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Column: Sheep to Shawl returns to Atlanta History Center
by Sally F. White
April 09, 2014 02:28 PM | 5135 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally F. White
Sally F. White
The Atlanta History Center on West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead welcomes spring Saturday with the annual Sheep to Shawl event offering a full day of engaging family activities at the Smith Family Farm.

Included are hands-on demonstrations of the historic process of cloth making including live sheep shearing, spinning and weaving plus farm-style family activities such as open-hearth cooking, blacksmithing, candle making and much more. There will be crafts for all ages, storytelling, traditional bluegrass and folk music by Georgia natives, gardens in bloom and even a petting zoo.

Admission is free to members and only regular general admission to the public. The Coca-Cola Café will offer a Chick-fil-A menu for lunch. Food trucks also will be providing lunch: Ohio Hog BBQ and Honeysuckle Gelato, and Phickles Pickles of Athens will offer food.

Funding for the program is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council.

Founded in 1926, the center is a nonprofit, all-inclusive 33-acre destination including: one of the nation’s largest history museums, two historic houses (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 and paths. The center also operates the Margaret Mitchell House in Midtown.

Information: (404) 814-4000 or

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The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia on Bennett Street in Buckhead is presenting the festive MOCA Gala Art Auction Saturday evening.    

More than 100 artists in a variety of mediums will be represented in the silent and live auctions. Proceeds will benefit the museum’s operating fund and public programming. Co-chairs are Usher Raymond IV and Grace Miguel.

The museum is an independent nonprofit co-founded in 2000 by David S. Golden and Annette Cone-Skelton to give recognition to collecting and showcasing the contemporary arts in Georgia.

Established with private funding, it began with 250 works of art by 110 Georgia artists, consigned from CGR Advisors’ corporate collection and from Golden’s personal collection.

Since its first exhibition in 2002, the museum has become a leader in the arts of Atlanta through showcasing the best of contemporary visual art by Georgia’s emerging, established and legendary artists. Hosting an average of 10 exhibitions each year, it also encourages engagement and exchange between the artists it features and the community through regularly scheduled artist talks and other public programs.

Reservations and information: (404) 367-8700 or

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Seymour “Sy” Goodman, professor of international affairs and computing at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech in Midtown, will address the Atlanta World War II Round Table luncheon April 17 on how radar helped win the war for the U.S. and its allies. The monthly meeting is open to the public at Petite Auberge restaurant on Druid Hills Road in DeKalb County.

Goodman will elaborate on how radar, in its many forms, played a vital role in naval and air operations from the first day of combat at Pearl Harbor to the last day when the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. He will also relate how many extraordinary electronic devices were developed in the 1930s and, when war threatened, engineers and government agencies rushed to develop methods of detecting enemy ships and aircraft and how many of today’s advanced systems, even TV and satellite communications, still use the basic techniques developed before WWII.

The nonprofit Atlanta round table meets for lunch 10 times a year, September through June, for a social half-hour plus a speaker-oriented program focused on patriotic elements. Reservations are not required and the luncheons, costing $15 per person, are open to members, their families, non-members and those interested in preserving history.

Organized in 1986, the organization’s diverse membership includes men and women, retired officers and enlisted personnel from all branches of the military, along with family and friends who gather to share and remember.

Lee Weinstein is the 2014 commander.

Information: (404) 843-0779 or

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Dedicated to empowering Latinos to achieve their educational, social and economic aspirations, the Latin American Association is hosting the 25th annual Compañeros Awards Luncheon April 17 at the Georgia Aquarium downtown to salute four outstanding contributors to the local community.

The honorees are: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Outstanding Public Service Award; Diaz Foods, Exemplary Corporate Leadership Award; and Enrique Dorta and Del Clark, Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Leadership and Service.

The luncheon benefit’s keynote speaker is six-time Emmy Award-winning journalist Pamela Silva Conde, who co-anchors “Primer Impacto” on Univision.

The reception and luncheon at the picturesque Oceans Ballroom will review the many helpful contributions of the award recipients and their importance to the overall metro Atlanta Latin community.

Established in 1972, the nonprofit association served more than 54,000 individuals last year. The goal is to help Latinos achieve self-sufficiency, put down roots, build a better life for themselves and their families and contribute to strong, thriving communities.

The association empowers Latinos to achieve their educational, social and economic aspirations. It is the largest provider of social and immigration legal services to the Latino community in metro Atlanta, and has outreach centers in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties.

The association offers a range of programs that guide Latinos with solutions to address their basic needs and provide them with the information and skills necessary to achieve educational, social and economic aspirations and reach their fullest potential.

Tickets and information: (404) 638-1819 or

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The nonprofit Forward Arts Foundation has a history of arts funding in Atlanta since its beginning in 1965. Fifteen years ago the foundation became concerned about dwindling support of public funding for individual artists in metro Atlanta. In an effort to address the need, the foundation approved the annual Emerging Artist Award competition to recognize a talented Atlanta artist who has not had a major solo show or a connection with a commercial gallery.

The Swan Coach House Gallery on Slaton Drive in Buckhead, operated by the foundation, will showcase this year’s winner, Morgan Alexander, with a solo exhibit April 17 through May 30. He also won a $10,000 cash prize. Each of the other finalists, Brendan Danielsson, Nikki Starz, Chelsea Raflo and Rebecca Hanna, have received $2,000 and will display their work in the gallery lobby.     

Alexander’s debut exhibition theme is “remembering, forgetting and remembering again.” Delicate collected materials and gauzy constructed drawings evoke a sense of beauty in ordinary things. In his palette he incorporates natural found materials along with lead, steel, glass, salt, wax and paper collage elements.

An Atlanta resident, Alexander has a bachelor’s degree in sculpture and painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design and plans to use his award to continue his study of photography techniques with specialist John Coffer.

Volunteer foundation members will host a reception for the emerging artists in the gallery the evening of April 17. Alexander will give a talk about his work the morning of April 26. The exhibition is sponsored by Mickie Keough and Eileen Millard.

The foundation operates the Swan Coach House Gallery, Gift Shop and Restaurant in the historic building on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center. All proceeds benefit the visual arts in Atlanta.

Information: (404) 266-2636 or

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The 2014 thoroughbred racing season starts April 19 with the annual Atlanta Steeplechase races at the picturesque Kingston Downs off U.S. 411 between Cartersville and Rome.

This will mark the 49th season for the colorful Saturday, which includes five thoroughbred races sanctioned by the National Steeplechase Association. Four are over brush jumps and one on turf with no jumps. The total day’s purse is about $100,000.

Additional outdoor activities for spectators include tented party sites, stylish hat parades, terrier races, pony rides, an Easter egg hunt, the Budweiser Clydesdales, live music and skydivers. Patrons can picnic, tailgate and enjoy many outdoor happenings in the country setting.

This year’s thoroughbred competition has many Northside supporters, both business and equestrian.

“The 2014 race marks several important milestones,” new Steeplechase Chairman George E. Chase Jr. said. “I am honored to announce that the race will be run in memory of my father, George E. Chase Sr., one of the founding members. And, I have not missed a race since its inception in 1966!”

Special recognition will be given to Executive Director Jean Bird and her 15-year dedication to improving the race from every aspect — setting, race fans, vendors and sponsors.

The steeplechase is an annual nonprofit horse racing event benefiting the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. General admission tickets are available on

Information: (404) 237-7436 or

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The 1873 Society Club, the Atlanta Humane Society’s junior board, is hosting a rollicking Ales for Tails pet-friendly benefit social April 22 at the SweetWater Brewing Co. on Ottley Drive in Midtown.

Animal-loving guests will sample cold SweetWater brews and a variety of light bites from metro Atlanta restaurants while enjoying live music by the legendary funk band Lingo. Pets are invited to tag along but must remain on the patio. The society will also have adoptable dogs in attendance to encourage young professionals to find homes and support for the nonprofit’s animals.

SweetWater founders Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney have been longtime supporters of the organization and have helped young society members enhance its good deeds. Bensch and McNerney were roommates at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where they also worked part-time cleaning kegs at a local brewery.

After graduation in 1993 they worked in the brewing industry in California and Colorado before joining forces in Atlanta during the 1996 Summer Olympics to create SweetWater, named after a creek that is a tributary of the Chattahoochee River. The craft brewery expanded in 2012 and moved to the present location on Armour Circle encompassing additional office space, a bottling line and an event space.

According to the Brewers Association, SweetWater ranks 26th among the top 50 craft brewing companies in the U.S. based on 2013 beer sales volume.

The society began as a private nonprofit welfare organization in 1873 for the prevention of cruelty to women, children and animals. Today it offers a wide spectrum of animal services on two campuses, in Atlanta and Alpharetta, including: supervised adoptions, a veterinary clinic, low-cost spray/neuter surgeries, emergency animal rescue, foster care and animal obedience classes.

Tickets and information: (404) 974-2828 or

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Garden Envy is the unique evening benefit auction April 23 at the Atlanta Botanical Garden on Piedmont Road in Midtown. The party and silent auction hosted by the Garden Associates in Day Hall will feature rare plants and garden treasures.

Proceeds will go to the garden’s Jitsuko Johnson Plant Explorer Fund supporting its need to travel, procure rare plants and return them to the Atlanta collections for community knowledge and enjoyment. The fund is named for the wife of Ozzie Johnson, a long-term collaborator and supporter of the garden’s important rare plants collections.

The event will also honor Allan Armitage, retired horticulture professor from the University of Georgia, for his multifaceted new crop teaching research which has produced important new plants for the ornamental market.

“Funds from this auction will go toward providing rare treasures for the Atlanta Botanical Garden and make a lasting effect on the growing collections,” said Garden Associates board member Laura Rogers.

A 30-acre urban oasis, the nonprofit garden offers: outdoor gardens, an award-winning Children’s Garden, the Storza Woods with the unique Canopy Walk, an innovative Edible Garden and Outdoor Kitchen and the Fuqua Conservatory for tropical and desert plants with the Fuqua Orchid Center, plus spectacular temporary exhibitions and educational horticultural programs.

Tickets and information: (404) 876-5859 or

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