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Column: Trinity’s Spotlight on Art to be previewed at Saks
by Sally F. White
Northside Neighbor Columnist
November 20, 2012 09:25 AM | 4132 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Trinity School in Buckhead is getting an early Dec.1 holiday kickoff for its record-breaking annual Spotlight on Art exhibition and sale scheduled for Feb. 4 through 9 on the school’s campus.

Saks Fifth Avenue at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead is dedicating retail space to art sales in a dramatic gallery-style presentation on Trinity’s behalf, showcasing 23 of the leading Southeastern artists who will participate in the February marketplace. The unique holiday gift-shopping opportunity will be open Dec. 1 through Jan. 30, with all proceeds divided 50/50 with Trinity programs and the artists.

Two special events during the Saks gallery opening offer extra excitement. A Saturday sing-along Dec. 8 will star a talented choral group from Trinity and a Jan. 11 Night Out will invite art connoisseurs to bring a friend to meet the artists and browse the selection.

Cathie Wilson, vice president and general manager of Saks at Phipps, is a former Trinity School parent and has been the driving force behind Saks’ sponsorship of Spotlight — supporting the school programs and offering Saks’ luxury customers access to original art,” 2013 Spotlight on Art chair Michelle Anderson said. “Everyone loves art. Our sample selection at Saks offers something for people of all ages, those both new and experienced in the collectible art world. Proceeds go toward Trinity School funding priorities, such as student scholarships and professional development opportunities for Trinity faculty.”

More details on the many facets of the main Spotlight events will be unveiled in 2013.

Founded in 1951, Trinity is an independent co-educational school serving preschool and elementary children, ages 3 through sixth grade. The school accepts children of diverse backgrounds and focuses on providing an extraordinary educational experience for each young learner.

Information: (404) 231-8119 or visit

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The Pro-Mozart Society of Atlanta is presenting its Holiday Gala Noel Dec. 1 at the Hellenic Community Center of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation in DeKalb County. Reaching out to include the broader community of classical music aficionados, the black-tie-optional benefit dinner and silent auction will feature musical entertainment by the Lynn Swanson Festival Singers, the Kanzanetti String Quartet and Premier Brass.

This year’s honoree is William Baker, founder of the William Baker Choral Foundation. A native Atlantan, Baker has a legendary history of choral excellence across many metro counties. He studied at Mercer University, the University of Georgia and the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago and sang in Atlanta Symphony Orchestra choruses under renowned Director Robert Shaw.

Establishing the foundation in Atlanta in 1985, Baker now lives in Kansas City, where the foundation has its headquarters. He commutes weekly to Atlanta for rehearsals and concerts under the banner of his foundation dedicated to discovering singers and developing professional-quality choral ensembles through training, concerts, tours and recordings.

“We are proud to present this musical benefit to double our Pro-Mozart scholarship fund and honor Mr. Baker for his work enriching lives through musical excellence,” said event chair Saundra Minnich.

Lyric soprano and past society president Marilyn Dietrichs is serving as honorary chair. Pro-Mozart president Herb Buffington reports proceeds from the gala and auction will expand the on-going scholarship fund for two talented and deserving classical musicians to study with exceptional instructors at the prestigious Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria.

Founded in 1964, the nonprofit society fosters the appreciation of classical music with free community concerts. For nearly 50 years, it has instituted an annual competition for an aspiring Georgia musician to receive a $4,000 scholarship to the Summer Academy in Salzburg, Mozart’s birthplace.

Invitations and information: (678) 488-3591 or visit

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In 1994 as a 12-year-old, Amy Sacks Zeide, viewed a poignant TV newscast about an Atlanta shelter planning a holiday party for young homeless children and someone stole all the gifts! She was inspired to make sure that disadvantaged children in Atlanta would have a chance to celebrate and be celebrated from that time forward.

That was the genesis of what has become known as the annual Amy’s Holiday Party with local high school teenage volunteers helping host a party for children who otherwise might not have any holiday gifts and happiness.

At first Zeide tried to replenish the stolen gifts, then threw her own party for disadvantaged children the following year. She established a separate Creating Connected Communities based on teenage participation and partnering with a consortium of 30 organizations helping disadvantaged children celebrate the holidays. Two years ago it received nonprofit status and now also hosts smaller events throughout the year.

The charity also organizes other privileged teens from local high schools through monthly training sessions. Each year between 25 and 30 teen volunteers attend seminar-style sessions on how to get involved in their communities and learn social responsibility — culminating in a 300-member volunteer crew organizing and hosting the annual Amy’s Holiday Party.

The 2012 holiday event will be staged Dec. 2 at an undisclosed location (to protect the children’s privacy). Mellow Mushroom will provide lunch to more than 700 guests. Teen volunteers will lead youngsters and their families through fun-filled stations with crafts, games, pictures and the distribution of gifts donated by local businesses, with the venue set up to look like a toy store.

Guest recipients, toddlers through teens, and their families are invited through local shelters, refugee centers and foster care facilities.

“Creating Connected Communities’ mission is to provide young adults with tools and resources to assist people in need and to help them become community leaders through partnership, advocacy and mentorship training,” Zeide said. “We welcome cash and in-kind donations and invite local high school students, eighth through 12th grade, to join our joyful party team.”

Information: (404) 532-9515 or visit

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Oakland Cemetery volunteers will continue public weekend guided tours in the historic venue near Grant Park during the winter season. The cold-weather schedule will be limited to Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., Dec. 1 through March 10.

Oakland was established in 1850 as a garden-style cemetery with 48 acres of landscaped burial sites with restored mausoleums and monuments. It is registered as a National Historic Site and serves as the final resting place for many of Atlanta’s settlers, builders and notable citizens such as “Gone with the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell, golf legend Bobby Jones and former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Since its founding in 1976, the Historic Oakland Foundation has partnered with the city of Atlanta to preserve, restore, enhance and share the cemetery with the public as an important cultural resource and an island of tranquility in the heart of the urban landscape.

The volunteer-based nonprofit foundation operates the Visitors Center and Museum Shop and provides supervised, hands-on, horticultural restoration of native plantings through its second Saturday workdays. The volunteer corps also hosts fundraising events and walking tours to share the significant site with Atlantans and visitors from around the world.

Mary Woodlan, volunteer director for Oakland, said the limited weekend tours will operate through the winter season except for extreme weather conditions.

Information: (404) 688-2107 or visit

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For the 20th year, the Forward Arts Foundation will launch the holiday season with a stylish Saks Fifth Avenue fashion runway presentation, at the St. Regis in Buckhead Dec. 3 to benefit its ongoing support of the visual arts in Atlanta.

The sparkling holiday décor at the St. Regis will serve as a backdrop for the noontime fashion event spotlighting a preview of legendary designer Oscar de la Renta’s spring 2013 collection.Foundation members Nina Cheney and Gretchen Taylor are co-chairing the benefit. Dedicated art advocate Camille Yow is being recognized as the honorary chair.

“Great credit goes to our longtime partner, Saks Fifth Avenue, for [its] steadfast support,” foundation board chair Rebecca Smith said. “They bring an A-list team — the best designers with fabulous collections to support our visual arts programs.”

Twelve visionary women founded the foundation in 1965 as a nonprofit to foster and support the visual arts in Atlanta. Over the years it has raised substantial funds with sales from their Swan Coach House facilities on the Atlanta History Center campus in Buckhead — the restaurant, gift shop and art gallery — and community fundraisers such as the annual fall Flea Market and fashionable holiday event.

Monies are used to benefit a variety of local art-oriented entities such as the center, the High Museum of Art in Midtown, the Michael C. Carlos Museum in DeKalb County and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia in Buckhead and individual artists through grants and a variety of other programs.

Invitations and information: (404) 261-9855 or visit

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