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Sandy Springs sets stage for Performing Arts Center 2021

By Adrianne Murchison, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga

Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center will remain closed for in-person events for the rest of the year, but the team that manages the center is already working on what a 2021 season might look like — with or without a pandemic.

The nearly 1,100-seat center opened in 2018 in the City Springs arts and government complex, and has proven popular with residents. Performers and shows on the arts center stage have included saxophonist Branford Marsalis, Broadway performer Sutton Foster, Atlanta Ballet and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific,” directed and choreographed by Baayork Lee.

Performing Arts Center Executive Director Shaun Albrechtson said with a new name, Create Sandy Springs, his department will help the city better define its arts and culture programming.

Sandy Springs is working to carve out an identity for the city center and the surrounding area as an arts district, according to Communications Director Sharon Kraun. In addition to the Performing Arts Center theaters, the Create Sandy Springs team will manage the Conference Center, City Green where outdoor events take place and Heritage Park venues (which includes, the Entertainment Lawn, the Blue Stone Building, and the Williams-Payne House), a statement said.

Create Sandy Springs is also considering what a complete season would look like in 2021, as well as a contingency plan if the pandemic continues, Kraun said. The numbers of COVID-19 cases in Sandy Springs has presented a challenge in restarting the 2020 season, she added.

“We thought we could do an outdoor concert series,” she said. “The environment has been changing constantly. We now know we can’t bring back large groups before the end of the year.”

The City Springs Theatre Company will host virtual performances from the Performing Arts Center stage. Ticketholders receive a passcode before the streamed musical events. Upcoming shows include, “Give our Regards to Broadway” Sept. 24-27, “Broadway in Reveu,” Oct. 22-25 and “Sentimental Journey” Nov. 19-22. For more information visit the City Springs Theatre Company website.

An outdoor holiday event, Sparkle Sandy Springs holiday village of wooden houses, some six feet tall, peppered around the City Springs campus is set to take place in December. Kraun said, the event will allow families and small groups to be spaced apart as they view the houses.

Sandy Springs took over the Heritage Park venues last spring when Heritage Sandy Springs, the nonprofit which managed the facility, asked to be released from its operating agreement. The city has always owned the building.

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