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Atlanta Cyclorama Commemorates 150th Anniversary Of Battle Of Atlanta With Film Screenings, Art Exhibits, Lectures, Dance And Theatrical Productions

Natasha Trethewey“The sesquicentennial of the Civil War’s Battle of Atlanta will take place in 2014,” states Camille Russell Love, Director of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “To commemorate this significant anniversary, the Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum will host numerous activities on site and around the city all year long. We will feature the work of world-renowned authors and artists like Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Radcliffe Bailey, Germaine Ingram, Charles McNair, Opera Ebony and Natasha Trethewey. From robust conversations about those who fought and those who stayed home, acknowledgement of the Jewish contribution, the journey to freedom, and the history of celebrations following the Emancipation Proclamation; we’ll present events for families, students, book clubs, teachers, historians and art lovers. We hope you’ll make plans to join us for an entertaining and enlightening year!”

Here are some of the highlights of the 2014 program. Events take place at the Atlanta Cyclorama unless otherwise noted.

February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four on Thursday, February 6 at 7 pm – FREE Film Screening: Partnering with Urban Film Review we’ll present a free series of one hour documentary screenings. After each film, historian and educator Nasir Muhammad will lead the audience in a facilitated dialogue. We’ll begin the series on February 6 with February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four. When four North Carolina college freshmen ate lunch at Woolworth’s in 1960, they sparked a revolution!

That Which Survives on Thursday, March 13 at 7 pm – FREE Lecture by author Dolen Perkins-Valdez: When the Civil War began, the country wasn’t the only thing being torn apart. Families and life-long friends were ripped one from the other. After the war they began the long, difficult process of finding their loved ones. Wench author, Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s new research focuses on people who survived the war and their efforts to reestablish their loves and lives. We’ll host an engaging conversation with Perkins-Valdez entitled That Which Survives: Love Lost and Found in the Shadow of War (1861-1865).

At the River I Stand on Thursday, April 3  at 7 pm – FREE Film Screening: A riveting documentary set in Memphis, Tennessee during the 1960’s, At The River I Stand is a narrative about mobilization, determination and tragedy during the civil rights movement. It’s about two eventful months in 1968 that culminate with the success of the unionization of sanitation workers and the tragic death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Pickett’s Charge: A Novel on Thursday, April 10 at 7 pm – FREE Lecture by author Charles McNair: Believing himself to be the last surviving Civil War Confederate veteran, 114-year-old Threadgill Pickett is visited one day in 1964 by the ghost of his deceased brother, Ben.  When Ben tells him that one Union soldier is still alive in Bangor, Maine, Threadgill leaves his nursing home in Mobile, Alabama to fight one last battle. Charles McNair’s compelling story of intrigue and Civil War high drama explores the meaning of valor and vengeance. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Jews In The Garment Industry on Sunday, May 4 at 2 pm – Paid Exhibit and Lecture at Breman Museum: Since the early nineteenth century, Jews have played important roles in the dry goods and merchandising industries of this country.  With the onset of the Civil War, the demand for uniforms helped Jewish merchants transform themselves into clothing manufacturers. In Atlanta, the end of the Civil War saw the advent of what would become an Atlanta institution for 138 years: Rich’s Department Store. Join us for an afternoon at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum for a fascinating tour of the exhibit, Return to Rich’s, and a lecture by Professor Adam Mendelsohn. Tickets range from $4-$12.

Juneteenth Celebration at Cyclorama & Grant Park on Friday, June 20 from 11 am-4 pm – FREE event – When Major General Granger arrived in Texas on June 19, 1865, to deliver General Order Number 3 informing enslaved African Americans they were free, the news came two and a half years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.  Upon hearing the news, African Americans started a tradition called Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the US. Celebrations included rodeos, fishing and baseball, and typical foods enjoyed were barbeque and strawberry soda-pop. Events also focused on remembering the past, education and self-improvement. Come to Cyclorama for a day of fun, educational activities, poetry slams, and theater as we honor the memory of all formerly enslaved African Americans and celebrate this long-standing tradition. This event is being presented in partnership with the Atlanta History Center. Delicious foods and refreshments will be available for sale.

Art Against The Wall: The Battle of Atlanta at 150 – FREE art exhibits at two Atlanta galleries:72 Marietta Gallery from July 11 – October 5 and City Gallery at Chastain from August 8 – September 19 – The United States Civil War wrought unspeakable destruction and carnage. It ripped families apart, united a country and abolished slavery. Ultimately, it forever changed our nation and its people. Featuring the thought-provoking art of renowned artist Radcliffe Bailey as the nexus, these shows will bring together an assemblage of artists to present two powerful exhibits that will explore controversial themes related to the Civil War and its aftermath.

Black Dispatches: Freedom Under Foot on Tuesday, July 22 at 7 pmPaid event: From the beginning of the Civil War, African Americans knew it was a unique opportunity. With thousands of white men joining the Confederate army, farms and plantations were left largely unattended. African Americans fled by the thousands to seek better conditions and freedom. Using the lives of enslaved, fugitive and free African American Union informants as a window into the Civil War era, contemporary jazz tap dancer and folklorist Germaine Ingram will present a powerful one-woman dance performance accompanied by live violin music.  Tickets range from $8-$10.

Native Guard: A Poetic Reading by Natasha Trethewey on Tuesday, September 2 at 6:30 pm – Paid event: Creatively weaving the threads of her personal family story with those of the Nation’s, Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey’s book of poetry is masterful. The poems intertwine memory and the immediacy of lived history. In each of the book’s three sections, Trethewey gives voice to a specific person or experience, and focuses on themes related to miscegenation, slavery and race, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement. It is a poignant collection of work that poetry lovers and historians will want to own.  Join Poet Laureate, Professor and Author Natasha Tretheway for a very special evening. Copies of her book will be available for purchase. Tickets range from $8-$10.

The Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum is conveniently located near downtown Atlanta, in Historic Grant Park, at 800 Cherokee Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30315.  “Like” us on Facebook for all the latest updates: http://on.fb.me/1f1ImC7. For more info and to plan your visit: www.atlantacyclorama.org.

MEDIA: For a complete list of 2014 activities, photos & bios, or to set up interviews, please contact Karen Hatchett at Hatchett PR at 770-433-1137 or karen.hatchett@charter.net

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