CallanwoldeCallanwolde Fine Arts Center has completed its $2.1 million capital campaign and and announced a partnership with The GreenHouse Foundation.

Callanwolde, a nonprofit whose mission is to preserve the historic Candler estate and offer fine arts and outreach to the community, raised the $2.1 million from the Callanwolde Board, staff, foundations, and community supporters, to expand educational programs and renovate three deteriorated historic buildings – the Callanwolde Barn, Gardener’s Cottage, and Greenhouse. The Candler family made a large gift to the campaign, and Callanwolde will name the Mansion and Driveway “Candler Mansion” and “Candler Drive.” The Barn renovations were completed last September, and Callanwolde transformed the building with the help of a large contribution from Rick Baker into a state-of-the-art recording studio for Callanwolde’s Rick Baker School of Music and Music Recording.

The GreenHouse Foundation, founded by entertainer CeeLo Green and his sister Shedonna Alexander, gave Callanwolde a large gift to name the Callanwolde GreenHouse in memory of their late grandmother, Ruby Callaway Robinson. Renovation will begin soon on the Ruby Callaway Robinson GreenHouse, which will house the new Callanwolde School of Horticulture and Culinary Arts and educational programming from the GreenHouse Foundation.

The Ruby Callaway Robinson GreenHouse will pay homage to Ruby’s legacy of service to the community who, founded CASACADE, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the issues of drug abuse amongst the nation’s youth and also Sheila J. Callaway, one of the first seven female firefighters in the city of Atlanta.

Callanwolde, along with the GreenHouse Foundation, will be partnering to honor CeeLo and Shedonna’s family tradition of community outreach by bringing educational programming based in horticulture and culinary arts, to be housed in the renovated Ruby Callaway Robinson GreenHouse. The new programming teaches responsible stewardship of the environment, farm-to-table instruction, and life-skills such as cooking, growing and eating healthy, mainly targeting disadvantaged and local communities. The groundbreaking for the Ruby Callaway GreenHouse will be Thursday, May 5.

Following the successful creation of the Rick Baker School of Music and Music Recording, along with the recent “Excellence in Rehabilitation” award from The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation for the renovation of the Barn, the new horticulture and culinary arts programming and Ruby Callaway Robinson GreenHouse renovation will follow a similar path. Leading Callanwolde’s Music Recording Program is Phil Tan, a three-time Grammy winning mixing engineer, and Director of Music Recording. Tan also donated the music recording workstations and wrote the curriculum for the program. Tan’s leadership along with ample scholarships made available through a large contribution from Rick Baker, has brought over 120 students to the Rick Baker School of Music and Music Recording.

To celebrate the completion of Callanwolde’s capital campaign, and to raise scholarship funding for all the new programming, the second annual Salute to America and the Arts Concert featuring CeeLo Green and a celebrity all-star band will be held Sept. 10. Tickets will go on sale in July. For more information, visit

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.