Most venues are moving full-speed ahead with productions, concerts, and exhibitions after more than a year of virtual events or dormancy, but the surge of COVID-19 cases has put a big question mark over the start of the fall arts season.
Many venues will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test before entry, while social distancing and masks will be required at others. Be sure to check with the venue before you go and to find out about any postponements or cancellations.
In the meantime, here’s some of the events happening over the next few months that we think are worth your attention. You can always find more art and culture events in our Rough Draft Calendar at calendar.roughdraftatlanta.com.
The sci-fi and fantasy festival Dragon Con returns to Downtown Sept. 2 to 6 and will feature panels, gaming, cosplay, the annual parade (but limited to attendees only this year due to the ongoing pandemic) and the opportunity to meet celebrities from beloved movies and shows. This year, a “Battlestar Gallactica” reunion is in the offing featuring Edward James Olmos, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Michael Trucco, and Mary McDonnell, as well as “Smallville” stars Tom Welling, Michael Rosembaum, Laura Vandervoot, and Erica Durance, and “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi. Find out more and get tickets at dragoncon.org.
Atlanta Jazz Festival
Over in Piedmont Park, the pandemic-delayed Atlanta Jazz Festival will be held Sept. 5 and 6 with a lineup that includes Archie Shepp, Patti Austin, Brenda Nicole Moorer, Pasqual Grasso, Yuko Mabuchi, and more. Admission is free. See the full lineup and get more details at atlantafestivals.com.
Center for Puppetry Arts
Live in-person performances, customized online programming, new special exhibitions, holiday events, and more are part of the Fall and Winter season at the Midtown venue. On stage now through Sept. 26 is “Mother Goose,” while “The Ghasly Dreadfuls” return Oct. 13-30 for Halloween. Starting Oct. 15 is “Everybody Loves Pirates,” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is back for the holidays starting Nov. 10. For tickets and the full schedule of events, visit puppet.org.
The world premiere of “Field” by critically acclaimed vertical dance group Bandaloop is set for Oct. 1-3 on the façade of the 725 Ponce building. The free outdoor event will see a wall of the building along the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail turned into a performance space that will address the ancestral technique of fabric creation and the ecological and social impact of the globalized textile industry. For more, visit fluxprojects.org.
American Craft Council Pop-Up
Buckhead Village will host the American Craft Council’s Atlanta Southeast Craft Week Pop-Up Sept. 23-35. The event will feature one-of-a-kind production, gallery and installation works by over 35 leading crafters from across the southeast. Visit this link for more details.
Hammonds House Museum
Exhibiting Culture: Highlights from the Hammonds House Museum Collection, curated by executive director and chief curator Karen Comer Lowe, is on show now through Jan. 30. Featured in the exhibition are works by Romare Bearden, Benny Andrews, Elizabeth Catlett, Sam Gilliam, Richard Hunt, Hale Woodruff, Jacob Lawrence, and many more. Find out more at hammondshouse.org.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
The ASO has a full lineup of events this fall, including some newly announced shows featuring jazz pianist Brian Culbertson (Nov. 11), disco icon Gloria Gaynor (Nov. 13), Gipsy Kings with Nicolas Reyes and Mikaela Davis (Nov. 21), and ring in the new year with Indigo Girls (Dec. 30-31). Tickets and details at aso.org.
The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum is pleased to announce the establishment of The Walter and Frances Bunzl Family Foundation Exhibition Fund. The $400,000 gift is supporting the 25th anniversary exhibition, History with Chutzpah, which opens Sept. 22. Recounting the stories of Jews in Georgia and Alabama through more than 250 objects, documents, photographs and oral histories, the exhibit also is being supported by The Rich Foundation and Breman Foundation. For more information, visit thebreman.org.
“Picturing the South: 25 Years” opens Nov. 5, which will bring together for the first time nearly 200 works from all the past commissions by artists including Dawoud Bey, Sally Mann and Richard Misrach and will debut new work by the latest photographers selected for the series, Sheila Pree Bright, Jim Goldberg and An-My Lê. For more, visit high.org.
The Virginia-Highland Summerfest
The delayed 37th annual event Sept. 25-26 with local and regional music on two stages, a juried artist market, a 5K run, food from local vendors and more.The festival will be held along Virginia Avenue between North Highland, Park Drive and John Howell Park. Visit vahisummerfest.org for the lineup of musicians.
Schwartz Center for Performing Arts
Emory University welcomes the Candler Concert Series which will feature pianist George Li (Sept. 18), South African soprano Pretty Yende (Oct 3), a recital with renowned pianist Yuja Wang and violinist Leonidas Kavakos (Nov. 2), Our Song, Our Story (Jan. 28), an evening with the Grammy Award–winning Branford Marsalis Quartet (Feb 18), Bach and bluegrass from Kittel & Co. (March 18), and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Wind Ensemble (April 9). Get tickets at schwartz.emory.edu.
Grab a slushee, some pâté, and a scrunchie and head to Actor’s Express for the hit musical “Heathers,” based on the cult film starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. The show runs Sept. 29 to Oct. 17. Tickets are available at actors-express.org.
The Fabulous Fox is playing host to “Hamilton” through Sept. 26 followed by concerts from Brothers Osborne (Oct. 1) and Shinedown (Oct. 3), a Pride Parade Viewing Party (Oct. 10), and comedy shows from Bill Burr (Oct. 15) and Jeff Foxworthy (Oct. 16). Find out details and get tickets at foxtheatre.org.
The premiere of “Darlin’ Cory,” a new musical from Phillip DePoy and Kristian Bush, is on the main stage Sept. 8 to Oct. 3. Directed by Susan V. Booth, the musical is set in an isolated mountain town full of secrets threatened by an ambitious native and a stranger bearing moonshine. From Oct. 8-31, “The New Black Fest’s Hands Up” features seven playwrights, including Nathan James, Nathan Yungerberg, Idris Goodwin, Nambi E. Kelley, Nsangou Njikam, Eric Holmes, and Dennis Allen II. Tickets and details at alliancetheatre.org.
The Atlanta Opera returns to the Cobb Energy Centre Nov. 6, 9, 12, 14 with “Julius Caesar.” The love affair between Caesar and Cleopatra is given a Baroquem flourish in Handel’s master work. Find out more at atlantaopera.org.
The city’s newest music venue at the Atlanta Dairies development on Memorial Drive kicks off Sept. 1 with Big Boi. More shows announced include George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (Sept. 3), Leon Bridges (Sept. 8), Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers (Sept. 23), Thievery Corporation (Oct. 2), and Bianca del Rio (Oct. 20). Visit easternatl.com for tickets.