Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Announces ELEVATE: S.W.A.T.S

Elevate S.W.A.T.S.

Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Announces ELEVATE: S.W.A.T.S

ATLANTA–The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) announced today it will host the city’s annual public art festival, ELEVATE, in Southwest Atlanta from Sunday, Oct. 14, to Sunday, Oct. 21.

Traditionally hosted in Atlanta’s south downtown area, the festival is moving to the southwest community to highlight the OCA’s efforts to present cultural experiences from artists and organizations like the Alliance Theatre and High Museum of Art to a new audience. The move also provides a platform to showcase Southwest Atlanta’s cultural institutions such as Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, Dancemakers of Atlanta and the Arnika Dawkins Gallery.

“ELEVATE’s purpose has always been to unite people and the arts,” said Camille Russell Love, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “By moving the festival from downtown, it enables us to expand the reach of the city’s cultural experiences while promoting Atlanta’s unique neighborhoods. We encourage everyone to join us for this year’s lively and informative performances and exhibitions.”

Titled ELEVATE: S.W.A.T.S. (Southwest Atlanta, Too Strong) in honor of the community’s nickname, the week-long festival will commemorate the heritage of the community while infusing the area with a variety of cultural activities. Featured events include a book signing and photo exhibition by photographer Shelia Pree Bright, a theatrical production of “Bone Hill: The Concert”, “A Night of Dance” by Ailey II and the Dancemakers of Atlanta, and the “Right in the Eye” movie concert.

The festival will also install four large-scale murals in the Cascade business corridor as part of an exclusive community art collection. One mural will be dedicated to the community’s five Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients: Reverend Dr. C. T. Vivian, Congressman John Lewis, Reverend Joseph E. Lowery, Ambassador Andrew Young, and Atlanta Braves legend, Henry “Hank” Aaron.  In collaboration with France-Atlanta and Atlanta’s sister city of Toulouse, France, a mural by world-renowned urban artist Ceet will also be installed, while a collective of metro Atlanta-based artists selected by the community will complete the collection.

The Art of the S.W.A.T.S. House, a visual celebration of artistic and musical excellence from the S.W.A.T.S., will be curated by platinum-selling, Grammy Award-winning musician T.I., and will incorporate the art of Austin Blue.

Featuring 13 cultural events and 12 art installations, ELEVATE offers a diverse array of cultural experiences while celebrating the rich history and accomplishments of one of Atlanta’s strongest communities.

Additional support for this year’s festival comes from Mailchimp, Chick-fil-A, For Freedoms – 50 State Initiative, the City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation, New England Foundation for the Arts, Live Fresh, Atlanta City Studio, Street Art ATL, Discover Atlanta, the Point at Cascade, Atlanta Music Project, Providence Missionary Baptist Church, Hillside International Truth Center, Church of the Incarnation and Cascade United Methodist Church.

For more festival information and a full event schedule, visit

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