Banking on arts
Last July Virginia Hepner, a twenty-five year veteran of the corporate finance world, dove into the nonprofit sector as president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center. Awaiting her was a musicians’ strike that threatened to leave Atlanta, already maligned as a lukewarm arts town, without a symphony orchestra. With that crisis averted, Hepner is now banking on a more stable and accessible future for arts and culture in the city.
Are there similarities between banking and the arts world? Whether it’s a for-profit or nonprofit organization, you need to run things in a businesslike manner. To be successful, you have to be very clear on what your mission is. In this world, it’s fulfilling our artistic and cultural vision to impact this community.
What are the big differences? In the for-profit world, if you have a great idea, it will attract capital. In the nonprofit sector, you can have the greatest need and people can agree with you, you can have the greatest artistic product, but if you can’t generate enough passion for a contributed income, it won’t happen.
How do you combat that? You do all you can to make sure you make the case to different audiences in terms of what is most important to them. For example, if I’m talking to business leaders who really understand the need to invest in the community, to attract the right workers, the right tax-paying citizens, you have to make the case for why it matters.
Does it matter here? Does Atlanta appreciate the arts? I actually think it does. Here are the facts: The Woodruff Arts Center campus was built with no public money. Even in our current campaigns, we have a budget of roughly $100 million, only about $1 million is public money. What that tells you is, for whatever reason, the private funding is exceptional. What plays into the concept that Atlanta is not really an arts town is that it’s a relatively new town. If you look at older cities that have generations of family philanthropy, it makes a big difference.
You mention wealthy private and corporate funding, are the arts accessible to those who aren’t wealthy? It’s a huge personal mission of mine. If you have art and no one gets to see it, that’s elitist, and that’s the opposite of what art is to me. Art is about communication and emotionally connecting with each other. The reason I default to the funding issue and why I think public funding is so important is because only a certain percentage of people will be able to come to Woodruff because we have to charge a certain amount to support it. The High Museum would, I’m sure, love to have a lower price or love to be free.
You also have to keep the artists happy, an issue that got attention from the ASO musicians strike. It’s just one more example that we have to be financially stable to offer what we do. This time it was a musician’s contract, another time it could be supporting the technology platform or paying maintenance on a building. It’s a sensitive topic because these are the artists. We’re here through their art to impact our community. Everything has a cost. They have tremendous value. It’s an emotional situation when you have to ask people to contribute to a cost structure. It’s an industry-wide issue, not just an Atlanta issue. The symphony is very well-run. We want it to be a world-class orchestra. We want it to be accessible from a ticket price standpoint. All of that is extremely expensive. We’ve actually increased contributed income and ticket revenue. The staff on the nonmusician side
Contributions to pop culture that we’re proud to point out are connected to Atlanta
1) Morgan Saylor
As Dana Brody, daughter of Damian Lewis’s terrorist/congressman Nick Brody on Homeland, the Decatur High student provides an emotional core—compared to the heartless adults—on Showtime’s runaway Emmy-winning
Nostalgia for the Athens music scene
Twenty-five years ago, there was nowhere cooler in the college-rock scene than Athens, Georgia. The Classic City famously spawned R.E.M. and the B-52s as well as a massive roster of indie acts, including Love Tractor, Pylon, Flat Duo Jets, Kilkenny Cats, and Bar-B-Q Killers. All that angsty creativity was celebrated in the 1987 documentary Athens, Ga.–Inside/Out, a valentine to the city as much as its music scene. The film features concert footage intercut with a cameo by folk artist and R.E.M. collaborator Howard Finster, gospel performances, and lingering shots of downtown dives and the University of Georgia campus. It screened in limited release, and the accompanying LP soundtrack is long out of print. Omnivore Recordings is reissuing the movie on DVD this month, along with a CD soundtrack with bonuses, the highlight of which is Love Tractor and Peter Buck covering “Shattered.”
Hughan R. H. Frederick, MD, Kim Storey, CNM, and Sherry Nored, CNM
At ISIS OB/GYN, we believe everyone’s time is valuable. When you visit our office, you will be seen quickly, be able to speak to an expert in our field, benefit from the best technology, and leave with all of your questions answered. That is how ISIS has grown to serve both North Fulton and Emory Johns Creek hospitals. Through the personal attention of our doctors and staff, we have created a relaxing boutique feel in our office. While we offer all the services typical of an OB/GYN office, we go a step beyond with comfortable exam room amenities, a weight-loss program for postpartum mothers, extra time spent with the doctor or midwife, several in-office procedure options, and one of the lowest C-section rates in metro Atlanta. Our office’s specialties include heavy menstrual cycles, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and infertility, obesity and pregnancy, birth plan assistance, facilitating unmedicated labor (natural childbirth), water births, and family planning. Dr. Hughan R. H. Frederick; Kim Storey, CNM Alpharetta · Johns Creek · Woodstock 770-521-2229 isisobgyn.com
Dr. John L. LeRoy is devoted to helping his patients enhance their appearance by providing exceptional aesthetic care for the face, breasts, and body. Dr. LeRoy is double-board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American College of Surgeons. He has used his cosmetic surgery training at the prestigious Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital to provide outstanding surgical results and perfect his surgical techniques for twenty years. In 1997, Dr. LeRoy developed the original Band Aid Facelift to correct fine lines and wrinkles the easy way. Performed in-office using gentle numbing, the Band Aid Facelift has only a three to-five-day recovery time. Since then, Dr. LeRoy has extended his minimally invasive Band Aid procedures to include liposuction, tummy tuck, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), brow lift, and Band Aid Laser Skin Resurfacing. In addition to his Band Aid procedures, Dr. LeRoy also performs breast procedures (augmentation, reduction, revision, and lift), liposuction, tummy tuck, and traditional facial procedures (facelift, brow lift, eyelid surgery, nose surgery, and neck lift) with a goal of helping each patient to become their most beautiful and confident self. Among many professional affili-ations, Dr. LeRoy is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the National Board of Medical Specialties, and the Georgia Society of Plastic Surgeons. John LeRoy, MD, FACS, PC 5673 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Suite 375 Atlanta, GA 30342 404-843-0840 johnleroymd.com
Artistic Dentistry of Atlanta
For more than twenty-four years, Dr. Peter Vanstrom and his kind, gentle staff at Artistic Dentistry of Atlanta have been on the cutting edge of dental care. Utilizing the most innovative and technologically advanced approaches available today, we create beautiful smiles for a lifetime. In our new state-of-the-art facility, we offer comfortable, affordable comprehensive care in cosmetics, implants, laser dental care, and invisible braces. We have Artisan Dental Laboratory on site to personalize every smile. Dr. Vanstrom has been on CNN, NBC, and ABC as a dental expert and served as a consultant for the CNN medical team for many years. Currently, Dr. Vanstrom lectures to other dental professionals on dental practice management, non-surgical periodontal care, oral cancer, and laser dental care. He has lectured in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain. Dr. Vanstrom and his lovely bride Betty have two beautiful girls. When not creating healthy, happy smiles or lecturing around the country, Dr. Vanstrom enjoys golf, tennis, scuba diving, and cooking on his grill. We look forward to serving all of your dental needs! Artistic Dentistry of Atlanta 2296 Henderson Mill Road, Suite 108 Atlanta, GA 30345 404-325-2905 vanstrom.com
John W. Simmons, IV, DMD, PC
Dr. Simmons is honored to be one of only eight dentists in Georgia to have passed the rigorous testing required to earn accreditation from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. His state-of-the art equipment and updated technology allow him to affordably serve his patients by providing healthy, beautiful smiles. 2381 B Main Street East Snellville, […]
As one of largest gastroenterology practices in the U.S., Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates’ board-certified physicians have the knowledge, skill, and experience to evaluate and treat patients suffering from all types of digestive disorders and liver disease. In addition to colon cancer screenings and nutrition counseling, the practice offers specialized care through the Center for Advanced GI Therapeutics, the Center for Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis, the Center for GI Imaging, The Hemorrhoid Clinic, The Liver Center, and the Southeastern Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders. With thirty locations and seven outpatient centers, our physicians and staff are committed to providing patients with the best possible healthcare. Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates 550 Peachtree Street, Suite 1600 Atlanta, Georgia 30308 1-866-GO-TO-AGA (486-6242) atlantagastro.com
The author discusses her debut novel
Amber Dermont's debut novel, "The Starboard Sea," is set in a fictional world of beauty and privilege that she remembers clearly, but with a healthy dose of cynicism. The associate professor at Agnes Scott College grew up in a Victorian coastal village on Cape Cod. “When you grow up by the ocean, you have no idea how lucky you are,” she says. In her novel, teenager Jason Prosper is reeling from the suicide of his prep school sailing partner and first love, Cal, and trying to fit in at a new, lesser East Coast boarding school that is full of similarly rich, fallen kids. “We weren’t bad people,” Jason says, “but having failed that initial test of innocence and honor, we no longer felt burdened to be good.” He finds some comfort with a girl named Aidan and, alternately, with a smug band of annoying, perhaps dangerous classmates. It’s a coming-of-age story about learning to navigate by the right stars—or sometimes in the pitch black. The descriptive passages are lovely, whether Dermont is writing about the open sea or an ancient doorman: “In his navy wool uniform, all epaulets, gold tassels, and brass stars, his kind face glistening with sweat, Max looked like the commander of a sinking ship.” And the author is remarkably adept at writing in the voice of a teenage boy. “Not a challenge,” she says, laughing. “I have the mentality of a fourteen-year-old boy. No, I have a real love for teenagers. I really am fascinated by them, because they’re so much smarter than we are.”