The shutdown last year has arts and entertainment organizers proceeding with caution as they tentatively forge ahead with a fall season of events they hope will mark a return to normal this year. And if ever the community needed the support of its patrons, the time is now. So mark your calendars and buy your tickets. But because we aren’t totally out of the woods yet, note that things are still subject to change. Check with venues on their vaccination and mask requirements, as well as other social distance protocols. And by all means, rejoice in the creative pursuits that remind us we are alive.
‘Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe.’
The High Museum collaborates with the Art Bridges Foundation for the first major presentation of work by the late Nellie Mae Rowe, a self-taught artist from Fayetteville. The show will feature more than 60 drawings, handmade dolls and chewing gum sculptures selected from the museum’s permanent collection. After the show closes, it will tour the country into 2023. Sept. 3-Jan. 9. $16.50. High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-733-4575, high.org.
Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee
Credit: Andrew Thomas Lee
‘Darlin’ Cory’ at Alliance Theatre
Sugarland’s Kristian Bush established his theatrical bona fides with 2017′s lovely “Troubadour.” Now the singer-songwriter returns to create folk-country tunes for a moonshine-stoked Appalachian mystery by Phillip DePoy. Set in the 1920s in a small mountain town, a pastor’s attempts to thwart an intelligent young woman’s ambitions are upended when a mysterious stranger arrives in town. Susan V. Booth directs. Sept. 8-Oct. 3. $25-$85. Alliance Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-733-5000, alliancetheatre.org.
Atlanta Food and Wine Festival
Celebrate the city’s outstanding culinary offerings with small, intimate brunches and dinners at select Atlanta restaurants, including Lazy Betty, the Woodall, 5Church and Cooks & Soldiers Sept. 9-12. And sample all you can eat and drink from a variety of tasting tents Sept. 11-12. VIP tickets get you in early. Sept. 9-12. Tasting tents $125 per day, $200 VIP; $225 weekend pass, $350 VIP. Historic Fourth Ward Park, 680 Dallas St., Atlanta. Intimate brunches and dinners $110-$250, various locations. atlfoodandwinefestival.com.
Book Festival of the MJCCA
Annabelle Gurwitch, author of “You’re Leaving When? Adventures in Downward Mobility”; Alice Hoffman, author of “The Book of Magic”; Andrew Feiler, photographer and author of “A Better Life for Their Children”; and Michael Bar-Zohar, author of “The Mossad Amazons,” are among the authors appearing in person and/or online at the annual festival presented by the Marcus Jewish Community Center. Nov. 6-21. Free-$46. Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. 678-812-4000, atlantajcc.org.
Out on Film
The annual celebration of films by and about the LGBTQ community returns for its 34th season with a combination of virtual and in-theater screenings. More than 130 films will be featured, including the documentaries “Invisible: Gay Women in Southern Music,” about gay women songwriters who have written No. 1 hits for country music stars, and “No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics,” which follows the careers of five comic artists. The full lineup will be announced Aug. 24. Sept. 23-Oct. 3. $11, $150 season pass. Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive, Atlanta. Out Front Theatre Company, 999 Brady Ave., Atlanta. 678-944-8158, outonfilm.org.
AJC Decatur Book Festival presented by Emory University
The book festival returns in person with a one-day event featuring six presentations at First Baptist Church of Decatur. Featured authors include Carol Anderson, whose new book “The Second” explores the racial implications of our constitutional right to bear arms, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler, whose new novel “Lake City” chronicles a man’s life in memories conjured from his deathbed. Other participating authors include Anjali Enjeti, Thiphanie Yanique, Martin Padgett, Gilly Segal, Kimberly Jones, Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrators Jim LaMarche and Laura Freeman. Oct. 2. Free. First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairmont Ave., Decatur. 678-570-2041, decaturbookfestival.com.
Join H.E.R., Lil Wayne, The Isley Brothers, Ty Dolla $ign, Burna Boy, Kirk Franklin and more for unity through music. Be sure to visit the food truck village, merch village and visual art village. Oct. 9-10. $169. Centennial Olympic Park, 235 Andrew Young International Blvd. NW, Atlanta. 888-512-7469, onemusicfest.com.
Credit: Robb Cohen Photography & Video/
Credit: Robb Cohen Photography & Video/
Shaky Knees Festival
The city’s premier alternative music festival returns with another dizzying array of 60-plus artists over three days. Foo Fighters are the most recently announced headliners, joining Run the Jewels (featuring Atlanta’s own Killer Mike) and The Strokes. Indie stalwarts St. Vincent and Phoebe Bridgers and original shock rocker Alice Cooper are just a few of the other acts on tap. Oct. 22-24. $99 one day, $219 three days. Central Park, 311 North Ave. NE, Atlanta. 888-512-7469, shakykneesfestival.com.
Atlanta Opera: ‘Julius Caesar’
The Atlanta Opera has three productions slated for 2022, but “Julius Caesar,” which tells the story of the Roman emperor’s love affair with Cleopatra with music by George Frideric Handel, is the only opera set for this fall. Directed by Tomer Zvulun, who helmed a 2017 production in Israel, and featuring Jamie Habersham and Megan Marino, the production represents the opera’s first performances back at home and out of the tent. Nov. 6, 9, 12, 14. $40-$150. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 404-881-8885, atlantaopera.org.
The Rolling Stones Atlanta Concert
The World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band returns for this rescheduled No Filter Tour, which began in Hamburg, Germany, in September 2017 and was slated to end in 2020 until the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the final leg. Nov. 11. $64.50 and up. Mercedes-Benz Stadium, 1 AMB Drive NW, Atlanta. 800-745-3000, mercedesbenzstadium.com.
Wendell Brock, Jon Ross and Matthew W. Smith contributed to this article.
More of our fall arts preview
10 fall events you don’t want to miss
Atlanta theaters reopening for fall
Women artists shine in visual arts
‘Giselle’ and contemporary works highlight dance
Classical music premieres and more
Rolling Stones, George Strait, Killer Mike headed to Atlanta