Briefs: BLM and Atlanta theater; Eric Nine wins mural commission; revitalizing ‘54 Columns’ site

Sol LeWitt’s public art installation “54 Columns” is located in the Old Fourth Ward. Contributed by Fulton County Public Art Program

Sol LeWitt’s public art installation “54 Columns” is located in the Old Fourth Ward. Contributed by Fulton County Public Art Program

Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company will host a Community Conversation, titled “The Movement Lives On: BLM and Atlanta Theatre,” on July 7 at Southwest Arts Center.

True Colors Connectivity Director Brandall C. Jones calls the 7 p.m. panel discussion, moderated by playwright and ArtsATL Editor-at-Large Kelundra Smith, “a temperature check” of the Atlanta theater community’s progress in pushing for equity in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests of summer 2020.

Playwright Kelundra Smith is part of a Community Conversation titled “The Movement Lives On: BLM and Atlanta Theatre."

Credit: jerry siegel

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Credit: jerry siegel

“Like many in our community over recent years, our administrators and artists at True Colors saw many theaters and arts leaders release statements of solidarity and commitments to focus their greatest efforts on equity following the protests of 2020,” Jones said. “With this Community Conversation, it is our hope that this distinguished panel will have a discussion that will [assess] our community’s efforts toward the realization of those statements and commitments.”

Joining Smith for the panel will be Amee Vyas, Atlanta actress and member of East by Southeast; Brittani Minnieweather, Atlanta actress and co-founder of B.L.A.C.T.; Diany Rodriguez, Atlanta actress; J.L. Reed, Atlanta actor; and Jim Farmer, an ArtsATL Editor-at-Large and Out on Film festival director.

The 90-minute program will include live performances from True Colors’ production of “Fannie,” which essays the life of voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. The Community Conversation is being presented in partnership with ArtsATL and TYDEF Studios and sponsored by the Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner law firm.

Admission is free with an RSVP here. Masks are encouraged.

Eric Nine wins mural commission

Cabbagetown Initiative and Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta have awarded artist Eric Nine the mural commission at 97 Estoria Bar & Grill on Wylie Street, near the Krog Street tunnel and Eastside BeltLine. Nine will receive $3,500 for the project.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception will take place June 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the restaurant. Guests will be able to meet the other finalists and view their canvas paintings: Cathryn Bozone, Dizzy Dain, Krista Jones, Yuzly Mathurin and Rebecca Shenfeld. There will be speeches by the German Consul, the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs and more.

This annual mural competition is part of the Sophie Scholl Project. Scholl was a university student and a member of the non-violent protest group Weiße Rose, whose criminal activities included painting anti-Hitler graffiti on the streets of Munich. She was convicted of treason and sentenced to death. Competing artists were asked to respond to Scholl’s life and courage as they created their murals.

Grant approved to revitalize ‘54 Columns’ installation

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners, led by Chairman Robb Pitts, has approved a $100,000 grant to revitalize the 54 Columns sculpture site at Highland Avenue and Glen Iris Drive in the Old Fourth Ward. Created by artist Sol LeWitt and installed in 1999, “54 Columns” is an installation of grey concrete columns designed to mirror the Atlanta skyline. It was Fulton County’s first commissioned public art sponsorship.

The county is adding stadium steps for seating, a pathway into the park, more signage and better landscaping. The seating will be a great addition to a site where companies like glo, Sonic Generator and Bautanzt Here have performed. In the new design, the columns will be lit from below.

When “54 Columns” was first installed, some neighbors objected to it. In 2003 they planted 15 dogwood trees among the columns to cover them up. The county removed them.

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Credit: ArtsATL

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Credit: ArtsATL


ArtsATL (, is a nonprofit organization that plays a critical role in educating and informing audiences about metro Atlanta’s arts and culture. Founded in 2009, ArtsATL’s goal is to help build a sustainable arts community contributing to the economic and cultural health of the city.

If you have any questions about this partnership or others, please contact Senior Manager of Partnerships Nicole Williams at