By Zach Itzkovitz
Since the Weinstein Center for Adult Day Services closed roughly a year ago, the Marcus Jewish Community Center has been developing a purpose and programming for the 7,500 square feet left behind at Zaban Park in Dunwoody.
Aug. 16 will mark the grand opening of the result, the Kuniansky Family Center.
The center was enabled by last year’s Marcus JCC capital campaign, which raised $7 million. Substantial contributions came from the Kuniansky family, including Doug Kuniansky, the chairman of the board of directors since March and the acting CEO as of Wednesday, Aug. 12.
The grand opening will showcase Todd Ginsberg of the General Muir, Eli Kirshtein of The Luminary and other high-profile Atlanta chefs in cooking demonstrations and tastings and feature performances by the J Dance Company and Collective Dance Project, as well as dance workshops for preschoolers, youths and adults.
Those elements highlight the programming at the new facility, which is meant to reach all ages, from toddlers to seniors, while remaining focused, program director Laura Ross said. “Cooking and art are the two main new program areas that this building will hold, along with dance.”
The building includes a new kitchen, a multipurpose room, two art studios and a dance studio with sprung flooring.
The new kitchen features two islands, a double oven and three sinks and will handle dairy products exclusively. Such culinary classes as “All About Cake,” “Eating in a Pocket — Israeli Cooking,” and “Rosh Hashanah” Favorites will use the facility.
The carpeted multipurpose room will house a “Jewish Life and Learning” class and the Club J after-school program, among others.
The two art studios, which sit opposite each other, feature broad classroom sinks and counters and will be the scene for classes on painting, drawing, mosaics and jewelry making. The studios also will be open to anyone for private projects or class assignments, beginning Aug. 17. Supplies include easels, paint, paintbrushes, beads and jewelry wire.
The Rich Foundation Dance Studio will be used as a multipurpose room as well as for dance, Ross said.
Although the studio was recently completed, the dance program moved into the building in March, dance program director Erin Lesure said. The studio will offer classes for all ages, including basic movement for children 18 to 24 months old and an adult ballet class.
The grand opening is free and open to all from noon to 4 p.m. at 5342 Tilly Mill Road in Dunwoody.