History and Civil War buffs, get ready to be amazed. The Atlanta Cyclorama is marking the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta with expanded programming.
Each year since its opening, the Cyclorama’s cylindrical, panoramic painting of the famous battle — fought July 22, 1864 — has fascinated thousands of guests with its journey through time. But this year is special, says museum consultant Anthony B. Knight Jr. “We’re going February through October.”
The additions will include art exhibits, dance and musical performances, a film series, lectures and poetry readings.
Much of the programming is meant to attract women and college-age audiences. There’s new information available about cooking during the Civil War and love stories, says Cyclorama spokeswoman Karen Hatchett, all intended to start more conversations about the war’s historical impact. An example: the movie Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues, screening free at 7 p.m. March 6.
“Americans had much more of a role in their own freedom than what I know I ever heard growing up,” says Knight. “I was educated this way: Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and that was kind of the storyline.”
The Cyclorama will be going beyond normal lectures and inviting scholars who use primary documents and personal experiences to tell the story of 1860s Atlanta. One of those is Harri Jones, assistant director and curator of the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum in Washington, D.C.
Chicagoans John and Mary Tris, who were following the Northern Army’s march through Tennessee and Georgia, are typical of Cyclorama visitors. “The whole thing has made me very interested in Sherman,” Mary Tris says. “I would like to read more.”
A selected list of special events follows. For more details, go HERE.
6th: February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four. The first in a series of hourlong documentaries. It tells of the four North Carolina college students who ate lunch in a white-only section of a Woolworth’s in 1960. 6 p.m. Free.
13th: “That Which Survives: Love Lost and Found in the Shadow of War (1861-1865).” Author Dolen Perkins-Valdez (WENCH: A Novel) gives a lecture based on her new research about survivors of the Civil War and their efforts to re-establish their loves and lives. 7 p.m. Free.
3rd: At the River | I Stand. A narrative film about two eventful months in 1968 that end with the unionization of sanitation workers and the death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 7 p.m. Free.
10th: Pickett’s Charge: A Novel. A lecture by author Charles McNair. In his book, the author uses historical fiction to tell a story of intrigue and high drama. 7 p.m. Free.
4th: “Jews in the Garment Industry.” This exhibit and lecture at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum focuses on Jewish clothing manufacturers during the Civil War and the establishment of Rich’s Department Store. The Breman museum is in the Selig Center, 1440 Spring St. N.W. 678.222.3700. 2 p.m. $4-$12.