Category: Featured Arts Organization

TechsmARTs: Interactive Media and Tech Savvy Audiences

Mark Gindick DramaTech Box OfLast week C4 Atlanta and the Office of Arts at Georgia Tech had the pleasure of sitting down with Mark Gindick to talk about his use of technology and social media in his one man show, Wingman, for our January TechsmARTs. During our discussion Mark spoke quite a lot about what it takes to integrate technology of this kind into live performance, and where the inspiration for his show came from.




If you missed our discussion you can listen full recording here:



DSCN2232Mark Gindick has been in residence with DramaTech for the last few months working in partnership with the students to find solutions and innovative ways to continue adding technology to Wingman‘s already tech-savvy experience. Their time with Mark was spent developing a new website which would be integrated into the audience’s experience watching Wingman.

The students were unable to join us Monday, January 25th for our TechsmARTs discussion, but they did send over some thoughts about their experience and time working with Mark and this new website.

Here’s what they had to say…

David Howard, DramaTech member & Technical Developer

Being able to track the activity of the website, I was honestly surprised at just how much it was used during the show. Not only was it used, but the audience was able to have fun with it without much prior knowledge beforehand. I think the more tech savvy audience members were able to more easily use it, but that only fueled the entertainment that went to the screen for everyone else. And while not every performance needs this kind of interactive element, this show proves the relatively untapped potential you can have with the interactive environment. On a personal note, it was a fun and slightly surreal experience being able to be in an audience using a product I helped developed. I do a lot of theoretical work and projects in the classrooms here, but I was never able to take our work into the live field until this show.

Christina Herd, DramaTech member & Web Designer

What stands out to me the most about working on this show is honestly the message the show presents to its audiences.  In this age, it seems that the digital version of yourself can be more important than your actual self, and Wingman points out (in the funniest, but heart breaking, way) that this is just not the case.  Knowing that this was the case made designing this site an amazing experience. David, Dennis, and I were designing a website for a show that promotes human interaction over digital interaction. In order to do this, we worked with Mark and Jason VERY closely during the lead up for the demo (early December) to make sure the site did what the show needed it to do. Final touches were completed in early January, and bam the website did (in my opinion) exactly what the show needed. Working with Mark and Jason was such a treat, and I am very honored to have had the small impact on this performance that I did. It is truly an experience I will not forget.  I feel the website makes the show seem Tech Savvy for an audience that may or may not have that quality. It was awesome to watch the young people who use twitter frequently interact with each other on screen, then see the older people being to pick up tweeting.  Being Tech Savvy is important in today’s day and age, and I think the way art is handling that is very interesting. I believe this is truly a transition period for theatre, and soon we will have some art incorporating audience smart phone use as easily as they do lights/sound/set/costume/props/etc.  Art reflects culture, and our culture has shifted to smart phones being the norm and social media being very important, and art will soon follow in that direction.


Thanks to everyone who showed up for this incredible conversation.

For more information regarding Mark Gindick and his work check out his website :


C4 Atlanta partners with GA Tech to continue TechsmARTs program.

C4 Atlanta is pleased to announced that we will be partnering with the Office of the Arts at Georgia Tech as we continue our TechsmARTs program. 

TechsmARTs was created five years ago as a free, meet-up discussion focused on the intersection of arts and technology. The goal of the partnership is to enhance support of the program, expand its reach into the community and create meaningful conversations about the influence and impact of technology on the arts.


Here’s what the Jessyca Holland, Executive Director of C4 Atlanta, had to say about the partnership:

“This partnership happened very organically. C4 Atlanta has always held the belief that artists and technologists are creative thinkers who have more in common than not. The Office of the Arts values this belief. I am thrilled to be working together with them.”




 Jennifer Kimball with the Office of the Arts at Georgia Tech also shares her excitement for this partnership:

“I’m excited to see these two groups join forces to further the dialogue between technology and art. It’s a natural partnership: since its inception, C4 Atlanta has proven itself invaluable within the Atlanta arts community for the business and technology resources it offers. The Office of the Arts is leading the charge to celebrate arts and creativity across the Georgia Tech campus and to further infuse arts into this technology-focused community.”


Upcoming TechsmARTs dates and discussions:

Boomers, Xers and Millennials: A look at how arts patrons across generations use social media.
September 14, 2015, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Held in partnership with the Atlanta Contemporary. The Atlanta Contemporary will also be the venue host, 535 Means St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

Panelists include:

Beg, Borrow and Steal: A discussion of the impact of technology on copyright, trademark, content reuse, and cultural appropriation in the digital age. 
November 9, 2015, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Held at 7 Stages Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

Panelists include:

“Advanced Social Media” TechsmARTs discussion from 2012

Click here for more information or to RSVP for these upcoming dates!

Center for Puppetry Arts – C4 Atlanta Featured Member

There is always something going on at The Center…

The Center for Puppetry Arts is a staple of Atlanta’s arts community. Truly an Atlanta treasure, CPA preserves a long tradition of puppet making and performance; at the same time, CPA employs technologies that distributes their art form globally and fosters creative innovation through programs such as XPT (Xpertimental Puppetry Theatre), workshops and more. What I have always personally appreciated about CPA is their staff.  Always friendly. Always advocates for the arts. For example: Rainie Jueschke, CPA staff member, is always lending her voice in support of arts funding/advocacy. For smaller organizations, like C4 Atlanta, it means a lot to us to see the larger, more established organizations, speaking up for us all.

Photo of The Ghastly Dreadfuls: The Last Ghast plays Oct 11-27
The Ghastly Dreadfuls: The Last Ghast plays Oct 11-27

The Center has several exciting shows, workshops and more coming up in October–for all ages. Visit The Center again this fall. In the meantime, here is a little more about C4 Atlanta Featured Member, The Center for Puppetry Arts, in their own words (as answered by Marketing Director and C4 friend, Daniel Summers, Jr.)…

JH: How long has CPA been around?
DSJ: The Center opened in 1978 and we are proud to celebrate our 34th Anniversary this year. Since our inception, we’ve grown to include two theater spaces,rehearsal space, classroom spaces, museum exhibition galleries, puppet building shop, scene shop, two Distance Learning educational video-conferencing studios, and more. We’re not done yet.


JH: Why did CPA form?
DSJ: Vincent Anthony, our Founding Executive Director, was organizing a national convention of puppeteers when he realized that there was a need for a central hub for the puppetry community. He envisioned a place where the centuries-old art form could be recorded, where new trends and styles could be explored, and where both professional and the general public could learn more about the art of puppetry; these three tenets led to the formation of our Museum, Education, and Performance departments.

JH: I have seen more live performance show with puppets over the last few years. What
gives? Is this a trend?
DSJ: Well, puppetry has always been used in performances in numerous cultures; some argue that puppets were some of the first “performers” as puppets have been found in tombs and were used extensively in ancient ceremonies and rites.
Today, it does appear that puppets are being used more frequently again. These choices have been shaped by the great work of Jim Henson, Julie Taymor, and others. In fact, like we do here at the Center, shows like Sesame Street and the Muppet Show have always actively encouraged audiences to try their own hand at puppeteering and being creative.

JH: What is CPA’s vision for 5 years? 10 Years?
DSJ: Our vision is to be the premier puppetry center in the world. That’s right, you got it, the world. To do this, we have a four-year strategic plan, which can be downloaded from our website (;
highlights include expanding our Museum, increasing our presence at community events and regional festivals, and expanding our Distance Learning and Outreach programming. We’re big believers in long-term, strategic planning.

JH: Why is Atlanta a good fit for CPA?
DSJ: To a degree, Atlantans have always appreciated the importance of arts and cultural programming; today, our metropolitan region has over 450 arts groups – and that’s not even counting our various community organizations. This sense of the importance of the arts, as well as the proximity to so much of the region (not to mention the world’s busiest airport), made Atlanta the perfect place to launch what has become the nation’s premiere nonprofit dedicated to the puppetry art form. Plus, while we are the ninth largest metropolitan area in the country, we’re still a small enough community that an organization of our size can have a very real, tangible impact. We have never wanted to be “just another arts center”; instead, we’ve always wanted to be a vital part of what makes Atlanta great.

JH: Who is CPA for?
DSJ:Simply put: Everyone. We are honored to be what is often a young child’s first cross-cultural performance

Photo of Fraggle Rock
Be sure to check out the Center’s exclusive Jim Henson exhibits that feature many iconic characters, including the Fraggles.

experience. We work with educators and local school districts so that we are an integral part of our community’s educational matrix, often providing much needed arts-infused educational experiences to balance with classroom curriculum. We present guest artists from around the world and present two different performance series so that children, teens, and adults can find something uniquely appealing. We teach a range of classes from beginner-level Create-A-Puppet Workshops to professional-level Puppet Building intensives. We offer continuing education and professional development courses for educators, performers, and artists. We represent the global art form of puppetry, showcasing how every culture has some form of puppetry within their unique cultural context.

JH: How does one get involved with CPA?
DSJ: We have numerous ways for the public to become more involved. Of course, the simplest way to become involved is to be a patron; the audience is as important a member of the show as the artists. If you want access to exclusive events aswell as a chance to become a donor, then look into becoming a Member of the Center. If you’re interested in learning more about puppetry, then attend one of our museum tours or a lecture or class in our Explore Puppetry Series. Can’tmake it to the Center, but want to involve us in your school or community– book a Distance Learning program or a Puppet Factory. Want to be a part of the creative process – become a participant or director in XPT (Xperimental Puppetry Theater). What’s more, every department at the Center relies on volunteersand interns to help with our daily operations as well as special projects; we are constantly looking for new volunteers and interns ( contribute/volunteer.shtml).

Happy patron from the Puppet Building Intensive. The Center offers great professional development workshops on a variety of puppetry topics.
Happy patron from the Puppet Building Intensive. The Center offers great professional development workshops on a variety of puppetry topics.

JH: How is CPA involved in the arts community? The community at large?
DSJ: The Center, and its staff, frequently work with area artists and arts groups to incorporate puppetry into their own productions and work. Additionally, it seems that many of Atlanta’s professional arts community have worked with the Center in some form or fashion during their careers; annually we employ about 60 full/part-time artists, designers, directors, painters, musicians, builders, stitchers, docents, curators, teaching artists, administrators, etc. For over 25 years, XPT has encouraged creativity and new works with participants from every walk of life and every level of skill.

Regarding the community at large, the Center is frequent guests at community festivals where we offer fun, educational activities that encourage creativity and an appreciation for the arts. Throughout a season, the Center supports the community at large by offering over 70,000 free or reduced tickets, as well as free museum days, so that everyone has the opportunity to explore puppetry. Each year we donate tickets to more than 400 local organizations for their own fundraising efforts.” 

Thank you, Daniel! And a big THANKS to the Center for Puppetry Arts for being a part of what makes Atlanta a great place to live!

Featured Member – Atlanta Jewish Music Festival

We want to tell the world about our members, so each month we will feature at least one artist member (coming soon!) and one member organization. This post is not about C4 Atlanta. It is about the people who make Atlanta a great place to live. We hope you enjoy!


This month, we are featuring the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival. AJMF was a founding member of C4 Atlanta. They are crazy busy right now preparing for their music festival next week, May 9 – 13, 2012.

AJMF Postcard with May 9-13, 2012 and logo


AJMF provides the Greater Atlanta community an opportunity for connection to and involvement with fresh Jewish music.  AJMF’s third season will provide diverse and engaging musical experiences through its annual Spring Festival (May 9-13, 2012), an extended artist residency, listening parties, open mic events and more.

Russel Gottschalk, Director & Founder, is a great guy to know. He is super involved in many aspects of the Atlanta community. I see him everywhere. Russel, in the midst of putting together a festival, was gracious enough to spare a few moments to answer a some questions about AJMF.

Photo of Dan Saks of DeLeon playing the guitar
Dan Saks of DeLeon - Courtesy AJMF
JH- How long has AJMF been around?
RG – Established 2010, we are in our third season.
JHWhy did you form?
RG – AJMF was created to connect musicians and audiences to Jewish music, culture and each other through fresh Jewish music.
JH – What have been the greatest challenges facing your “emerging” company?
RG – Like many start-ups and arts organizations, fundraising has been and continues to be our greatest challenge.  We are currently pursuing an independent 501c3 to help overcome this challenge.
JH – What is AJMF’s vision for 5 years? 10 Years?
RG – AJMF’s vision for 5 years and 10 years is not far off from where we are now.  We’ll continue to partner extensively with like-minded organizations, producing events year-round to complement our multi-day annual Spring Festival.  We’ll serve a wide demographic and support our local community with commissions and visiting artist residencies.  We’ll continue to innovate and create dynamic experiences that provide a unique, meaningful pathway to a shared Jewish experience.  And if we grow and thrive, we’ll have more opportunities to make a greater impact on our region, inspiring Southern Jewish communities like Birmingham, Nashville and Charleston to join the global Jewish music renaissance.
JH – Why is Atlanta a good fit for you and your organization?
RG – Atlanta has a young and vibrant Jewish community and is home to successful Jewish cultural celebrations like the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (established 2001) and the Atlanta Jewish Book Festival (established in the 1980s).  Our community identifies with Judaism through culture and AJMF has a strong network of partners and supporters.  Atlanta is an ideal home for an organization that represents fresh Jewish music and the fact that I’m an Atlanta native doesn’t hurt.
JH – Who is the festival for?
RG – The festival primarily attracts Jewish young adults (20s and 30s) but most events have a range of demographics and social backgrounds represented, including non-Jews.  One of AJMF’s taglines is “By Jews, For Everyone” so our festival is for all!                                                                        

JH – How does one get involved with AJMF?

Greencard DJs, photo of people with laptop, mixing board and headphones.
Greencard DJs - Courtesy AJMF
RG – Please drop a note to and let us know how you want to join the party!  We currently are looking for volunteers for our upcoming festival (5/9-13, 2011) and people who want to help with music selection (summer and fall, 2012).
JH – Why did you join C4 Atlanta?
I joined C4 Atlanta to learn and collaborate with my peers.  I believe social networks like this are integral for meaningful impact and personal growth.  I’m honored to be a C4 Atlanta member.


Thanks, Russel!


Check out the work of this young arts leader by visiting