendary Party proceeds for 2013 will be allocated to the assistive technology program, which is 100 percent donor-funded. Shepherd is a private, nonprofit Atlanta hospital founded in 1975 and specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord and brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain and other neurological conditions.

Tickets and information: (404) 350-7302 or visit

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The fourth annual Bodies as a Work of Art event benefiting the Chelko Foundation Sept. 28 will expand to worldwide participation this year showcasing art works created on the human body and presented live.

The event will take place at the Atlantic Aviation Services Hangers at Peachtree DeKalb Airport near Chamblee. Artists from across the world are invited to participate in the new sanctioned World Bodypainting Association event, which will become the U.S. Bodypainting Championships in 2014.

This year’s unique show will blend live music, aerial performances, gallery art offerings and an exciting, interactive audience vote component, allowing all in attendance to weigh in on their favorite presentations of the evening.

In addition, enthusiasts will view images of the top artists in the bodypainting field displayed for acquisition during the evening along with Paul Chelko art.

Included in the admission ticket will be an assortment of delectable eats and complimentary cocktails.

Forty-one artists from eight countries and 14 states will compete this year in two categories: emerging artists and professional. They will create and present their best work before a panel of internationally qualified judges behind the scenes. Then all the teams will present individual one-minute runway presentations for the public party audience. Attendees will have the opportunity to pick their own top winners — even if they differ from the jury rankings. The evening will conclude with an awards ceremony and a concert.

Along with the bodypainting presentations, entertainers will set the scene: body-bending aerialist Emerald Dove gives a graceful flame-tamer performance; a musical performance by cabaret/burlesque artist Crystal Bright; new country hip-hop vocalist Babi Mac; and, rounding out the evening, a refined rock performance by the band Romeo Spike.

Clea and Marcus Calloway, Sara Wolf Mixon and Marian Goldberg are serving as event co-chairs. Carey Carter is being recognized as the 2013 honorary chairman.

Patrons will experience the one-of-a-kind live fine art medium as “Living Art America — Bodies as a Work of Art” in the moment while ticket funds support the ongoing foundation goal.

Founded in 2005 by the late Atlanta artist Paul Chelko in honor of his wife, Debbie, the foundation aims to empower women worldwide, ending gender bias and violence against women and girls. The nonprofit seeks to accomplish this goal through art, education and partnership.

Tickets and information: (404) 993-0306 or visit

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