The annual event raises funds to benefit the arts in Atlanta

The Forward Arts Foundation’s 2018 Flea Market is this week

The annual event offers fabulous items and benefits the arts in Atlanta

The Forward Arts Foundation’s 2018 Flea Market is planned for this Friday and Saturday at the Atlanta History Center.

The event, themed “Flea-mingo Island” this year, begins with a preview party from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday. The market is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, in the lower level parking deck of the Atlanta History Center.

Co-chairs are Karen Brown, Clayton Howell and Laura Nunnally, with Sally Nunnally serving as honorary chairman. 

Clayton Howell, Karen Brown, Laura Nunnally and Sally Nunnally are ready for the Forward Arts Foundation's 2018 Flea Market, themed "Flea-mingo Island." Photo: Courtesy of the Forward Arts Foundation

As always, the market offers an array of decorative and designer items at far less than retail.

“Estate sale shoppers, interior designers and collectors of all kinds know us as a source for great finds at great prices,” Brown said.

Market admission is free and open to the public. Preview Party tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the event. You can buy party tickets online at this link or at the Swan Coach House Gift Shop. Call 404-261-9855 for more information.

All proceeds benefit the visual arts in Atlanta through the programs of the Forward Arts Foundation, which has an intriguing origin story.

In the 1960s, a number of homes along Peachtree Street were razed to make way for the modern new Woodruff Arts Center. Gone, too, was the original coach house where members of the museum’s Women’s Auxiliary operated a gift shop and tea room. (The first Flea Market had been held on the grounds of the original High Museum in 1954.) 

Undeterred by the price of progress, 12 auxiliary volunteers opted to find a new location and chartered the Forward Arts Foundation on Sept. 21, 1965. The Swan Coach House, which was the renovated carriage house originally part of the Edward Inman estate, opened in 1967. The restaurant, gift shop and gallery is near the Inman home known as the Swan House, which is now part of the Atlanta History Center’s campus. 

The Forward Arts Foundation’s 1965 articles of incorporation listed the following founding members to be named as lifetime trustees: Louise Richardson Allen, Elkin Goddard Alston, Frances McDonald Carmichael, Anne Cox Chambers, Frances Floyd Cocke, Virginia Campbell Courts, Sylvia Montag Ferst, Isabelle Woolford Kennedy, Nora Clancy Maddox, Sara Giles Moore, Catherine Smith Nunnally and Josephine Crawford Robinson. They were initially dubbed “The Dirty Dozen” for their bold action in striking out to find a new coach house location, although the late Atlanta society writer Yolande Gwin insisted that “such chic, smart and prominent women” be known as the “Darling Dozen.”

The Forward Arts Foundation was chartered in 1965 and benefits a number of arts institutions in Atlanta. Archive photo courtesy of the Forward Arts Foundation.

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