Tag Archives: piedmont park

Lessons from the Street

When the guy approached in the strip center parking lot early one Saturday morning and told me his story, I fell for it. He said he had driven all night from Ohio with his family, had no money and ran out of gas. We walked to his car, saw his family and the cynic in me, checked his license tag. He just needed $20 and he’d be able to buy gas and get home. I gave it to him. So did my wife later that day when she came to return what I’d bought. When we shared the stories, we felt like chumps.

Then there was that day when the visibly upset women approached my wife in another strip center early one evening. The woman told the story of leaving her husband who beat her. My wife walked with her to the old car and was introduced to the precious, poorly dressed children. She fell for it and gave her money. When she saw the same woman the next day and was approached again, she felt deeply betrayed.

Then there was that time when a homeless man came to our door and asked for help. We gave him money and food under the condition he never come to our house again. He returned the next day. And the next. He said he wanted to work for the money and food and offered to wash our car. My wife, in a moment of tough love and generosity, told him she’d give him $10 to wash our daughter’s car that had been parked for months and desperately needed it. He, of course, washed our car – the clean car. When he came back the next day, he said he was cold and I gave him one of my coats. The next morning he was at our doorstep again. This time, he said, “I really don’t like this coat. Do you have anything else?” He went on to say that he was ready to go to the shelter we had suggested and if we’d give him a ride to where the bus would take him, he’d go. Half way there, he said, “Damn. I left my cigarettes in your coat.” So, of course, we drove back to our home, retrieved the smokes that he could afford even though he couldn’t afford food and took him to the bus stop. As he was getting out, the man, well, passed gas. I said to my wife, “at least he left us a little something to remember him by.”

We all have stories. When someone needs help, and we can, most of us do. But are we really helping?

A few years ago, a friend had cards printed with addresses and phone numbers of shelters and organizations who help the homeless. He’d tape a MARTA token on it (MARTA no longer uses tokens and MARTA cards are expensive).

Another friend, Clay, kept a box of energy bars in his trunk to give to people who were hungry. He explained to me that helping the homeless should be left to professionals. That it was way too complicated, and potentially dangerous, for individuals to get involved.

When I first moved near Atlanta’s Piedmont Park, being the liberal do-gooder that I am, or pretend to be, I’d stop and engage each person that I thought was homeless. I got to know dozens of men (women don’t do well living in Piedmont Park). I began as a naïve missionary. Each day I’d go for my walks with a budgeted amount of money to hand out if asked and cards or literature on shelters and programs that teach men how to get off the street. One by one, I saw that these men who had asked for my money for transportation shelter or food, instead, spent it on beer. Each would eventually get arrested for public drinking or drunkenness. I don’t give money anymore.

For a while, I’d tell homeless men, if they were hungry, I’d feed them. My wife and I quickly turned into a short order cooks. I also stopped that idea – it was impossible to sustain. Though, and as result of the leftovers from LikeTheDew.com’s Deviled Egg Recipe Contest judging, they did ask me, “why did all those deviled eggs taste so different?” They also offered their votes, which were not included in the contest judging.

Over the years, some of the homeless men would come and never be seen again, but others seem to live in the park permanently. I gave them clothes when they needed them, until they started asking too often and I had to stop. Ditto on razors, soap, and dental supplies. Ditto sleeping bags, tarps, blankets, phone cards, MARTA cards and the like. And then, I met Donnie.

Donnie painting Tee ShirtsDonnie was special. He didn’t belong in the park. He was in his late twenties. He had worked as an artist and animator and lost his job. Got depressed and started drinking or doing drugs and lost his family. He was clean now and you could see it in his face. The guy had more charisma and charm than almost anyone I’d ever met. He didn’t ask for it, but one day I bought him a business: paints, brushes, a portable easel, a few dozen blank tee-shirts and a backpack to carry them. Donnie was like a kid at Christmas. He went to work painting the most incredible original art on shirts. He sold them in the park. I told him that when he ran out of shirts, I’d re-stock him and I did. Donnie sustained his life and saved some of the money he made to start over. Then one night, the inevitable happened. He was robbed. When I next saw Donnie, he didn’t ask me to buy him another art kit. He told me, instead that he had called his mother in Alabama and asked if he could come home. She wired him the money for bus fare. He just wanted to say thank you and good-bye. I still hear from him from time to time through his cousin. He now has a job, a place of his own and is still close to his mom and family.

Then there was Terrell. Terrell was also special. When I met him, he was living with a girlfriend and was working in the kitchen of a nearby restaurant. Every few days, he’d prepare a meal, with ingredients donated by his restaurant, and serve it picnic style in the park to some of those, less fortunate. We admired his sharing nature and also contributed. I don’t know if was drugs or booze, but Terrell had a dramatic falling out with the restaurant. He also had one with his girlfriend and started calling the park his home.

Terrell was in his early thirties. Healthy. Smart. And motivated. The park was just temporary. He approached people who lived in the neighborhoods around the park and asked to do odd-jobs – yard work and the like. It worked for a while, but wasn’t enough to get him on his own. My wife and I befriended Terrell. We even broke the cardinal rule and invited him and his new girlfriend into our home. We got him a cell phone from the federal program. We helped him get an apartment with an organization that helped couples get off the street. The apartment deal was pretty straightforward: he was expected to work and pay $100 a month. He also was required to have regular drug testing. He made it on his own the first month. His girlfriend left him the second month and we helped out with the money he needed for rent. The third month he was back in the park. Terrell, we learned, couldn’t – and didn’t want to – pass the drug test. That was almost two years ago. Terrell has been arrested five or six times since then – three times in one month alone – stupid stuff – drinking on the bench near 10th Street and jaywalking. He’s lost about 50 pounds and his eyes are always glazed over.

We don’t have much to do with Terrell, but some months back, he approached me and told me a story. He said that he’d heard about a doctor who would diagnose him as bipolar and about a lawyer who could then get him disability. Disability, plus food stamps were his plan to get his life together. In exchange for a couple of hundred dollars a month, he would never be able to get a real job again – the price of disability. I begged him to reconsider and get help. I saw Terrell last week. He has been approved for disability.

Then there was last week. I met this kid standing near our little midtown grocery store. He was hungry and I walked him inside and bought him a sandwich. I’m sure you have seen him, too. Early twenties. Hair long and unkept. Sad and lonely expression on his face. Layers of dirty clothes with his shirts out. His pants were so low that at least six inches of his underwear was showing. I’m no snob. I’m all for individual expression – in fact, I am sure that many would suggest I have my own unique “style.” But I couldn’t help thinking while I was talking to this young man, “no one will ever get a good job with underwear showing.” (Note: I know that for some of you, this is straight line and there’s some joke that might suggest that is not true for the opposite gender – not PC.)

As strange as it sounds, I sometime fantasize about how to solve the homeless problem. I daydream of getting donated land and building a new form of inexpensive and efficient housing. I consider little things, like lockers to protect what they have. More public bathrooms. Utilizing some of the empty and bankrupt condo buildings. But each time my daydream comes around to one problem that I cannot figure out how to overcome: drugs and booze, which is connected to crime, which is connected to violence. How can it be solved?

Leave it to the professionals. Leave it and support those organizations that help large numbers of people survive, while each night having a zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol. Leave it and support those organizations that help one person at a time learn how to believe in themselves and society again. Google or Bing it, search terms: (your city) and homeless shelters. If you are in the Atlanta area, contact the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless. They also have a 24-hour help line. Or the Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency.

Or, at the very minimum, follow our friend Clay’s example and give them an energy bar.

Park stories

“There’s something about white people,” Bull said as he sat down beside me on the stone wall overlooking the shopping gauntlet of the Saturday Green Market in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park, “they want everything.”

Bull’s given name is Tony and I’ve know him for three years. As one might suspect, Bull didn’t get his nickname for awkward moments in a china shop. In his mid-fifties, he’s affable, homeless and pretty much knows how to stay out of trouble with the homeless police*. Bull went on to tell me, while punctuating each phrase with a pause and a laugh, “You know, money’s no good for holding on to. It’s got to keep moving. That’s why they do it – always buying stuff.”

I had a decision to make. Do I patronize him by agreeing and just letting the conversation go silent, or do I give him the respect to answer him thoughtfully? I chose the latter and tried to tell him how some people had unimaginable amounts of money and how those people just wanted more and more of it.

Bull looked down, shook his head side to side and began speaking louder, as Bull does, when he seems to feel confused, “I don’t know about that…” Reaching down to pet my geriatric, hair-factory of a beagle, Bull rubbed too hard and the dog gave out a loud whelp as hounds do to embarrass their owners. “Your dog’s blind, right? No? Can’t hear? I know something’s wrong with her. Anyway, how’s your wife doing? I haven’t seen her in a while. You doing OK?”

While reassuring him that we were fine, Bull and I became sandwiched by other spouse watchers and waiters on the bench-hieght wall. The recent interlopers were sitting close enough to hear, but far enough away to observe. I wondered to myself if these newly arrived “social peers” were there for the shade, to judge Bull, or to judge us both. I often get feelings like this and know it comes from my mom’s lifelong and often conflicting curse of inferiority and her strong, but simple sense of right and wrong. As I’ve aged, my rational side knows well their decision to sit down had nothing to do with either of us. Most people, especially young people, are oblivious to the homeless.

Feeling the new eyes upon him, Bull then turned his questions to a safer subject, “Lee, tell me this, do you believe in Jesus and God?”

My turn to laugh awkwardly, “That’s two different questions, Bull.” If you are asking me if I believe in the historical figure of Jesus, whose followers, hundreds of years later, recounted wonderful and life-giving sermons and tales of what we are asked to believe of his life, sure. And if by God, you are asking if I believe that there is some powerful force in life greater and outside our lives that connects us all, I do.“

Hearing my ”I do“ and not processing the parsed phrases, Bull seemed reassured and said, while patting me on the shoulder, ”Good. Good. I don’t know why I thought you weren’t a believer. That’s good. God bless you.“

In the middle of it, my wife walked up with her market bag filled with gourds of every color and shape, ”Hello, Red,“ she said as she faced that moment every immune-surpressed Southerner fears – the requisitely polite handshake or hug from someone who lived on the street. Fortunately her bags prevented either.

”This is Bull,“ I said to her. ”Red is someone else entirely, though Red Bull is a very funny guess.“ Then sensing her dilemma, I offered, ”A fist bump is always appropriate.“ Watching a middle-aged white woman, never known for coordination, attempt to fist bump with arms filled with gourds, is great sport and a true test of my ability not to laugh at someone, but Terri’s always a good sport.

Able to easily multi-task while fist-bumping, Bull offered with a genuine smile, ”Hello, Miss Terri. Looks like you’re going to be doin’ some fine cooking. You going to cook any of that for me?“

”Maybe so, I’ve cooked for you before.“

”I remember,“ Bull said, ”you made me a birthday cake last year.“

I glanced at one the interlopers within earshot expecting an acknowledgement of her kindness – oblivious.

###

*A note on how to stay out of trouble with the homeless police: Keep moving. Don’t hang out in a group for long. Keep up with grooming and wear clean clothes. Stash your possessions during the day and don’t been seen carrying bags. Stay away from the types of people who might feel threatened (those alone or with children). Smile and mention God in your short conversations with strangers. Be polite. Never resist a police officer. And keep moving.

City police have an almost impossible job and I have nothing but respect for their efforts. Sworn to uphold the law, part of a team, at the whim of politics and every “taxpayer” they meet, they also owe it their own families to survive each day. I often hear complaints from homeless men of profiling and excess force – while it might seem true, most of what seems “profiling” are reaction to citizen complaints or inappropriate public behavior. Charges of excessive force are most often a situational reaction of drunkenness or rage. There are exceptions and there shouldn’t be.

Homelessness is terrible problem. I sincerely wish that giving money to someone panhandling was an answer. It isn’t. Often if makes things worse. If someone is hungry, give them food or directions to a shelter. Homelessness is a societal problem, an economic problem and a political problem. If you want to help the homeless, I encourage you to contact an organization in your community and help them.

Camping Out

Homelessness AtlantaThe Monday after New Year’s, a new urban camper arrived in Piedmont Park. At least, I think he was. He had all the telltale signs:

  • More stuff than he could easily carry. To survive in the urban wilderness, you have to have your hands free. Be able to eat, zip your zipper or defend yourself without putting your stuff down. He’d have to lighten his load and stash it somewhere or he’d lose it. Likely he had already made some choices on what was truly valuable and necessary in his life. He’ll need to make more.
  • Some of his stuff was in paper bags and overflowing. Paper bags don’t wear well in the weather. Once they start to tear, all in the bag will be lost. Paper bags also don’t provide much security. The extra coat he had was clearly visible. Somebody would want that. Garbage bags are the preferred choice.
  • He was carrying a heavy blanket. Logical for his 7AM and 18 degree arrival, but unworkable for long. Marked him too clearly. If you’re going to sit in a public place, you have to look like you don’t live there. Plus, once it gets wet, he’ll tire of carrying it and it will be of little use.
  • He was alone and seemed nervous about his stuff. He’ll make friends soon enough. Learn the ropes. Find out you have to have the discipline of the wild and be able to stare straight ahead for hours as if you want to be there. He had carefully set all his stuff down when he arrived and left room for others on the bench. Only a few minutes later, he’d pick it all up and walk to the street. Look back and forth and return to the bench. This repeated for hours. During the time, the blanket found a permanent home in a tree branch. One of his paper bags had been emptied by more experienced campers who apparently appealed to his generosity.

From my desk, I have seen quite a few people join the ranks of the homeless and displaced. Mostly men. Disproportionately black. Those who I have met and spoken with shared pretty similar stories of how they arrived there. Oddly, most don’t blame their fate on others. “I was just drunk and shouldn’t have swung at him.” “My wife got tired of me hanging out and threw me out.” “I did something really stupid and (fill in the blank) someone.”

In just a moment, their lives were changed. When they made a bad decision they couldn’t or wouldn’t undo. Moments we all face, and had they turned out differently, we could easily be among them. Too much to drink. Loud talk. An argument. A desperate act. A decision to break the law. Drugs. Hanging out with the wrong crowd. Wrong place at the wrong time. Booze, an argument, a fight or all three and they were separated from their families and their jobs. Once they get arrested, and most eventually will be (public drinking, urination, panhandling, loud talk, a fight, etc. get them in the system), their job opportunities are narrowed.

Others shared stories even sadder – “My little girl died and my wife and I just couldn’t handle it.”

Sure, there’s a significant percentage where mental illness is involved – bipolar and PTSD (yes, way too many of our homeless are vets) are mentioned often. Those fortunate (if that is the right word) enough to be on disability, will get a monthly chance to get off the street. But the crazy check isn’t much. Often they will share it or it will be stolen. And I dare you to try and get approved to rent a place after living on the street.

There is also way too high a percentage of our homeless who are teenagers and young adults. Beautiful young people who have their health, energy, a quick smile and all the potential America offers in front of them, but they have run away and dropped out. Frequently they’ll sell a little weed or themselves for sex to get by. The youngest among them seem to want to hang out, hear and share the stories, but more likely they are just trying to be safe from those who prey on them. Weed turns to crack or crank or heroin. And all leads to jail and narrowed chances for release.

Most are just people who did something stupid and got caught that led them to the bench outside my window. Most are good people, at least when they are sober. Most want to work, but few employers hire those with a record. Many could find help, but most of those who help the most also require drug testing and have lots of rules. Except for food stamps, most homeless people can’t get on the dole. Welfare as we knew it doesn’t exist anymore. So they just hustle and sit. Some will get to go to shelters during bad weather. During better weather, everyone has their secret place behind a house or office building.

Then there are those who just hit bad times. Couldn’t pay their house payment or rent and didn’t have any place to go. Most of those are just passing through. They’ll seek assistance. Many will get on their feet again or, at least, stay out of the system.

That same day as the new camper arrived, someone was evicted from Post Apartments on Piedmont and 10th. A Marshall supervised the dismantling of someone’s life. All of their stuff – furniture, clothing, books, family photos – everything was tossed in a pile in the parking lot. A crowd gathered to look through the new curb picks. It seemed sacred to me. I couldn’t watch for fear of getting sick and even the memory of it brings on nausea.

Post’s policy is to evict if rent for the current month is not paid by the first. I heard said of those evicted, that they had not paid December rent or responded to the letters demanding payment with the threat of eviction. I heard it said, that Post had no choice. Surely, they did. What could possibly have happened to those people that they couldn’t pay? Illness? Laid off or lost their job? Someone not pay them? A divorce? Family emergency? A death? Something seems terribly wrong.

And then, there’s the new guy in the park. I don’t know his story  yet. Hope I don’t learn it. Maybe after thinking about it, he’ll go home and say he’s sorry. Or find his mom or a sib and beg them for another chance. Get sober. Or seek out someone at a shelter to point him in a better direction.

Resources (mostly Atlanta, links – please comment and add more):

Ready for Sir Paul

SirPaul McCartney's Stage in Piedmont ParkPreparation is just about complete for Saturday night’s (August 15th) Green Concert at Piedmont Park in Atlanta featuring Sir Paul McCartney. Over 30,000 tickets have been sold, but tickets are still available (they are permitted for up to 49,999, but never expected to sell out given the economy) through ticketmaster – $79.50 per person general admission, or $400 for VIP tickets (you’ll be close enough to see him without camping out). You can also hear it for free on DaveFM (92.9) in Atlanta.

 Paul McCartneyThe gates open at 4PM for VIP’s and pre-sale tickets. 5PM for general admission. The music should start about 7PM. Yes, there will be beer (Bud and BudLight) and plenty of other stuff for sale.

After paying Sir Paul, the hundreds constructing the staging and working the event, the 6 foot fences that surround the park, the gigantic stage, lighting and screens, dozens of tents, hundreds of porta-potties, all the clean up, and hundreds more of Atlanta’s finest for shutting down the surrounding the streets, the proceeds will raise money for Piedmont Park’s 53-acre expansion.

Oh yeah, forget about driving and finding a place near the park. Take MARTA.

Park Rules

City of Atlanta Park RulesThere are official rules for most public parks. And then there are rules you learn by being there. For instance, in my park (Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta), officially, you aren’t allowed to drink alcoholic beverages except during a festival. Unofficially, it’s okay if you are having a picnic, put your drink in an alternative container and don’t act drunk, or if you are homeless and no one has complained in the last few hours.

Most of the unofficial rules seem to be about how you interact with others. Here’s some that I have observed:

1.    Dog owners who don’t observe the leash law only talk to other dog owners who don’t observe the leash law unless they are retrieving their misbehaving dog at which time they say something unintelligible that doesn’t sound like an apology.

2.    Women pushing a baby carriage who seem likely to be a non-English-speaking babysitter, will always smile as they pass.

3.    Tall, thin, well dressed, blonde-haired women will never speak or make eye contact with short, over-weight, middle-age men walking alone.

4.    When a man and woman are walking with small children, they will talk to anyone.

5.    When a woman is walking alone with a child, they will speak to your dog, ask for the dog’s name, age and demeanor, but will never speak to a male on the other end of the dog’s leash.

Protect the Lawn Rules6.    When a man is walking alone with a child, the child will likely run up and play with your dog and the man will smile while continuing to talk on his cell phone.

7.    When a man is walking more than one dog, he always takes the right of way.

8.    Older couples will often smile at you in a manner that seems to imply that you aren’t dressed well enough or that they suspect you recently littered.

9.    When walking the dog with your wife, she will make many new friends with people who you see every day, but have never met.

10.    The currently preferred method to take a relationship to the next level is by taking photos of them in the park with a thousand dollar camera.

11.    Homeless people are more likely to ask you to buy them a beer than food.

12.    The larger the dog, the less likely their owner will scoop the poop.

13.    Every third frisbee toss by a woman will purposely go far past the man who they are with.

14.    Male joggers will only give way if you make eye contact so they can scowl at you.

15.    The most profitable place to panhandle in Piedmont Park is the entrance from Piedmont near 10th.

img_051716.    There is a direct relationship between testosterone levels, foul balls and strikeouts.

17.    There is an inverse relationship between sweat and sociability.

18.    Use extreme caution when approaching if a dog is a similar size and/or weight to their owners – this is especially important if the “responsible” party is talking on their cell phone or otherwise occupied.

19.    If you don’t earn the money to buy the beverage you drink, you are less likely to put the container in the recycling or trash container.

20.    The best time to be in the park is just after the time it looks like it is going to rain, but doesn’t.

Please comment and share more park rules.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival This Weekend

lapelpinThe 73rd Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival returns to Piedmont Park this weekend, April 17, 18 & 19.

Join the fun at Piedmont Park during this annual weekend celebration of Spring. Usually scheduled for the first or second week in April, this event features a spectacular children’s parade along with an International Village of artists and performers. Art shows are held both days. Activities include arts and crafts exhibits, concerts, competitions, dance demonstrations, and lots of goodies to munch on. After the festival, jump on a bike and take a scenic tour through beautiful Midtown, one of Atlanta’s most diverse neighborhoods. Admission is free.

Special Events

Preview Party
Thursday, April 16: 6:30 – 8:30 PM
For Dogwood lovers who just can’t wait for the festival to start, the Thursday night Preview Party will grant them early access. On Thursday, April 16 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., guests can get an artist preview, sip cocktails and enjoy the delightful crooning of Michel Innocent. The Preview Party takes place in the Pavilion and are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.

Open Air Comedy Club – Lake Clara Meer Dock Stage
Friday, April 17: 8:00 PM
Friday is comedy night at the Dogwood Festival’s Open Air Comedy Club at the dock stage on Lake Clara Meer. The fun begins at 8:03 p.m. with a half-hour stand-up comedy show by Jeff Justice’s Comedy Workshoppe Graduates, followed by a full hour of improv from Dad’s Garage Theatre Company. Guests can enjoy cocktails in the ZonePerfect Art Bar before the show. A limited amount of tickets for comedy night are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.

Friends of Dogwood – Pavilion
Saturday, April 18 & Sunday, April 19: 1-5 PM
It’s a new tradition at a 73-year-old festival, and the “Friends of Dogwood Pavilion” could be the best way to enjoy the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. This ticketed event that became part of the Dogwood Festival in 2008 will offer a special area on Saturday and Sunday featuring some of the neighborhood’s favorite restaurants combined with specialty beverages. Participating restaurants include South City Kitchen, Babette’s Cafe, 4th & Swift, Genki, Metrotainment Bakery, Fritti, Twisted Taco and others to be announced soon! This ticket includes FREE ADMISSION to the Thursday Night Preview Party!

Saturday Restaurants
Metrotainment Bakery
Babette’s Cafe
Twisted Taco
South City Kitchen Midtown
Wildfire
Eclipse de Luna
Dolce
Geisha
The Nook
Six Feet Under

Wine Companies-
International Society of Africans in WIne (ISAW)
Total WInes
Catamarca Imports
Bacco Fine Wine
Sunday Restaurants-
Metrotainment Bakery
4th and Swift
Twisted Taco
Genki
Nickiemoto’s
Gordon Biersch
Roy’s
Chow Baby

Wine Companies-
International Society of Africans in WIne (ISAW)
Total WInes
Bacco Fine Wine

The Midtown Neighbors’ Association Tour of Homes
This year’s tour features ten homes in eight locations. The Midtown Neighbors’ Association will showcase homes featured on HGTV as well as in home improvement magazines. The homes are located from Myrtle to Peachtree, 5th to 9th streets.

2009 ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE (subject to change)

MAIN STAGE
Friday, April 17, 2009
5:00 – 6:00 pm    Lindsay Rakers Band
6:30 – 7:30 pm    Golden
8:00 – 9:00 pm    Yacht Rock Revue

Saturday, April 18, 2009
10:45am – 12:00pm    Atlanta Freedom Band
12:30 – 1:15 pm    Daysahead
1:45 – 2:30 pm    4th Ward Afro Klezmer Orchestra
2:45 – 3:30 pm    Stratogeezer  
4:00 – 4:45 pm    Black Top Rockets  
5:15 – 6:00 pm    Young Antiques  
6:30 – 7:15 pm    Connor Christian & Southern Gothic  
7:45 – 9:00 pm    Heather Luttrell

Sunday, April 19, 2009
12:00pm – 3:00pm    National Black Arts Festival presents Gospel
3:30 – 4:15pm    Batata Doce   
4:45 – 5:30pm    Hoots & Hellmouth  
5:45 – 6:30pm    Breeze Kings 

Community and International Stage at Lake Clara Meer Dock
Friday,  April 17th:  start time 8:03 pm  Open Air Comedy Club featuring the Jeff justice Comedy Workshoppe Grads and Dad’s Garage Theater!  Limited tickets may be purchased on the special events page of this website

Saturday, April 18
10:00am – 11:45am    After School All Star Kids – school group
12:00pm – 12:45pm    Ryuku Arts – Festival of Drum dance, Karate Dance
1:00pm – 1:45pm    Royal Scottish Country Dancers
2:00pm – 2:45pm    Village Theatre – Improv Comedy
3:00pm – 3:20pm    Rajen Raval and Nritya Natya Kala Bharti Academy
3:20pm – 3:45pm    Chinese-American Cultural Performing Group; Shufang Zither Studio – GuZheng Music; Lion Dance, Kung Fu Dance, Chinese Violin
4:00pm – 4:45pm    Arjho C. Turner – Blaan Tribe Dance; Faith Ward – Philippine Traditional Songs; Galing Pinoy – Philippine Traditional Songs; Soli Nicolson & Chris Rockett- Philippine songs
5:00pm – 5:45pm    Richard Omar & the Prodigal Sun Band – Caribbean
6:00pm – 6:45pm   SALSAtlanta – Salsa Dancers
7:00pm – 8:30pm    Rouzbeh Hoshmondy, Flamenco Guitar

Sunday, April 19
1:00pm – 1:45pm   Our Kids Atlanta – School Group
2:00pm – 2:20pm    The King O’Sullivan School of Irish Dance
2:30pm – 2:55pm    Atlanta International School Choir
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m    Okinawa Kengin Kai, Taiko group; International Mai no Kai; Drum Dance; Japanese Traditional Dance; Okinawa Sahshin
4:15pm – 4:45pm   Turkish Folk Dance Troupe of Atlanta
5:00pm – 5:15pm    Taiwanese School of Georgia
5:30pm – 6:15pm    Festival de las Americas presents: 24 Horas & Fernada Cornejo
Visit the Drum Tent Saturday and Sunday near the Community Center for Interactive Drumming Sessions