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Beauchamp Carr at Woodruff Arts Center, where he’s worked since 1977; photo by Sarah Dorio

Last Call

by Wendy Bowman-Littler | The Atlantan magazine | May 25, 2012

Buckhead native Beauchamp Carr helped save The Fox Theatre from demolition in the mid-’70s as part of the nonprofit group Atlanta Landmarks, Inc., and worked tirelessly for years to raise $177 million for the Woodruff Arts Center and its entities.

Now, at 67, after 35 years, he’s hanging up his hat as the arts center’s executive vice president of development to pay more attention to his and wife Talela’s “antique” 1937 home, their three children and two boykin spaniels.

Carr—a former banker who in 1977, at age 32, was tapped to work at what was then the Atlanta Arts Alliance—rose through the ranks to become the driving force behind the art center’s Annual Corporate Campaign (which supports the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, High Museum of Art, Alliance Theatre and Young Audiences).

Now, before leaving his post in May at the Southeast’s largest visual and performing arts center, Carr has one more official act up his sleeve: Commemorating Orly: 50 Years, an event recognizing the 50th anniversary of the 1962 airplane crash at Paris’ Orly Airport that claimed the lives of more than 100 Atlanta civic and cultural leaders who were returning home from a European arts tour. The catastrophe led to the creation of the Woodruff Arts Center in their honor.

The event on June 3 will feature dinner with relatives of the victims. “The point is to look at how the tragedy was a catalyst for what must be one of the most rapid growths in the arts of any city,” says Carr. “And the Orly tragedy, in an ironic way, put much of that in motion.

“It’s especially personal for me,” he adds, “because I knew a lot of people on that plane. In fact, my own mother would have been on the trip, except she’d have missed my brother’s college graduation.”

Carr’s Hots
Atlanta’s generous civic spirit, The Fox Theatre and its Mőller pipe organ, interesting old cars

Carr’s Nots
Decorative pillows, valet parking, little tear-open ketchup packets, demolition of old houses, robo-calls