Recent Programs and Exhibits
Children's Art & Nature Workshop at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum, June 24-26*
The Newnan Coweta Historical Society will host an art and nature workshop for children Ages 7-12 next week at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum.
“Birds of Georgia: Feathers, Birds and Nests in Line, Color, and Pattern” will be the featured theme of the day camp and art and nature workshop. Carol Toole, Newnan High School art teacher, will be the instructor.
The art workshop will be held from 9-11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, June 24-26. The McRitchie-Hollis Museum is located at 74 Jackson Street. The cost is $65 per child, payable to NCHS. Pre-registration is required. Please call NCHS at 770-251-0207 to reserve a spot, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a limit of 15 students.*
Students will learn about birds, habitats, songs, and nesting, and will create three original works of art in watercolor, ink and mixed media/acrylic on canvas. Students should come dressed in play clothes.
In addition to studying birds in the museum courtyard, students will also study the wall mural in the foyer of the museum, which features many of the birds of Georgia in the style of famed WPA artist Athos Menaboni.
“We will talk about birds, look at visuals of birds, nests, types , listen to bird calls, look at the web site and some videos, study the mural, sketch, talk about the medium, see a demo, practice the medium, take a break and then execute a piece in each media,” said Toole.
“They will be listening, looking, thinking, sharing, talking, sketching, playing, and creating/working – learning!”
*Registration is now open for the remaining 2 days, June 25-26 for only $45! Call or email to register.
"On the Lawn" at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum with Mike Funt, June 20th
Before you go to the Newnan Centre for the Performing and Visual Arts to see them “hang the elephant” this weekend, make sure to come to the McRitchie-Hollis Museum to hear playwright / performer Mike Funt talk about the story behind the play.
“I’ll be telling some specific stories about what ‘the circus coming to town’ meant in small, Southern towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” said Funt, a former Newnan resident who now performs in California with the Four Clowns troupe.
The Newnan-Coweta Historical Society will present the first of its “On the Lawn” series at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum. “Under the Big Top: The History of the Circus and the South” will be held Friday, June 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the gazebo and courtyard behind the McRitchie-Hollis Museum. The event will take place rain or shine. The event is free for members and $5 for non-members. Children and senior citizens are $2.
The historical society event is a warm-up for Funt’s show, “The Day They Hung the Elephant,” on Saturday, June 21 at 7 p.m. In the play, a circus clown recounts the mysterious and seedy tale of Mary the Elephant, a circus elephant who killed a man. The play is based on a true story that occurred in Tennessee in September, 1916. Tickets for the play are $10. Funt is also hosting workshops for local high school students, from rising freshmen to members of the Class of 2014. It will be held June 19-21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts. The workshop costs $75 and includes tickets to The Day They Hung the Elephant.
Popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy, and other circus-themed refreshments will be served at the NCHS event on Friday, June 20.
“I’m really looking forward to this,” said Funt. “I’m planning some really cool stuff. I have found some really good things to discuss regarding historical circus events specific to Georgia and the Coweta County area.”
Funt is an actor and teacher in Los Angeles with a BFA in theatre performance and has worked in theatres across the country. His Physical Theatre training includes The Dell’Arte School, Ringling Bros., and Lecoq training. His improv training includes SAK Comedy Lab, iO, and ComedySportz. Funt has performed and taught workshops at countless improv and comedy festivals across the country. He also is a former instructor at the San Francisco Comedy College and is the current head of the Theatre Department for the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program. Funt has also regularly performed at Universal Studios theme park.
Funt, who got his start at Newnan Theatre Company, said he enjoys being back in his home town.“Back when I lived in Newnan, I always wished they would do something with that cool old Depot,” he said, and he is happy to see it restored and used as a history center. Although the Depot wasn’t free for this weekend’s event, the “On the Lawn” event at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum should have a “circusy vibe,” Funt said.
National Poetry Month Event at the Depot
Come celebrate National Poetry Month with the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society at the Historic Train Depot this Thursday at 7 p.m.
Local poet Melissa Dickson and poet Scott Wilkerson will share selections from their new work. Local historic homes figure prominently in Dickson’s newest cycle of poems.
“I'm working on a group of poems that feature a number of narratives that either occur in a home or are prompted by a specific house or home,” said Dickson.
“Many of them are in Newnan: two poems are inspired by homes on LaGrange Street, others by houses on Buchanan and Second Avenue. I wouldn't call them nostalgic but they do have a sense of history about them.
“I do see these as a big part of the new collection,” she said.
Scott Wilkerson will be reading work that also features some relationship with history through specific characters or concepts, “though his poems will reach past Newnan and probably well beyond the 19th or 20th century,” Dickson said.
While Scott's poems will likely deal with cultural and perhaps even theoretical ideas about history, Dickson said that hers “derive from very specific local and personal associations.”
“One of the poems involves my great grandmother's home and my vague recollection (confirmed by my mother) that she once housed an elderly black woman in the basement. As a child playing there, I found the kinds of items you'd associate with a living space not a storage space. A lamp, a space heater, a can opener. This was both intriguing and disturbing and even more so as an adult.
“I didn't know whether to be proud of her efforts to help or ashamed of the fact that the help was quite meager. It certainly wouldn't pass any kind of housing code. But it was a mutual arrangement,” Dickson said.
“In the poem I struggled with whether race should be an issue -- I'm sure it was an issue in their relationship but should it be in my discussion of that relationship?” she said. “In the end I decided to focus on each of the players as women - doing what they needed to do.”
Dickson said she is “excited to share this new work,” which she calls “much more down-to-earth” than her collection of Medusa poems that was published last year.
“I hope people can relate to it in ways that create connection and meaning for them,” she said.
The program is free for historical society members and $5 for non-members.
Women's History Month Talk
On Thursday, March 20, at 7 p.m., come celebrate Women’s History Month as we examine the story of Mildred Siemons Arnall, wife of Gov. Ellis Arnall of Newnan, as told by local author Carla Cook Smith (“Perspectives on Coweta County” and "Newnan Perspectives").
The talk is free to members, $5 for non-members.
Light refreshments served.
60 E. Broad Street
Call 770-251-0207 or email email@example.com for more information.
Black History Month Program on Feb. 20th
The historic Chalk Level neighborhood will be the focus of a special program next Thursday, Feb. 20 at the Newnan Depot at 7 p.m.
The program, sponsored by the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, will feature local historian and former historical society president Elizabeth Beers, as well as Helen Berry of the Chalk Level Neighborhood Association. Beers will give an update on the process of getting the neighborhood added to the National Register of Historic Places, while Berry will focus on the neighborhood as it exists today.
The historically African-American neighborhood of Chalk Level is located southeast of Newnan's courthouse square, largely along Pinson Street, just south of the Cole Town National Register district, in the area of today's Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Other streets in the neighborhood are Hardaway, Dewey, Savannah, and Reynolds.
The neighborhood includes a small cluster of very early houses (double-pen, hall-and-parlor) situated along a creek. Researchers believe the earliest development of the Chalk Level community pre-dates the existence of city streets. Many of the streets are named for old cotton plantation owners, and they likely pre-date the Civil War.
The neighborhood includes Queen Anne style homes, an Englsh cottage style home, and a brick home with flying buttresses by brick mason Willie Dixon.
"Ms Beers has been studying this neighborhood for many years and we know it will be an informative program for everyone," said Jeff Bishop, coordinator for the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society. "We're interested in learning not only about the neighborhood's rich history, but also the current and future life of the neighborhood, so we are thrilled to have the involvement of the Chalk Level Neighborhood Association."
The program is free to NCHS members and $5 for the general public. For more information contact the historical society at 770-251-0207.
2013 Events & Programs
Palmette Ball 2013
Ring in this New Year's Eve at a formal gala at the Depot on Tuesday, December 31 at 7:00pm to Wednesday, January 1 at 1:00am.
This event is our annual fundraiser for the general operating fund for NCHS, as well as a children's interactive museum!
The black tie event will be filled with live music, food, drink, and much more. A champagne toast counting down to the New Year will cap off our festivities for the night.
Tickets include heavy hors d'oeuvres throughout the night, live music and dancing, premium liquors, and champagne and wine.
Museum Member Prices- $65/person or $110/couple
Non-Member Prices- $75/person or $130/couple
Call 770-251-0207 for additional details or to purchase tickets!
Historic Train Depot
60 East Broad Street, Newnan, GA 30263
Tea for Two 2013
Step back in time at the McRitchie-Hollis Museum on Sunday, December 15 from 3:00-5:00pm.
Members invite a guest (or two) to help us expand our membership! (And renew your membership while you're at it!)
Enjoy tea and sweets and share the beauty of this home, decorated for the Christmas season!
RSVP at 770-251-0207
74 Jackson Street, Newnan, GA 30263
Parking is available off Carmichael Street
CITY OF HOMES TOUR