Fall Arts 2020 - Performing Arts Centers
Performing Arts Centers in Atlanta coping with the new reality of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Associate Director for Programming & Outreach
On March 12, in coordination with the announcement of Emory University’s transition to remote learning, all events at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts were canceled through April 30, 2020. Later, the cancelation was extended through mid-August 2020.
Working collaboratively with Emory’s Music Department, the Schwartz Center has been offering a weekly e-newsletter containing previously recorded digital content in lieu of several spring 2020 canceled concerts. Going forward, the Schwartz Center intends to stream live events whenever possible.
The 2020-21 Candler Concert Series is scheduled to kick off on September 12 with a performance by young violinist Bomsori Kim, followed over the next several months by concerts featuring American composer Philip Glass, Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero, Franco-Belgian cellist Camille Thomas, and other outstanding domestic and international artists. While the schedule can be viewed on the Schwartz webpage, at press time, Associate Director for Programming and Outreach Kathryn Colegrove could not confirm the status of the 2020-21 Candler Concert Series for understandable reasons.
“In response to Georgia’s surge in case numbers, Emory revised its fall plans to limit the number of people on campus and increase remote learning,” Colegrove explains in an email. “The Schwartz Center is finalizing its path forward for our fall concerts to be in keeping with Emory’s revised plans, and will announce the changes for our fall concerts soon.”
Updates will be posted online at www.schwartz.emory.edu
When the COVID crisis began, the Rialto Center for the Arts had just presented jazz icon Dee Dee Bridgewater on March 7. Erring on the side of an abundance of caution, the decision was made to cancel the four remaining Rialto Series shows: The Capitol Steps; Susannah, presented by the Georgia State University Opera; Tom Scott with the Georgia State University Jazz Band; and Eva Ayllón.
Very quickly, the Rialto produced and presented an array of virtual programming, which includes Rialto Replays every Wednesday at noon; Feed Your Senses, a livestreamed monthly lunch-and-learn series featuring local performing artists who provide an insider’s look at their craft; and the Rialto Homegrown Artists Series, which showcases local artists in short self-produced videos every Thursday at noon across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @RialtoCenter.
Presently, as part of Georgia State University and the University System of Georgia, the Rialto Center for the Arts will remain closed to the public until further notice.
“At the dawn of our second century, the Rialto faces an uncertain future,” says executive director Lee Foster. “Canceled shows and events have created unprecedented challenges, which have exerted an immediate and lasting impact on our ability to serve as a place where exceptional artistry thrives and diverging cultures blend together.”
Dr. Aaron Shackelford
“Like many arts institutions, Georgia Tech Arts was preparing to unveil its season when the pandemic began,” reads the official Georgia Institute of Technology announcement of the 2020-21 calendar of school-sponsored arts events. “[The] team has since spent weeks engineering ways to pivot in light of the global health crisis with a focus on supporting the local arts community and the visiting artists being brought to campus.”
During the months following the coronavirus shutdown, Georgia Tech Arts has hosted a number of virtual engagements including a town hall meeting with renowned dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones, whose New York-based dance troupe will be showcased at the Ferst Center this fall. TECHnically Creative is a series of virtual conversations with Georgia Tech alumni working in the arts. The department has also created activities for students, such as a contest to help envision what a physically-distanced Ferst Center will look like.
The 2020-21 Georgia Tech Arts Series will be the first full season for department director Dr. Aaron Shackelford, who is quoted in the announcement as saying, “While our hope is that we’ll be able to present our full season, we will only do so knowing that we can open our doors safely and without putting the community at risk.”
The Georgia Tech Arts calendar is an enticing blend of musical concerts, dance performances, static art exhibitions and installations. The lineup includes guitarist, composer and Atlanta native Kaki King; internationally acclaimed dance company Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company; and installations by Italian digital arts group fuse* and Shilo Shiv Suleman and her company, The Fearless Collective. Also on tap is a series of workshops and collaborations with Georgia Tech students and faculty led by Atlanta contemporary dance companies. The first company engaged in the initiative is ImmerseATL, described as a “multifaceted training environment for the emerging artist, the aspiring student, and the community.” ]The upcoming Georgia Tech Arts season also includes residencies by choreographer, director, and New York City Ballet dancer Troy Schumacher and singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane.