When the Center for Puppetry Arts opened its doors in 1978, Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog were on hand to cut the ribbon. Fittingly, one of its first major exhibitions, The Art of the Muppets in 1981, attracted more than 50,000 attendees. Since then, the center has matured into a multifaceted complex equal parts museum, performance center, educational facility, and hub for working artists.
That Pottery Place Studio’s shelves brim with hundreds of unfinished ceramic pieces, each ready to blossom with a completely unique bouquet of colors and designs. Animal-painted plates sit propped alongside decorative birdbaths, planters, coffee mugs, and owl figurines designed to scare pigeons away from the china hutch. Guests can throw their creativity at these 3D canvases using the studio’s stencils, brushes, sponges, and dozens of glazes. Staff members make the rounds sharing tips on technique and helping sort through idea books with painters during open studio time.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
The Atlanta History Center, one of the largest history centers in the nation at 33 acres, chronicles the life and exploits of Georgians with signature exhibits and temporary displays in the Atlanta History Museum, depicts the history of the Olympics in the Centennial Olympic Games Museum, and enlightens visitors with historic houses, trails and gardens. In the temporary exhibit, War in Our Backyards: Discovering Atlanta, 1861-1865, visitors study interactive map overlays, artifacts, and photographs to discover which Civil War battles took place in their yards and which took place where their statue of Bruce Lee stands. Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment explores the history of the Apollo Theater’s influence on American entertainment and showcases memorabilia including Michael Jackson's fedora and dresses worn by The Supremes, and the Native Lands: Indians and Georgia display educates modern Georgians on the state’s original residents, the Mississippian Indian tribes. The Atlanta History Center’s historic houses such as Swan House give visitors a glimpse of rural Georgian lifestyle during the 1920s and '30s, and gardens and trails both historic and contemporary soothe minds with lush foliage, leaving visitors as relaxed as a rubber band in a steam room.
Established in 1965 by patrons of the Forward Arts Foundation, The Swan Coach House warmly hosts charming Southern lunches for leisurely ladies who wish to unwind, entertain, or outshine their table with tales of their grandchildren's triumphs. The menu preens with delicate offerings such as the Swan's Favorite, which tucks the house's signature chicken salad into blushing handmade pastry timbales as a creamy, frozen fruit salad clings to its plated skirt ($11.95). The salmon cakes stir Southern nostalgia and hushed pride into a boastful blend of salmon, celery, onion, and tarragon with dijon dill sauce on the side ($13.25). As conversation turns from friendly chatter to intense debate over the cultural prophesies espoused by Mother Goose, cut the tension with a traditional mint julep served in a frosted silver cup and sweetened with a pinch of sugar and fresh mint to contest the romantic wiles of a Mr. Jim Beam ($7.75).