Art on the Atlanta BeltLine brings a new festival to Southwest Atlanta

The inaugural festival celebrates local artists with four days of free programming

AMFM Festival Westside Trail Atlanta BeltLine

Logo courtesy of Art on the Atlanta BeltLine

Art on the Atlanta BeltLine, the program responsible for not only the art and sculpture along the trails but also events such as the annual Eastside Trail Lantern Parade and the Old Fourth Ward Fall Festival, is launching something new this summer: a festival co-hosted by the National Black Arts Festival’s Next Gen Artist program, ARTlanta Gallery, and artistic space the Bakery.

From August 8-11, the Art.Movement.Film.Music Summer Fest, A.M.F.M. for short, will come alive along the Westside Trail in Oakland City, with visual art, live music, food trucks, panelists, affordable art shows, and more.

All of the programming is free, and the event lineup varies by day and is scattered across different stages and venues near Allene Avenue. Expect a daily chalk festival, film screenings, an indie market, as well as performances and workshops for artists. On Wednesday through Friday, the festival will offer lunchtime fitness classes such as heavy metal yoga and hip-hop athletic workshops from TOMAfit. Each day will end with an 21+ BeltLine After Dark concert.

“Ninety percent of everything we do is family-friendly, but we have huge contingency of adults who use the BeltLine and who are into the creative stuff we do, so we wanted to be able to cater to them,” says Miranda Kyle, the arts and culture program manager for the BeltLine, of the concert series.

But the festival isn’t short on youth programming, especially with its partnership with the National Black Arts Festival’s Next Gen Artist program. Started by the cultural nonprofit last year, Next Gen creates apprenticeship, scholarship, and learning opportunities for high school juniors and seniors who are interested in film, fashion, and visual arts.

“The BeltLine was very excited about having more youth engagement with Art on the BeltLine,” says Vikki Morrow, CEO and president of NBAF. “[The programming at A.M.F.M.] will be a combination of students showing short documentaries, displaying visual artwork and holding a mini fashion show.” Morrow says this allows the students to further connect with and be inspired by adult artists, noting that A.M.F.M. gives the students “a forum that creates a huge audience for their work to be seen.”

Tyree Smith, the founder of ARTlanta, based the gallery around the concept of tactical urbanism, a movement that revitalizes low economic enclaves by hosting art shows, renovating abandoned buildings, and bridging the gap between the developers and the community. Both he and Kyle stressed the festival’s desire to help local artists, so there will be panel discussions meant to help up-and-comers learn how to present their artwork to the community.

“We’re curating two panel discussions on investing in local art and how to properly present your art to BeltLine and to MARTA for proposals,” he says.

Smith is excited by the festival’s Hundo Show, which will sell $100 pieces created by local artists, allowing for greater investment in Atlanta talent. The show will take place in shipping container with a DJ spinning tunes on top of it, Smith says.

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