Throughout nearly seven decades, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has bridged musical gaps with an extensive catalog of Grammy-winning recordings that include symphonies, operas, and gospel and classical choral works. Once helmed by the chorale superstar Robert Shaw, the orchestra has produced six Grammy-winning releases in its 12 years under current director Robert Spano. Its allied institution, the Atlanta School of Composers provides training, support, and ear massages for hardworking contemporary artists.
Founder and director Lauren “Miss LaLa” McBride stirs inspiration in artists of all ages at her triple-pronged studio focused on the visual, musical, and theatrical arts. Painters, illustrators, potters, and wannabe fashion designers can all find a class to suit them, and for younger artists, M.A.D.—or Music and Arts Development—Mondays foster creativity in kids from the cradle through elementary school. In the theater department, the studios' pint-size play-actors have put on such shows as The Lion King, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Little Mermaid. Miss LaLa rounds out her programming with fitness classes such as yoga and fencing, preparing kids for Hamlet and Laertes' famous asana duel.
During summer months, camp counselors at Learning For Your Future help kids in first through eighth grades explore their creativity and learn valuable skills. Their day camps incorporate indoor and outdoor activities in areas such as music, dance, math, and art. The day camps can also help kids develop skills in sports.
Sacred Garden Yoga founder Cindy Olah discovered a love for nature growing up in Peru. She’s fused that passion with yoga instruction by leading retreats in the mountains of North Georgia, North Carolina, and back home in Peru. Whether outdoors or within her pastel-green workout studio, Cindy and fellow instructors lead non-competitive sessions that foster lifelong friendships. Their group, private, and prenatal sessions emphasize proper body alignment and breath work. Students can also discover healing with reiki and reflexology treatments and workshops on subjects such as meditation and painless band-aid removal.