Out & About

Music, art and textiles highlight the week

“Shades of Blues” is an exhibit at The 567 Center for Renewal.
“Shades of Blues” is an exhibit at The 567 Center for Renewal.

A diverse program is planned for a concert to be presented by SMART Inc. (South Macon Arts Revitalization Technology) at the Grand Opera House on Saturday. Sanctioned by the Cherry Blossom Festival, “Macon Melodies” is the first fundraising event for SMART Inc., a non-profit that creates and promotes sustainable development to enhance the quality of life in south Macon.

Co-founded in 2015 by Macon natives Frankie Lewis, her son Antonio Lewis-Ross and other members of their community, the organization works to bring the arts, industry, technology, jobs, entrepreneurship, home ownership and a renewed sense of pride to the area.

“Macon Melodies” will highlight the African-American Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra of Atlanta, an ensemble co-founded in 1988 by its music director, John Peek. Before teaching and consulting at numerous academic and church music programs and leading AAPO, Peek, a native Atlantan, performed nationally and internationally with such iconic artists as Ray Charles, B.B. King, Woody Herman, Little Richard, Dinah Washington, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, the Dells, the Temptations, Barry White and Natalie Cole.

The concert also will feature Macon’s Macedonia Choir and Future Generations, the singing/songwriting/dancing Johnston kids, Aris and Artis. Television personality Karla Heath-Sands will serve as emcee for the evening.

Already boasting a successful roster of events, SMART Inc.’s founders look forward to continuing to foster positive interactions between local residents, businesses and government. Tickets for Saturday’s 7 p.m. concert are available at the Grand Opera House box office. Call 478-301-5470.

Showcasing the 567

The 567 Center for Renewal moved into its First Street location in June and today — with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. — it celebrates the opening of a new gallery space. Kool-Aid & Canvas and Corks & Canvas also occur at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, and a full week of art classes is planned for next week.

This month, the 567 showcases an exhibit called “Studio 567,” featuring original artwork in various mediums by the 567’s instructors. A photography exhibit by Middle Georgia Camera Club members will be displayed in October. Call 478-238-6051.

Studies with Wini

Mixed media artist Wini McQueen will lead “Story Fabric Crafting,” a basics-of-textile-making series that explores such techniques as photo transfer, batik, blue printing and stamp making. The classes culminate with participants creating their very own textiles.

The sessions take place at the Ruth Hartley Mosley Memorial Women’s Center on the Tuesdays and Thursdays of the next two weeks. Call 478-742-6409.

Contact Melanie Byas at melanie@retrowarehouse.com.