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January 2006

Savannah Music Festival

Set in the South's premier city, the Savannah Music Festival captures audiences' imaginations by "presenting a world-class celebration of the musical arts by creating timeless and adventurous productions that stimulate arts education, foster economic growth, and unite artists and audiences in Georgia's first city." The annual event began in 1988 as the Savannah Onstage International Arts Festival, when a group of community leaders sought to enhance cultural tourism. In 1994, the American Traditions Competition was first held at the Festival. The competition is a weeklong series of vocal performances that displays the myriad of musical genres that "encompass American characteristics of excellence and artistic integrity."

In 2002, the event became known as the Savannah Music Festival, and in the spring of 2005, attracted more than 36,000 attendees. Lead by director Rob Gibson, the Festival features an array of performances by renowned jazz, blues, bluegrass, classical and international artists. To learn more about the festival and the schedule of performances for 2006, visit the website.

Profile: Jimmy Carter

In 1976, Jimmy Carter became the first and only Georgia native to date to be elected as U.S. president. Born in Plains, Georgia, Carter served in the United States Navy, was elected to two terms in the Senate and was Governor of Georgia. In the years since his presidential term ended, Carter has continued to serve the nation as a peace ambassador, winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

In addition to his international work in the areas of public policy and public health, President Carter is also a very skilled artist and artisan in everything from woodworking to wine making.

He has also authored several books that have landed on the New York Times bestseller list. Currently his children's book, "The Little Baby Snooglefleejer," has been adapted for the stage in theaters around the nation. To find out more about Jimmy Carter, visit the Carter Center's website.

Profile: Sunny Taylor

At 23, Sunny Taylor is a veteran in the painting community, holding her first exhibit at the age of 13. Taylor's large-scale portraits capture the essence of real life people with real life struggles.

Born with Arthrogryposis caused by military pollution, Taylor describes her art as "portraits of people or ideas I love... an expression of what I call a love or appreciation of seeing." In her painting "Depleted Uranium," Taylor shows the effect of millitary pollution and war in the Middle East. But not all of her paintings depict such serious topics. One such work is a painting of her brother-in-law, Christopher, which she says captures a moment in time, the essence of a laugh. In 2004, Sunny Taylor won the VSA Arts Organization award for painting.

Electronic Art

Atlanta-based animation team Matt and Mike Chapman have made a career out of making people laugh. After graduating from Florida State University and the University of Georgia respectively, the brothers played around with a new type of computer animation known as FLASH. In the beginning, their website was mainly for the enjoyment of family and friends.

Soon, however knowledge of their quirky style began to spread around the world. The Brothers Chap, as they are more commonly known, operate a website out of their offices in Atlanta. boasts an array of animated characters spanning from Strong Bad, a rough and tumble character; Homestarrunner, the hero and his broom-stick like girlfriend Marsapan. With off the cuff humor and slapstick animation, the brothers have redefined entertainment on the web. To visit their website.

Opera 101

The Harrower Workshop, better known as Opera 101, offers a unique and all- encompassing experience to its students. Based at Atlanta's Georgia State University, the workshop teaches aspiring opera singers everything from applying stage makeup to the art of sword fighting.

Founded in 1980 by Georgia State music professors Irene Callaway Harrower and her late husband, Peter, the opera workshop introduces young artists to an art form with a long classical history. The workshop provides an intense three-week experience for the opera students and is scheduled with voice classes for both groups and private individuals lead by some of the genre's finest singers and teachers.

One such teacher is Marni Nixon. Nixon is well known in the opera world, and people outside that world will recognize her from her voice over work for some of the most famous actresses in Hollywood. She provided the singing voice of Natalie Wood in "West Side Story" and for Debra Carr in each of her movies. Currently under the leadership of artistic director Dwight Coleman, the workshop helps devoted opera singers make their dreams come true. To learn more about the Harrower Workshop and Georgia State's College of Arts and Sciences, go to the website.

High Museum

Founded in 1905 by the Atlanta Art Association, the High Museum quickly grew into an Atlanta landmark. Originally located in a mansion on Peachtree Street, the High moved next door into a brick building with climate control to better preserve the priceless pieces of art. With over 11,000 pieces of art, the High Museum is ever expanding. Spurred by the tragic death of 122 art patrons from Atlanta in a plane crash in 1962, as documented in Georgia Public Broadcasting's The Day Atlanta Stood Still, the museum added the Memorial Building constructed by the new Atlanta Art Alliance.

In 1983, the High Museum expanded once again with the help of renowned architect Richard Meier. Due to unprecedented growth in exhibitions, community programming, and collections, the Museum once again outgrew its home. In 2005, the High Museum added two new buildings as part of the overall upgrade of the Woodruff Arts Center campus being designed by Renzo Piano.

Renzo Piano was born in Genoa, Italy in 1937. After graduating from the school of Architecture of the Milan Polytechnic, he worked under the design guidance of Franco Albini. Between 1965 and 1970, he completed his formation and work experiments with study travels in Britain and America. These travels encouraged Piano to develop a style that is evident in many of his works, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris. To find out more about Renzo Piano's works, visit his website. To learn more about the High Museum, visit the website.