Atlanta water crisis impacts arts scene, Lavender Fest, Speedchain project spending platform

Assessing Thursday

June 13 — There is a Code Orange air quality alert in place today, meaning children, those sensitive to ozone, and individuals with heart or lung disease, should limit prolonged outdoor activities in the late afternoon and early evening.

🌞 Sunny and 90° today. 

🤔 The suspect accused of hijacking a Gwinnett County bus on Tuesday also witnessed the Peachtree Center food court shooting.  

🚧 The westbound shoulder of I-285 from Mt. Vernon Highway to Riverside Drive will close for three months starting today as work continues on a new auxiliary lane. 

🔎 An investigation is underway after a bomb threat at a Downtown Atlanta building that houses U.S. consulate and passport offices. 

➡ Fifty-three years after a corporate jet with three Cousins Property executives aboard disappeared over Vermont, experts believe they have found the wreckage in Lake Champlain. 

🐾 PAWS Atlanta, which operates the Fulton and DeKalb animal shelters, has appointed Crystal Bowman as its new executive director.

🏀 The Atlanta Dream gets its first regular season look at Caitlin Clark when they play at Indiana tonight at 7 p.m. (TV: ESPN)

🎟️ Tickets are now on sale for Atlanta Opera’s production of “Rent” and “La bohème” at Pullman Yards in September. 


➡ At its annual meeting in Indianapolis, the Southern Baptist Convention voted to oppose in vitro fertilization, but delegates, called messengers, narrowly rejected a proposal to constitutionally ban women pastors.

💵 The Federal Reserve kept its key interest rate unchanged.

🏀 NBA legend Jerry West, the player who inspired the league’s logo, died yesterday at age 86.

🕖 Here’s what’s in today’s newsletter:

• Water crisis impacts A&E scene
• Lavender Fest
• Speedchain startup 
• Quick Bites

Have a good day and drink lots of water,
Collin & Sammie

🏡 Relax in this Aspen-inspired home in Johns Creek, listed with Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty. This gated ranch rests on 7.5± acres and features a porte cochère, a gourmet kitchen, an infinity-edge pool, spacious porches, and equestrian facilities, offering the perfect blend of rustic charm and modern luxury.


Photo by Casey G. Ford

1. Water crisis meant big losses for arts & entertainment scene

💧 Atlanta’s arts and entertainment venues are still adding up the losses from the week-long water main break crisis that struck the city on May 31.

Plaza Theatre owner Chris Escobar said the beloved cinema lost $10,000 in the two days it was closed, while Theatrical Outfit’s canceled performances of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (pictured) was a $7,500 loss.

The Fox Theatre lost “hundreds of thousands of dollars” after it was forced to cancel K-pop band P1 Harmony, and State Farm Arena wouldn’t even discuss the revenue lost by having to reschedule two Megan Thee Stallion concerts.

➡️ Read Sammie’s full report here.


➡ New details have emerged about the recovery fund created by the City of Atlanta to help small businesses impacted by the water crisis. The grants will range from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the number of days a business was closed. The Atlanta City Council is expected to approve an ordinance to create the fund at its June 17 meeting.

Charming Rustic Retreat on Lake Laceola


🏔 Discover breathtaking views of the North Georgia mountains from this lakeside retreat, listed with Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty. This rustic timber lodge features a gourmet kitchen, a spacious great room, six charming bedrooms, and an expansive two-story deck. A boathouse overlooks Lake Laceola and mirrors the main home’s design, ensuring lakeside bliss.

Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty is Metro Atlanta’s No. 1 residential real estate company and No. 1 in luxury home sales above $1.5 million.

👉🏼 Check out our current listings here.

Photo by Matt Glatzer Photography

2. Out Front to host inaugural Lavender Fest 

🏳️‍🌈 Out Front Theatre Company will host the inaugural season of the Lavender Performing Arts Festival – Lavender Fest for short – from June 19-23. 

Lavender Fest will be a series of nine shows over a five-day period, featuring queer talent from across the U.S and internationally. Festival Director Ty Autry (pictured) brought the idea to Out Front Founder and Producing Artistic Director Paul Conroy about two years ago. Autry serves on Out Front’s Artistic Advisory Council, and had always wanted to start a performing arts festival. 

“The thing about fringe festivals or performing arts festivals like this is that we allow young artists to experiment with work, and also to share stories that are avant garde, or weird, or odd,” Autry said. “When you come see a show at one of these festivals, you may never see it or something like it ever again.” 

🎭 Learn more about Lavender Fest here.

Photo courtesy Hypepotamus

3. Behind Atlanta-based Speedchain’s project spending platform 

📱 The fintech world is dominated by neobank, mobile payments, and peer-to-peer lending companies. The largest fintechs in the world, like Stripe and Chime, have become household names by focusing on how consumers pay for things and move money around.

But there is a part of the financial world that fintechs really haven’t touched all that much, says Atlanta-based entrepreneur Daniel Cage. And that is developing tools to help finance teams run more efficiently. That is particularly true for companies that generate revenue from complex projects, like general contractors and field services in the construction industry.

The reality is that finance teams often don’t have the data and insights into how other departments within their company are spending money on different projects. It’s common for teams to work across multiple projects at the same time, but the traditional backend financial tools don’t have the sophisticated categorization needed to keep up with how a modern company’s employees spend money. Cage and his team are looking to solve that problem with a new type of project and corporate spend management tool, Speedchain.

➡️ More on this story from Hypepotamus here.

🏡 Soaring ceilings, walls of glass, and mahogany accents await in this modern home in the heart of Buckhead. Listed with Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, this elegant custom-built retreat features a glamorous foyer, a SieMatic kitchen, a spa-inspired primary suite, a wine cellar, and a walk-out pool.


Photo courtesy of Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall

4. Quick Bites


🥓 Early risers can now grab a bite on the BeltLine from the walk-up counter at Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall (pictured). Their new breakfast service — called Morningbird — is available Friday-Sunday starting at 8 a.m. The menu features a selection of Southern classics – including a honey bun with smoked honey glaze, a city ham and chow chow cheddar biscuit, and a banana brûlée cold brew with bananas brûléed to order. 

Perc Coffee has opened its newest location on Wieuca Road near Chastain Park.  

🌮 July 1 will mark the grand opening of Velvet Taco in Dunwoody. This will be the third Georgia location.

🔥 Vegan Street Fair is returning to Atlanta for a second year this weekend. Starting at 11 a.m. on Sat., June 15 and Sun., June 16 at Atlantucky Brewing on Northside Dr., expect tastes from local vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants. Follow their Instagram for more updates here.
🍷 Atlanta Fish Market is holding its second annual Caymus Wine Dinner on Wed., June 26, and Thurs., June 27. The six-course dinner will feature a range of seafood — including sautéed Chilean sea bass and tuna carpaccio — and signature surf and turf selections. Tickets can be purchased here.
🧠 Ready to flash your smarts? Drop by Pour Taproom in The Krog District for Boozy Brains Trivia every Wednesday beginning at 7:30 p.m.

🍻 Charity Lager is now available at six locations, including Reformation Brewery in Woodstock, Canton, and Smyrna. Conceived as a beer with a purpose, proceeds of Charity Lager support the SHARE Military Initiative at the Shepherd Center.

🍺 And speaking of beer, a new Brass Tap is now open in Marietta on Terrell Mill Road. 

🎉 Earlier this week, Beth McKibben reported on Savi Provisions coming to Grant Park Gateway, beating out two other finalists for the prized location. Savi has also just opened a 16th Atlanta-area location, this time in Virginia-Highland on North Highland Avenue.
🐕‍🦺 Thurs., June 20 is the next monthly summer “Yappy Hour” at InterContinental Buckhead. In collaboration with Livable BuckheadThe Americano will offer complimentary dog treats, water bowls, and light bites for humans. Cocktails and additional food are available for purchase. Entry is free, but RSVP is recommended. 

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📧 Today’s newsletter was edited by Julie E. Bloemeke.

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