The Cabbagetown Zoomin’ Reunion Day Festival, 2020!

Photo by Jenn Pierce, 2019.

Dear Cabbagetown residents — past and present — it’s that wonderful, special, glorious time of year again! The first Saturday of June is almost upon us! In other words, clear next weekend’s schedule, grab a drink (or three), and snag a bag of tasty chips… Get ready, once again, to enjoy Cabbagetown’s annual summertime event, complete with the usual mix of music, games, and friendly faces!

On Saturday, June 6th, starting at 12:00pm, we — as proud members of the Cabbagetown community — get the honor of being the VIPs at one of Atlanta’s longest-running traditions:

The Cabbagetown Reunion Day Festival!

This year’s gonna be a little different. As much we’d like to, we can’t ignore the current state of affairs. The health and safety of our neighborhood and its residents are paramount. So, for the first time ever, The Reunion is NOT going to be held on the streets and in the parks of Cabbagetown. (This means: no porch music, no Artists’ Market, and no crowding around the front door of Little’s, y’all. Sorry.)

Instead, the creative minds from CNIA and The Patch Works have come up with a groovy alternative — a solution that will bring the fun directly into your homes. We’re calling it:

The Cabbagetown Zoomin’ Reunion, 2020!

We’ve already got several talented musicians lined up to perform: Kim Ware, Ross Pead, John McNicholas, The Cabbagetown Racketeers, Jess and the Boys, the Absinthe-Minded Professors (to name a few).

And games. Who doesn’t like Bingo???

And different Zoom Rooms for special topics. Like, y’all can gab about your favorite street in Street Talk; or remember loved ones who’ve passed away in the Remembrance Room. Or if
you want to learn more about Cabbagetown history or perhaps even share your own story, y’all can hang out in the Mill History Room or the Interview Room.

Different can be fun, which is what this Zoomin’ Reunion will definitely be!

PLEASE NOTE: This year — in order to keep this amazing, 49-year-old tradition going, but also to keep people’s health and safety the #1 priority — The Cabbagetown Reunion Day Festival will be “online,” using Zoom:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 760 887 4748 (Call-in number)
Password: 30316

#GivingTuesdayNow – The Patch Works Needs You!

#GivingTuesdayNow was planned for May 5 as an emergency response to the enormous need caused by COVID-19. GAgives on #GivingTuesdayNow will mobilize people around the state to tap the power of human connection, strengthening communities at the grassroots level.


The Patch Works needs your help!

Even faced with the COVID-19 crisis, The Patch Works Art & History Center remains undaunted, continuing its mission to preserve the stories of historic Cabbagetown and to keep the community strong and engaged. Due to the pandemic, museums and learning centers across the world have been closed to the public, thus The Patch Works is currently working to deliver its content online. This translates into an ongoing effort to develop:

  • Digital exhibits
  • Digital “virtual” tours of Cabbagetown
  • Online community events
  • Online educational workshops
  • Online community resources

By this time of the year, The Patch Works usually would have already hosted several free-to-the-public music events, several walking tours, educational workshops, and the annual Cabbagetown Olympics (a community-building event that brings residents together for some zany fun). In addition, The Patch Works would currently be collaborating with other neighborhood organizations in preparing for the annual Cabbagetown Reunion Day Festival, which has taken place in June continuously for the past 49 years — this will be the first time in its history that the reunion won’t be taking place on the streets of Cabbagetown… but The Patch Works thinks it has a solution…!

In-person, community-based activities have been either postponed or canceled, which is the right thing to do to keep Cabbagetown safe. Unfortunately, as a result, The Patch Works is now faced with the challenge of bringing in the revenue necessary for transitioning to digital delivery.

In order to remain a dedicated leader in historic preservation and community-building, The Patch Works needs your help! Your generosity will keep The Patch Works strong. With your assistance, The Patch Works not only will push through these difficult times, but will be able to offer its services on an even greater scale.

For more information on the projects currently in development, please feel free to contact us at The Patch Works!


A Message from The Atlanta Preservation Center:

In view of the current public health situation with COVID-19, the Atlanta Preservation Center will be cancelling the remaining events for our 2020 Phoenix Flies festival, effective end of business today.  We appreciate the wonderful reception of the first portion of the festival and will look forward to your attending next year’s 2021 Phoenix Flies. Please check our website and social media for future events as the APC presents programs which highlight Atlanta’s historic treasures throughout the year.

Thank you,
The Atlanta Preservation Center

The Patch Works is On the Move!

The center is currently changing its location…

After analyzing its long-term goals/plans, The Patch Works has made the decision to depart from its current location. Both The Patch Works and the property’s owner agree that this is a positive step for the center, which will continue to operate even as it searches for a new, museum space.

The owner of the property has been working closely and amicably with The Patch Works, which is grateful for the wonderful and well-spent years at 593 Gaskill Street. Indeed, our landlord has been very supportive of our efforts, and we at The Patch Works thank him for allowing us to begin our journey at his property.

The museum’s collections are currently being safely stored in a secure and environmentally sound location. Fragile artwork and artifacts have been either placed into custom-built crates (thank you Tad Porter!) or sturdy boxes.

As previously mentioned, The Patch Works is still operating — providing:

  • Walking tours (this past week, we just gave a tour for a group from Cobb County Parks’ Therapeutic Recreation program;
  • Community events (coming soon… the Third-Annual Cabbagetown Olympics!)
  • Music performances (our lovely neighbors have been generously offering their own, private living rooms for our “Unplugged” music series).

The Patch Works also has some major plans this year to collaborate with other Atlanta communities on historic preservation, specifically with Sweet Auburn and Reynoldstown. And as always, The Patch Works will be ever-watchful, as development continues to explode in and around Atlanta’s historic neighborhoods.

For more information or to book a walking tour, please contact us. We’d love to hear from y’all!

And periodically check our website’s Calendar for upcoming events.

We hope to see y’all soon!

Temporary Changes to Our Operations for 2020

Goodbye 2019!

The Patch Works would like to wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year! We are truly grateful to be your community museum and continue to be of service to our wonderful Cabbagetown. None of our achievements would have been possible without you and your unwavering support. You are our inspiration in doing our very best.

For 2020, The Patch Works will continue to offer you an immersive and involved experience like no other. One of the main goals we strive to accomplish is to preserve and protect our neighborhood through raising the public’s awareness of the importance of our collections and by creating a platform in which to engage visitors, community leaders, and neighbors.

Of course The Patch Works will still be your source for fun! We will have a new and improved Cabbagetown Olympics this year, along with some other familiar happenings, like our monthly “Unplugged” music and walking tours. But we will also have new events as well. We hope to add more workshops and educational opportunities for all to enjoy. 

As part of this new year, we will be adjusting our days and hours. Please be patient as we are researching what will work best in order to give you a high-quality museum encounter.

Hours of Operation, January 2020

Tuesday: 1PM-7PM
Wednesday: 1PM-7PM
Friday: 1PM-5PM
Saturday: 1PM-5PM

*Please make note that we will bring back Emerald City Bagels once our hours are solidified.

Thank you for being part of our museum family! You are all amazing!

Closed to the Public for “Haunted Mill House” Setup and Event

The Patch Works will be closed to the public from Monday, October 21st through Sunday, October 27th, as we set up for our “Haunted Mill House” Halloween Event.

The “Haunted Mill House” will run the evenings of Friday, the 25th and Saturday, the 26th. This is a ticketed event.

Please refer to our calendar for dates and times!

The center will resume its normal hours on Tuesday, October 29th.

“Cabbagetown: 3 Women” Plays to a Rapt Audience

Sarah Knight as Aunt Beadie, Karen Tanner as Lila Brookshire, Kim Cohran as Effie Gray


Over the course of two, September weekends in 2019, The Patch Works Art & History Center (The Patch Works) — in collaboration with the Cabbagetown Neighborhood Improvement Association (CNIA) and the Cabbagetown Initiative Community Development Corporation (CICDC) — revived Cabbagetown: 3 Women… an Oral History Play With Music, 41 years after its premiere at Atlanta’s Academy Theatre on May 21st, 1978.

Cabbagetown: 3 Women was written in 1977-1978 by R. Cary Bynum, shortly after his wife Brenda had presented him with an obscure cookbook entitled Cabbagetown Families, Cabbagetown Food. The cookbook was published in 1976 by Patch, Inc. (edited by Pam Durban, who went on to become an award-winning novelist) and contained oral-history transcripts of several Cabbagetown “Original” residents, three of whom Mr. Bynum chose for his play. Cabbagetown: 3 Women places the spotlight on the lives of three, real-life women: Lila Mae Brookshire (Joyce Brookshire’s mother), Effie Dodd Gray, and Beatrice “Aunt Beadie” Dalton. As Mr. Bynum writes in Foxfire Press’ 1984 edition of the play, he took the words of Lila, Effie, and Aunt Beadie “and arranged them into a dramatic format, careful to preserve as much of the original language as possible.”

Throughout the show, the three women talk about their backgrounds, daily routines, working at the mill, feeding their families, and dealing with life in the mill-village streets. As they explain early in the show, Cabbagetown (or Cabbage Town) was not the neighborhood’s true name, but instead a somewhat offensive nickname given to the inner-city community by outsiders for various different reasons.

In 1881, a new and eager workforce — many of Scotch-Irish descent — came down from the North Georgia Mountains and Piedmont to work at Atlanta’s recently opened Fulton Cotton Spinning Company, which was founded by a German-Jewish immigrant named Jacob Elsas. In order to house the workers, Jacob constructed rows of mill homes, originally known as Factory Lot. Years later, as the mill prospered and changed its name to Fulton Bag & Cotton Mills, the community also grew and became Fulton Mill Village. According to today’s Originals, the nickname of Cabbagetown didn’t gain widespread popularity until the 1940s or even 1950s, and even then, quite a number of local residents refused to use the name.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Patch, Inc. was a Cabbagetown-based, nonprofit organization that provided socioeconomic support, creative outlets, and educational opportunities for the residents. It had a core staff of nine people and a Board that included founder Esther Peachey Lefever, Joyce Brookshire, Leon Little, Robert Price, and Dr. Louis Jacob (“Skip”) Elsas. Publishing Cabbagetown Families, Cabbagetown Food was the Patch’s way of preserving some of the unwritten tales about Cabbagetown, and when Mr. Bynum approached the organization with the concept for his play, the Patch warmly received the idea. Joyce Brookshire, a singer/songwriter and long-time resident of Cabbagetown, offered some of her songs to the production.

The original cast included: Doris Bucher, Annette Coleman, and Brenda Bynum. Joyce herself performed the music. As the Alliance Theatre wrote in its program for the 1979 presentation of the play, “Live music is movingly woven into the performance by Joyce Brookshire, accompanied by Fritz Rauschenberg, with songs she wrote about the families with whom she grew up, and originally were published in Foxfire Records premiere album, North Georgia Mountains.”

Cabbagetown: 3 Women is a heartfelt, sometimes comical, anecdotal play that celebrates the identities of a people in a tightly woven community.

Changes to Hours on These September Dates…

Please note that on the following dates, The Patch Works will be adjusting its hours:

On Sunday September 15th and 22nd, the center will be closed, due to our 2:00pm Matinee presentations of the play Cabbagetown: 3 Women, which is taking place at Cabbagetown Park’s Joyce Brookshire Amphitheater.

The center will be closing early, at 5:00pm, on Friday September 13th, Saturday September 14th, Friday September 20th, and Saturday September 21st, also due to Cabbagetown: 3 Women, which has 8:00pm showtimes on those nights. All six shows are free and open to the public.

In addition, please note that the center will be closed on Sunday September 29th, as The Patch Works will be participating in Oakland Cemetery’s Sunday in the Park. This event is also free and lots of fun, so please swing by and visit our tent!

Website Up and Running Again

If y’all are reading this, then y’all are already aware that our website is running just fine…once again…finally.

Nonetheless, we wanted to apologize for any inconvenience over the past few days — while our site was inaccessible. On the positive side, the site was down while we were transitioning to a secure website (to protect our visitors), so y’all’s “user experience” should be even better now! Thanks for checking out The Patch Works!