Explore the Cultural Side of Atlanta

Culture lovers will find a smorgasbord of options that showcase local creativity.

Want to explore the cultural side of Atlanta? Look no further. This city is brimming with theaters, street art, museums and galleries that showcase the diversity, spunk and range of artistic spirit. Whether you’re into independent or mainstream options, marquee or low key, here are a few stops that won’t disappoint.


PERFORMING ARTS

You can’t talk about performing arts in Atlanta without mentioning the Fox Theatre in Midtown. The glitzy marquee lures you in and the auditorium—formerly a movie theater—charms you with its dreamy blue ceiling and gold accents. The theater plays host to a variety of shows throughout the year, most notably Broadway Across America, where all of Broadway’s hits grace the stage and save you a plane ticket to NYC. Catch “Wicked” from Oct. 23-Nov. 17; the rest of the season includes such smashes as “Hello, Dolly!,” “Miss Saigon” and “Hamilton.”

Going to the Fox is a big event, but there are low-key options, too. 7 Stages Theatre in Little Five Points was established 40 years ago, and it provides an entertaining way for theatergoers to watch plays that focus on social and political justice.

Serenbe Playhouse, in Chattahoochee Hills, is a bit of a drive but the experience is incredible. The “playhouse” isn’t a brick and mortar structure—it changes depending on the play. Until Nov. 3, see “The Sleepy Hollow Experience,” based on Washington Irving’s spooky tale, and follows along with Ichabod Crane on his fateful day.


STREET ART

In the past five years, Atlanta’s street art scene has grown tremendously. It seems like every day there’s a new mural going up. Greg Mike is the creator of one of the most recognizable street art figures: Loudmouf. You can currently find the blue, big-mouthed critter on Edgewood near Revolution Doughnuts. He also painted a mural in conjunction with the Atlanta Braves on Ponce de Leon Avenue by 8Arm.

There has been an influx of new painters, too. Aliya Smith is a muralist who specializes in florals and the female form. She and Brooke Powell, another Atlanta artist, collaborated on a mural on the side of the building that houses Sweet Auburn Barbecue. Her work also appears in the beauty boutique Fig & Flower on Poncey-Highland.

For a bevy of murals, head to Cabbagetown. Wylie Street is lined with works by artists like Amy Ashbaugh, Travis Smith and Phil Harris.


MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES

If you prefer observing art indoors, start with the High Museum of Art in Midtown. One of the biggest museums in the Southeast, the High is an architectural beauty that houses everything from the classics to contemporary art. There are also events for young art enthusiasts, like Baby Book Club on the first Saturday of the month and the weekly Toddler Thursdays. Current exhibits include “Something Over Something Else: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series," and “Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings.”

Across the street from the High is the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA). It’s a small but mighty museum that exposes visitors to the cutting edge of design and art. In addition to workshops, the museum hosts regular lectures with professionals and one-off guided tours of the exhibitions. MODA has also teamed up with Ponce City Market to host supper-club experiences that put the creations of immigrant chefs front and center. The final event of the year, Underground Dinner with Chow Club Atlanta, is on Oct. 15.

There are galleries to explore, too. The ZuCot Gallery in Castleberry Hill is the Southeast’s largest African-American owned gallery. Artists on display include Lobyn Hamilton, Jamaal Barber and Georgette Baker. The Callanwolde Fine Arts Center sits on 12 acres in Druid Hills. Apart from the gallery there is an annual artists market that takes place indoors every winter, giving Atlantans a chance to keep warm while searching for their newest collectible.

 

Lia Picard
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