Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

Storytelling event to look at ‘Life in the Atomic Age’

Atomic Bomb exhibition-h
A traveling exhibition "Alert Today

Athens, Ga. – “Life in the Atomic Age” will be the theme for a Storytellers and Scholars Event to be held March 5 from 7-9 p.m. at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries on the University of Georgia campus.

The program will include live interviews paired with archival footage and oral history clips from the collections of the Russell Library for Political Research and Studies. The program will look at national and international events as well as feature personal stories about Atomic Age happenings.

Three faculty presenters from UGA will reflect on the impact of the Atomic Age on technology, art and architecture. Faculty presenters will include Shane Hamilton (history department), Janice Simon (art history department) and Mark Reinberger (College of Environment and Design).

The program will feature “some great stories from the First Person Project, as well as some excellent archival footage from the time period,” said Callie Holmes, an oral history and media archivist at UGA. “One of our favorites so far is a First Person Project interview with a woman who participated in bomb shelter experiments run by UGA’s psychology department in the early 1960s.”

Jan Levinson, outreach archivist at UGA, said she hopes the event encourages attendees to “consider the impact of events, micro and macro, and how these moments can shape things moving forward.”

Attendees are encouraged to dress for an evening in the Atomic Age and wear their finest vintage attire from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Prizes will be awarded for the best outfit of the evening.

The story-telling format of the event is inspired by storytelling format of the popular radio show “This American Life.”

This event is one in a series of 10 hosted by the Russell Library this winter, all inspired by the exhibit “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow: Living with the Atomic Bomb, 1945-1965” on display in the Russell Library Gallery through March 14. For more information on this or other events in the “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow” series, see, email, or call 706-542-5788.

The event is co-sponsored by the Georgia Museum of Art, which is displaying “Art Interrupted: Advancing Art and the Politics of Cultural Diplomacy” through April 20. The exhibition reunites all but 10 of the paintings originally purchased by the U.S. State Department for a traveling project meant to spread the word globally about the wonders of democracy. The original project ended in failure, as the public and press objected to the modernity of the art and to many of the artists’ backgrounds. The paintings were sold for pennies on the dollar as war surplus.

“Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow” was curated by Michael Scheibach, an independent collector in Independence, Mo., and Leslie Przybylek, curator of humanities exhibitions at Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance, tours the exhibition. ExhibitsUSA sends more than 25 exhibitions on tour to more than 100 small- and mid-sized communities every year. More information is available at and

This project is supported by the Georgia Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities and through appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly. This project is also supported by partners on the UGA campus, including: the President’s Venture Fund, the School of Public and International Affairs, the Center for International Trade and Security, and the departments of film, history and English.

To learn more about the Richard B. Russell Library, see To learn more about the Georgia Museum of Art, see