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Column: Southern Shindig to raise funds for Skyland Trail
by Sally F. White
August 06, 2014 03:04 PM | 3649 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally F. White
Sally F. White
The Southern Shindig, set for Aug. 15 at SweetWater Brewing Co. on Ottley Drive in south Buckhead, invites guests to enjoy summertime social networking with beer, wine, food from Verde Taqueria and lively entertainment by the band MoonTower.

Hosted by a dedicated group of young professionals, the casual evening gathering will benefit Skyland Trail, a nationally recognized Brookhaven-based nonprofit mental health facility.

“Helping people access effective mental health treatment is as important as fighting cancer and other medical challenges,” co-chairs Wes Bradshaw and Kit Bowlin said. “Funds raised will support financial aid scholarships to help adults access and complete treatment at the unique Skyland Trail facilities.”

Skyland Trail began with the determination of Atlanta business leader Charles B. West in the 1980s when, through a friend’s experience, he learned there was a void in mental illness treatment in metro Atlanta. Dominant treatment was hospitalization without residential psychiatric programs to reintegrate patients back into the community.

West turned his energies to a new cause. He established the George West Mental Health Foundation, named for his father, and recruited a committed board of directors. They studied programs and innovations across the nation that looked beyond short-term stabilization to long-term recovery.

The first Atlanta facility opened in 1989, a treatment residence called Skyland Trail. It treats adults ages 18 and older with mood and thought disorders, including bipolar illness, major depression, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. The continuum of care moves from intensive residential to comprehensive psychiatric assessment to job coaching and social opportunities — to heal mind, body and spirit.

Information: (404) 315-8333 or

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The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum on Spring Street in Midtown is adding two interactive workshop programs for attendees to its current “Peace: What does peace mean to you?” photo exhibition featuring portraits by photographer John Noltner, now through Oct. 5.

Within Judaism, the word “shalom” means “peace” but has a broader meaning than just the end of conflict.

“Peace is something everybody seeks, but it remains elusive,” Museum Director Aaron Berger said. “Visitors of all ages are encouraged to explore the portraits and participate in interactive activities to help them answer questions of what peace means to them.”

Included with exhibition tickets are yoga classes taught by Eleanora Lipton in the gallery area every other Thursday starting this Thursday, plus Aug. 21, Sept. 4 and 18 and Oct. 2. The classes are free for museum members and included in the cost of museum admission for non-members.

A two-hour, portrait photography workshop for beginners will be taught by portrait photographer Joel Silverman Aug. 26 and Sept. 23. The cost is $25 for museum member and $36 for non-members. No special camera equipment is required. Attendees can bring their own equipment and learn from a pro. Space is limited and reservations are required.

Tickets and information: (404) 870-1632 or

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The “Be Here Now” exhibit at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center on Means Street in west Midtown will be spotlighted Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. at the free Summer Ice Cream Social.

The installation, on display now through Aug. 30, brings together three artists whose studio-based activities and site-specific installations investigate issues of presence, form and function. Mike Black and Andrew Boatright are both Atlanta-based sculptors who deftly use a range of materials to challenge gallery environments through issues of gravity and beauty. Sandra Erbacher is a German artist living in Madison, Wis., where she creates humble objects and uses “inferior” materials that exude a sly poetry and situational wariness.

In the current exhibition, viewers will be encouraged to pay attention to many of the “art” objects that institutions often hope they will not notice, such as air and heating ductwork, water pipes and behind-the-scenes, form-and-function elements.

Westside Creamery will provide an ice cream truck in the outdoor pavilion for informal refreshment. The gallery will close at 8 p.m. but the pavilion will be open until 9 p.m.

The center is a nonprofit, non-collecting institution dedicated to the creation, presentation and advancement of contemporary art by emerging and established artists. It creates diverse cultural landscapes for arts, art professionals and the art-interested public through exhibitions, education, programming and studio artist programs.

Information: (404) 688-1970 or

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The American Cancer Society is inviting metro Atlantans to join in the statewide fifth annual Suits & Sneakers Gala Aug. 16 at the University of Georgia’s Stegeman Coliseum in Athens.

It is a giant, one-of-a-kind evening party at the college’s famous venue supporting the national society’s cause — save lives and create more birthdays by helping people stay well and get well, find cures and fight back against the disease that has taken too many lives.

The event will feature great food, dancing, live and silent auctions and fun games like Wine Toss and Basketball Free Throw.

It is co-chaired by Georgia Bulldogs men’s basketball coach Mark Fox and his wife Cindy. The gala is part of the society’s Coaches vs. Cancer program, a nationwide collaboration between the society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches that empowers basketball coaches, their teams and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer.

Emcee Rece Davis of ESPN will be joined by “Good Morning America” anchor Amy Robach, sportscaster Chuck Dowdle and other celebrity guests including professional athletes and Georgia Bulldogs football coach Mark Richt.

The annual benefit continues to be a key fundraising effort for the century-old society’s fight against cancer.

Tickets and information: (706) 614-8101 or

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Another first for this year’s National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta will be Music & Soul in the African Diaspora: A Film Festival, a series of films exploring music. It will be presented Aug 16 in the Woodruff Arts Center’s Rich Theatre in Midtown.

In partnership with New York’s African Diaspora International Film Festival, the daylong showing invites the public to explore the richness, diversity and power of music and stories of the African diaspora. The series presents a compelling, eclectic mix of recent popular titles, classics and foreign and independent releases exploring the influence of artists in the category.

Seven films will represent productions from the U.S., Canada, Peru, Belgium, Senegal, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France and Germany to showcase the influence of film in the African diaspora.

Tickets are available for single film viewing or on a full-day pass basis. Senior pass discounts are available.

The festival’s signature line of 2014 events goes deep into its five disciplines — dance, music, theater, visual art and film — as seen through the lens of exemplary artists.

It is the longest-running, multidisciplinary arts festival of the African diaspora in the nation. For 26 years the Atlanta–based nonprofit has presented a series of events and exhibitions from renowned legends as well as emerging young artists to engage and inspire the public.

Tickets and information: (404) 730-7315 or

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