Elevate, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs’ annual public art festival, will return for the seventh year to downtown Atlanta October 14–21 with a myriad of programming, performances, talks and events. Last year’s festival, themed Microcosm, was curated by Allie Bashuk, Mónica Campana, Pastiche Lumumba and Mark DiNatale and aimed to address gentrification head-on. This year’s festival, Enlighten, aims to continue that conversation, with participating artists addressing the power of public art to offset gentrification, community empowerment and other themes. “Art can elevate your senses and expand your ideas about the world around you,” said Camille Russell Love, the executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, in a public statement.
Elevate is presented by the Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs in partnership with Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, as well as schools, museums and art collectives. Highlights will include:
The winners of IDEA Capital’s first annual Margaret Kargbo Artist as Activist Grant, Morgan Carlisle and Carlos Thompson will present Left Out. The work uses found art, video, testimonials, interviews, poetry and photos to articulate the internalized struggle of combat veterans “normalizing” after returning from war. “We want to provide insights to the subculture of battle-hardened veterans,” said Carlisle. “Our hope is that these conversations can lead to understanding and healing.”
Opening October 14, 4:30–8 p.m.
TGIF Performance Showcase
The evening of music, dance and spoken word will showcase the talents of dancers Brittany Smith and DeWayne Jamar Brown to the music of Yumi Kurosawa, as well as Ailey II Dance Company, Queen Sheba’s spoken word and many more.
Friday, October 20, 7–10 p.m.
ELEVATE block party
The closing of this year’s festival will feature tunes from WERC CREW, Morph and Choloteca.
Saturday, October 21, 6–11 p.m.