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Column: Oakland to host Tunes from the Tombs
by Sally F. White
May 17, 2012 08:08 PM | 1595 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
The Tunes from the Tombs weekend festival-style event Saturday and Sunday at Historic Oakland Cemetery near Grant Park will draw supporters of the historic site and curiosity seekers to the 162-year-old Victorian garden cemetery, for a unique musical experience.

Musicians will perform in and among Oakland’s extraordinary monuments, mausoleums and renowned gardens. Several main stages will host amplified artists while buskers (street performers) will perform on vignette stages throughout the grounds. All genres of music will be represented: rock, folk, Americana, jazz, classical and everything in between. Featured bands and musicians hail from Atlanta, around Georgia, California and beyond.

Free guided mini-tours of the cemetery will be offered throughout both days.

In addition to the souls who reside permanently at Oakland, Tunes from the Tombs will offer lots of other spirits: wine, beer and a variety of local foods including selections from popular Atlanta eateries such as Pallookaville, Sweet Auburn BBQ, Six Feet Under, The Varsity and King of Pops.

In keeping with Oakland’s green initiative, festival attendees are encourage to ride MARTA to the King Memorial Station. Parking will be available for $5 at the Grady Health Systems lot on Grant Street.

Entry ticket hours are Saturday from 1 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for one day or $15 for a two-day pass; children under 12 are admitted for $5 for one day or $10 for both days, and kids under 3 get in free. Tickets are only available at the gate.

All proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Historic Oakland Foundation. Supported by grants from charitable foundations and generous individuals, the foundation was established in 1976 by volunteers to partner with the city of Atlanta to preserve, restore, enhance and share the cemetery with the public as a 48-acre tranquil garden island and cultural resource in the heart of the city.

Among the about 70,000 interred at Oakland are many famous personalities such as: “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell, golf great Bobby Jones, 27 Atlanta mayors, six governors, 6,900 Confederate soldiers and Jewish and African-American sections.

Information: (404) 688-2107 or visit

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It’s time for all the loyal graduates of Atlanta’s Tech High (1909-47) to gather for its annual scholarship benefit reunion. Saturday, the hearty guys and their families and friends will gather for lunch at the Cobb Galleria Centre near Vinings to reminisce and add funds to the Tech High Alumni Association scholarship fund.

This year’s affair will feature two 1945 graduates. Journalist Gene Asher will give an entertainment break, and Harry Johnson, Mr. America 1959, will receive special recognition.

D.L. Claborn of Sandy Springs is the current president of the alumni association. William “Dusty” Miller is vice president, John Keown is secretary and Sid Bonner is treasurer.

Founded in 1985, the Tech High scholarship program is administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta and funds two four-year scholarships for the brightest and most promising high school seniors in Georgia.

Tech High is remembered as the “School of Champions,” an incubator for young leaders and doers prior to World War II with illustrious alumni extending into the 21st century across the South and worldwide.

First located on Marietta Street in 1909, then moved in 1924 to an expanded campus on Jackson Street (now Parkway Drive and home to Grady High School in Midtown), Tech High continued to graduate exceptional scholars until it was closed in 1947.

After World War II, students attending the separate boy-or-girl high schools — Tech, Girls High and Boys High — were integrated into the present Atlanta co-ed high school systems.

Tickets and information: (770) 953-3200.

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Veneralia, the annual signature benefit gala for the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University in DeKalb County, is taking a unique approach for its elegant 2012 evening Saturday by collaborating with 28 contemporary local artists to showcase distinctive works through diverse styles and media at the museum.

Veneralia was the name of an ancient springtime festival celebrating the Roman goddess Venus. This year’s event theme draws inspiration from the upcoming fall museum exhibition “For I Am the Black Jaguar: Shamanic Visionary Experiences in Ancient American Art” and the indigenous cultures of Central and South America.

Taken from a contemporary traditional Taulipang shaman quote, “Call upon me for I am the black jaguar,” the words convey the most pervasive shamanic visionary experience of becoming a powerful animal — the black jaguar in particular.

Featured contemporary works inspired by the black jaguar theme will be unveiled in table environments, and dinner guests will have an opportunity to purchase the distinctive art during the gala and bid on high-end silent auction items.

This year’s affair honors Margaret and Charlie Shufeldt. Margaret Shufeldt retired in 2011 after serving 11 years as curator of the Carlos Museum’s Works on Paper collections. She produced multiple original exhibitions spanning fields from the Renaissance to contemporary art and worked tirelessly to build on the collection while mentoring and teaching students.

Beth Ault and Robert Long are serving as co-chairs with these committee chairs: Carey and Doug Benham, patrons; Loraine Williams and Jim Miller, ladies and gentlemen committee; and Annette Joseph, artist’s tables coordinator.

Funds from Veneralia will support the renovation of Ancient American galleries scheduled to reopen in January.

From ancient to modern, the museum preserves, exhibits and interprets art and artifacts from antiquity to the present to provide unique opportunities for education and enrichment in the community and to promote interdisciplinary teaching and research at Emory. It is one of the Southeast’s premier museums and has a distinguished history building on Emory’s 1876 academic collections and providing opportunities for scholars in many disciplines to expand their work.

Invitations and information: (404) 727-2115 or visit

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2012 will mark the seventh year for A Night in Blue signature fundraising event hosted by the Atlanta Police Foundation to salute the work and recognize the service of the men and women who serve on the front lines of public safety in Atlanta.

This year’s gala, Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta (downtown) will benefit the many programs that enhance officer training, recruitment, education and the overall safety of the city.

A special tribute will be given to Buckhead’s Loudermilk family for its above-and-beyond contributions and leadership in support of Atlanta public safety.

Guests will enjoy an evening of dinner, dancing, the music of Yacht Rock Revue and world-class silent and live auctions.

Mayor Kasim Reed is serving as honorary chair. Event co-chairs are Whitney and Brian Leary. Sharon James Jordan is in charge of the auctions.

Proceeds from the auctions will benefit Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta, a program of the foundation that provides an avenue for citizens to safely and anonymously report criminal activity and offers incentives for information leading to arrests and indictments.

The non-auction revenue from the event will support other programs of the nonprofit foundation that partner with citizens and the business community to fight and prevent crime in the metro area.

Tickets and information: (404) 586-0180 or visit

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Veterans, military families and friends will gather at Epps Aviation Hanger at DeKalb Peachtree Airport Saturday to whoop it up at the Blue Jeans & Bomber Jacket BBQ event to raise funds for the unique Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler, near Savannah.

This year’s benefit will honor the life and legacy of Atlantan Frank D. Murphy. Murphy was assigned as a B-17 navigator in the 100th Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force in June 1943. He flew 21 combat missions, was shot down over Germany and became a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft III. Murphy was awarded five medals for his bravery and went on to graduate from Emory University and had a distinguished career at Lockheed Martin in Marietta before he died in 2007.

“For all of us who came to [knew] Frank Murphy, we are thankful that he decided to fly one more mission for all of us associated with the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum,” museum President and CEO Henry Skipper said.

Honorary chair for the event is retired Lt. Col. F.C. “Hap” Chandler. The evening begins with a reception and auction, followed by dinner and dancing.

Harriet Adams and Jeff Harvey are serving as co-chairs with these dedicated Atlanta-based members: Henry Howell, John O’Neil, John Ottley, Marilyn Pahr, Laura Chandler White and Buck Wiley.

In the month after the historic attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the U.S. Army Mighty Eighth Air Force unit was established in Savannah and remains an active force today. Following the war, the museum was created as a legacy to preserve the stories of courage, character and patriotism displayed by the men and women of the Mighty Eighth Air Force. It features more than 90,000 square feet of exhibits, interactive displays, historical artifacts and a memorial garden.

Funds from the BBQ affair are earmarked to restore the “City of Savannah,” the original World War II B-17 Flying Fortress preserved inside the museum’s combat gallery.

Tickets and information: (404) 401-8984 or visit

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The Hambidge Creative Residency Program is hosting a unique fundraiser combing an art action and performing arts acts Saturday evening at the Goat Farm Art Center in the Westside community.

The annual benefit will be an imaginative intermingling of art and performances punctuated by representative arts that participate in the Hambidge programs — musical acts, dance performances, short plays performed by local theater groups and art pieces by performance artists.

Hambidge event and board chair Barb Williams, and the event’s auction will have work from more than 200 established and emerging artists. The selected artwork is curated by Ben Goldman, manager of Kibbee Gallery in downtown Atlanta, and Jenny Jensen Minkewicz, an independent art advisor.

The event takes place both inside and outside of the picturesque center with a fun party atmosphere including ARTini cocktails and creative hors d’oeuvres by local restaurants. The effort is designed to attract young collectors and established artists to participate in Hambidge programs.

All proceeds go to the nonprofit Hambidge Center, which for more than 75 years has provided residency fellowships to distinguished artists and scientists at the 600-acre creative sanctuary in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Rabun Gap. Seven individuals are in residence at any given time — each with a private studio and accommodations with communal dinners. The public is invited to special events on Saturdays.

Tickets and information: (404) 964-4174 or visit

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The SCAD Seen Gala May 23, hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design’s Atlanta campus in Midtown, will serve as a celebratory showcase for talented students, a social evening for the metro community, friends and families and a scholarship-funding benefit.

During the black-tie-optional evening, senior fashion students will present their one-of-a-kind designs in an atelier setting allowing guests an unparalleled opportunity to engage with the budding designers.

Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres with live music will lead attendees to an extensive fine art auction curated by distinguished gallery owner and collector Fay Gold featuring works created by SCAD students, faulty, staff and alumni.

The event is co-chaired by Ginny and Charles Brewer, John D. Oetgen and John H. Lineweaver. Raul Melgoza, designer and creative director of Luca Luca, and renowned fashion designer Stephen Burrows, this year’s SCAD Style Mentor, will be the special guests.

All proceeds from the gala go to the university’s ongoing scholarship fund which supports students needing financial assistance.

SCAD, a private nonprofit accredited institution offering degree programs in 40 majors, was founded in 1978 by four Georgians in Savannah to provide college degree programs not previously available in the Southeast. The curriculum was established with dual goals of an arts education and effective career preparation for students with the mantra: “The University for Creative Careers.”

In 2002 SCAD added a residential study-abroad location in Lacoste, France, and the Atlanta campus was created in 2005. A Hong Kong campus opened two years ago. Today the university encompasses 109 buildings with an international faculty and student body from all 50 states and 100 countries.

“For the past five years, the gala has raised substantial funds for current and prospective students,” said P.J. Johnson, SCAD Atlanta’s vice president. “And it has presented our students an opportunity to showcase their excellent work — very rewarding for scholarship recipients and student designers.”

Tickets and information: (404) 253-2759 or visit

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The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center in the Westside community is celebrating the commemoration of the Nexus Award May 24. This is third year for the prestigious evening recognizing excellence and achievement by an individual who has made a profound contribution to the visual arts in Atlanta and beyond.

The 2012 recipient is Lisa Cremin, founding director of the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

Cremin was selected through a public call for nominations. She has contributed to the arts and culture ecology of Atlanta in numerous ways. Her leadership with the fund has helped stabilize, nurture and empower countless arts organizations as she helped bring new ideas and experiences to a diverse public — inside and outside Atlanta.

Joseph R. Bankoff, president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, will be the keynote speaker. Live music by Bent Frequency, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages will entertain guests.

Beginning as Nexus in 1973, the center is a nonprofit, non-collecting institution dedicated to creation, presentation and advancement of contemporary art by emerging and established artists. They represent a diverse cultural landscape of artists, art professionals and art-interested public through exhibitions, educational programming and studio artist programs.

Tickets and information: (404) 688-1970, ext. 211 or visit

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