The theme for this year’s ELEVATE Atlanta Art Festival, a program of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, is “Reopen, Reignite & Reconnect,” an apt title given the last 18 months of arts interruptus.
The festival will feature events in a different Atlanta neighborhood each weekend during October: Midtown October 1-3, Downtown October 8-10, Westside October 15-17, Southeast October 22-24 and Southwest October 29-31. A wide variety of the arts are represented: visual arts including community mural painting days, musical and dance performances (some of them outside), movie screenings, theater productions and more. No surprise, but many of the presentations were created during the pandemic and inspired by all things Covid. Visitors are encouraged to follow Covid guidelines and CDC recommendations.
Here are highlights. All are free, but some require an RSVP.
Midtown, October 1-3
October 2, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. – “Heart of the Arts Studio Crawl & Exhibitions.” Midtown Alliance and their founding partners present the first district-wide studio gallery crawl at Midtown’s newest studio spaces. Guests can meet artist Jasmine Nicole Williams at Atlanta History Center Midtown and Jamaal Barber, Lillian Blades, Dr. Bojana Ginn and Patricia Hernandez at CODA. Check the ELEVATE website for times and locations.
October 2, 1-3 p.m. – “At Least Six Feet” by Beacon Dance. This site-specific movement and sound performance is in response to the ways society has transformed in the wake of the pandemic. Director D. Patton White has been a formative part of Atlanta’s modern dance community for more than 40 years. Multiple performances during the two hours. CODA Plaza, 756 W. Peachtree Street.
October 2, 2:30, 4 and 5:30 p.m. — Screening of SAMO 365, a new film by choreographer and filmmaker Juel D. Lane, created during Covid quarantine under the commission of the Guggenheim Works and Process. CODA, 756 W. Peachtree Street.
October 3, 7 p.m. – The new Ailey documentary shows the personal side of the pioneering choreographer and features lots of archival footage. Presented by The Black Leadership AIDS Crisis Coalition, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (Ailey died of AIDS) and Destination Dance Ailey Atlanta. Moderated conversation after the film. Free. RSVP required. The Rich Auditorium at Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street NE.
Downtown October 8-10
October 8, 7 p.m. — Bridges: Through the Pandemic is a solo indoor and outdoor art exhibit by George Galbreath inspired by the artist’s pandemic experience and includes a dance performance choreographed by Lindsay Renea. RSVP required. P2 Gallery.
October 8-10 — ELEVATE Celebrates Dance! video presentation on Georgia State University CMII Screen features dance performances created by Atlanta artists and organizations. Screen is located at the corner of Edgewood and Park Place.
October 8-10 — The Bridging Broad group exhibition at Cat Eye Creative includes murals, a large-scale outdoor photography exhibit, an exterior neon exhibition and a gallery exhibition with 30 Atlanta artists. 186 Mitchell Street SW.
October 9, 4-8 p.m. The Future Dead Artists’ pop-up gallery exhibition Atlanta Forever includes a DJ spinning music by Atlanta artists and a collaborative community artwork led by artist Magda Dumitrescu. Check out the eight-foot-tall crochet sculpture. Watch artists painting Underground’s famous art carts. Underground Atlanta, 50 Upper Alabama Street.
Westside, October 15-17
October 15, 6-9 p.m.. — Nuestra Creacion annual exhibition showcases the work of Latinx artists and is designed to empower them in social and economic capacities by presenting their art to broader audiences. Also on October 16 from 2-8 p.m. and October 17 from 2-6 p.m. Guardian Studios, 785 Echo Street NW.
October 17, 3 p.m. — A Dance, Reunited includes a dance performance, film screening and panel discussion in collaboration with France-Atlanta and Atlanta Contemporary. The film Letters from the Continent was shot in May and June 2020 with 21 artists from around the world. The panel will feature film creator Faustin Linyekula and Angela Harris, executive artistic director of Dance Canvas. Choreographer Indya Childs’ Tokoliana closes the program. Atlanta Contemporary, 535 Means Street NW.
October 17, 2-4 p.m. — Idle Crimes & Heavy Work is a powerful, interactive dance performance and dialogue by Giwayen Mata and Moving Our Stories exploring the history of Black women’s incarcerated labor, resistance and restoration in Georgia. Whittier Mill Park, 2900 Wales Avenue NW.
Southeast Atlanta, October 22-24
October 22-24 — Jessica Blinkhorn’s mural “Emblem of Advocacy” represents the disabled and aging communities. Blinkhorn, who lives with a disability, invited her art students to install the mural design. Global Grub Collective, 479 Flat Shoals Avenue SE.
October 23, 12-9 p.m. – “Color the Cove: A Mural Event” by Arts Beacon Gallery and muralists the Lotus Eaters Club involves 10 local artists painting more than 1,000 square feet of murals on the walls of the Artist Cove at The Beacon. Live bands, performance art, food trucks and more. 1039 Grant Street SE.
October 23, 5 p.m. – Poets for the Revolution: A Virtual Protest is poet Ashlee Haze and creative director Ian A. Louis’ first documentary. Birthed out of the pandemic and protests of 2020, it spotlights the work of five Atlanta-based poets and centers on the concept of revolution and the role of local artists in social justice. Buteco, 1039 Grant Street SE, Suite C-10.
October 24, 2-5 p.m. — Praise House Project by Charmaine Minniefield is also highlighted by the festival. In response to laws forbidding cultural expression or gathering, enslaved people created Praise Houses — small structures used for worship. A praise house will be installed and there will be music curated by DJ Cozy Shawn, a ring shout with Giwayen Mata and a procession of praise. Southview Cemetery, 1990 Jonesboro Road SE.
Southwest Atlanta, October 29-31
October 29, 7 p.m. — Komansé Dance Theatre reprises Permanent, a dance film which debuted at the Woodruff Arts Center in July as part of a collaboration between the High Museum of Art and the African Diaspora Art Museum of Atlanta. Q&A follows. Outdoors at Fort Mac, 1794 Walker Avenue SW.
October 30, 1-6 p.m. — 11th Annual Music in the Park features performances by Brenda Nicole Moorer, Kebbi Williams and WolfPack, Julie Dexter, Kevin Oliver, DJ Cozy Shawn, Zacchae’us Paul, and Russell Gunn and the Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra. Gordon White Park, 1350 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard SW.
October 30, 6-10 p.m. — ELEVATE’s Closing Weekend Celebration includes music by Salah Ananse and DJ Kemit as well as other live performances, fashion shows and food trucks. RSVP required. The Met, 675 Metropolitan Parkway SW.
October 30, 7 p.m. — Drive-in screening of Tyler Perry’s Boo2! A Madea Halloween. Fort Mac, 1794 Walker Avenue SW.