PushPush Arts a key participant in a beehive for the humanities taking form in School Park

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Since 1997, PushPush Arts has made house for artists of all disciplines to search out their very own voices and uncover their very own paths. And now the group’s leaders are working with a number of companions in School Park and the south metro metropolis itself to create an arts cooperative with reasonably priced housing and studio house for artists in its downtown, the place PushPush moved in 2019.

Positioned close to the town’s MARTA station and the Lodge Indigo downtown, the School Park Arts Campus is redesigning a set of church buildings to create a mixed-use growth meant to foster a creative group.

The enterprise, conceived by First United Methodist Church of School Park, is multi-phased and bold. Plans present efficiency areas, an artwork stroll, gallery house and retail outlets on the campus along with residing quarters.

To this point, for its half, PushPush, because the official arts companion within the endeavor, has raised round $250,000 with the assist of donors together with AEC Belief and the Tull Basis.

PushPush Arts leaders Shelby Hofer (entrance, left) and Tim Habeger, with collaborators Lanny Brewster (rear, left) and Rob Nixon.

PushPush will launch a $1 million capital marketing campaign within the fall, firm co-founder Tim Habeger stated, although it obtained a bridge mortgage from the Reinvestment Fund that has allowed renovations to start.

Different companions concerned within the campus growth embrace Good Locations, eightvillage, Tapestry Improvement and the church.

PushPush is within the course of of shopping for and renovating the three-story brick constructing at 1805 Harvard Avenue “in order that we are able to management costs,” stated Habeger, who launched the troupe along with his spouse, Shelby Hofer. “We moved down right here with the concept of turning into extra sustainable or that the humanities might change into extra sustainable. . . . One of many causes for purchasing (the constructing) was to create a co-op. We wish folks to personal their very own work, their very own apply and their very own fashion. And personal issues like housing and personal issues that may improve their sustainability.”

The group has a monitor report that means it may well accomplish these ambitions. PushPush has cultivated profitable writers, performers, playwrights and filmmakers. Whereas primarily based in a number of areas together with Little 5 Factors and Decatur over its lengthy historical past, the group has staged and promoted exhibits throughout metro Atlanta, offering house for teams and exhibits akin to Write Membership Atlanta, improv performances, experimental theater and even puppetry.

On July 23, PushPush held an open-house occasion on the growing campus to indicate the group the artists at work.

“We actually needed to let folks know that we’re right here and that there’s a number of work occurring within the background,” Hofer stated through the occasion. “We wish folks excited that we’re constructing one thing fairly cool. … It’s all going to be completely different subsequent 12 months, however this was to present folks an early look to see that we’re nonetheless at it.”

At present, Habeger stated 100 artists use PushPush’s studio house to develop work on a regular basis. This consists of painters, dancers, milliners and filmmakers.

And SeedWorks, the corporate’s artist-incubator mission accepting pitches, helps creators flip their concepts into concrete work.

Habeger stated that PushPush nurtures artists by encouraging collaboration, giving them house to precise their voice and, most significantly, “getting out of their manner.”

“The query is such a fantastic one proper now, ‘Why is my voice essential?’ from so many alternative angles, from appropriation to management to statesmanship,” he stated. “It’s a fantastic query, and I really feel extra compelled to champion that everybody’s voice is essential proper now, much more. I need folks to write down. I need Black folks to write down about White folks. I need males to write down about ladies and ladies to write down about males. I need these completely different discussions in there. That’s what at all times brings us collectively.”

PushPush has some historical past as a spot the place folks come collectively to debate strategies of storytelling and the creation of artwork, asking essential and hard questions of one another. Because the pandemic started, Habeger stated he has missed the interactions that PushPush at all times inspired.

“I’m nonetheless slightly bit in that Covid feeling that I’ve been too alone too lengthy,” he stated. “I benefit from the individuals who suppose and prod and disagree with me and argue. I don’t get to sit down throughout the desk from them as a lot, and I miss that.”

PushPush thrives on that spirit.

The event of recent work is collaborative and experimental. Habeger stated younger artists with ambition and concepts usually discover their creative dwelling within the group.

Challenge designers eightvillage have deliberate an alley mission known as the Artwork Stroll that can run alongside PushPush’s under-renovation constructing.

This monitor report is confirmed.

David Bruckner, director of the movies The Night time Home, The Ritual and the upcoming Hellraiser remake, started his profession engaged on quick movies by way of what was then known as PushPush Theater in 2001.

“That was a really artistic time in my life,” he stated in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. “We had a number of cohorts that have been doing movie and theater on the town round that point, and PushPush grew to become a hub to discover story and character, tone and elegance and kind — all the above. Tim and Shelby, and the method that they had on the theater, actually shepherded myself and different artists right into a interval of growth and invention. These are sacred years for me, when it comes to getting comfy with what I do, discovering my very own voice and getting a grip on what I might provide within the house.”

Bruckner, who noticed the event of PushPush’s School Park house when he was final in Atlanta, stated it’s nice to see the group develop and proceed to assist artists. Specifically, he praised its reward for growing narrative motion.

“Tim and Shelby have a singular grip on the DNA of storytelling,” he stated. “They actually do take note of the underlying motion of a story and the way that connects you repeatedly to a narrative and retains you engaged and enthralled. That’s one thing I discovered working with them at PushPush that I take into all the pieces that I do.”

Rising artists discover PushPush encouraging, as effectively.

Frances Mulinix, a dancer and choreographer from Vibrance Centre for Voice and Motion, has studio house on the PushPush facility that she known as “a godsend.”

“This seems like a superb place for somebody who’s a longtime artist, somebody who’s actually clear on who they’re and what they’re about,” she stated. “However they could be searching for an reasonably priced place to be or a hub the place they will meet different artists.”

Jean Yves, a filmmaker, photographer and composer, additionally has studio house on the facility.

“PushPush provides you leeway to search out your personal voice and encourages collaboration,” he stated. “I like that mission assertion. I get pleasure from seeing artwork and being wowed, and individuals who see my work surprise how I give you issues. And I take a look at Tim’s work and I ponder how he comes up with issues. It’s superb to have these dynamics with folks. I at all times reward him to different folks.”

The corporate’s newest theatrical works in its theater at 3716 E. Predominant Avenue embrace the June staging of musician Jeffrey Butzer’s debut play, The Synthetic Island, and occasional performances from Dad’s Storage improvisors. Within the fall, Rob Nixon, a longtime PushPush creative affiliate, is planning a present titled You Can’t Get There from Right here.

Habeger will start workshopping an interpretation of Antigone on August 22. Very a lot within the PushPush spirit, the workshops can be open to all performers seeking to collaborate.


Benjamin Carr, a member of the American Theatre Critics Affiliation, is an arts journalist and critic who has contributed to ArtsATL since 2019. His performs have been produced at The Winery Theatre in Manhattan, as a part of the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Brief Play Competition, and the Heart for Puppetry Arts. His novel Impacted was revealed by The Story Plant in 2021.


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