Elevate Festival 2023

September 22 - October 15, 2023 throughout Atlanta

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Photo credit: Elevate Festival 2023
The month long celebration of Atlanta's artistic communities returns!

Week 1
 (9/22-24)

The History of Atlanta Hip Hop Lunch and Learn

12:00 p.m., Fri., Sept. 22 at Atlanta City Hall Atrium, 55 Trinity Ave.

Bring your lunch and join us for a discussion with Atlanta Artists about Hip-Hop and it’s intersection with photography and design, moderated by A. R. Shaw featuring Big Rube and DL Warfield. All Ages.

ATLiens Visit Planet MARS captures the early origins of Hip-Hop communities in two creative capitals—Atlanta and Marseille. As Hip-Hop began to spread beyond New York and Los Angeles in the early 1990s, communities around the world began to claim it as their own, and with that agency, began to frame their own identities within the culture.

In this exhibition, photographers Shannon McCollum and Jean-Pierre Maero present images and videos from the early 1990s to early 2000s from their personal archives that offer rare access to the foundational artists, spaces, and moments of Hip-Hop in Atlanta and Marseille, respectively, and help compare and contrast the creative output of cities that would become contemporary cultural capitals.

This exhibition will run from 9/22-10/20 and is presented by Villa Albertine as part of City/Cité Atlanta x Marseille and France-Atlanta, in partnership with AMI/Friche la Belle de Mai. Made possible with the support of the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and the Institut Français. All Ages.

Another Gaze: Women Photographers of Hip-Hop showcases the work and hip-hop culture documentation of photographers Sheila Pree Bright, Julia Beverly, Carolyn Grady, Tamara Rafkin, and Sheila Turner. Navigating a creative space whose predominant voice and face is male, these women bring their gaze and skill to the celebration and fray, capturing moments of passion, poetry, and repose. From portraits , magazine exposes, concert performances, studio sessions and more, they take you on a journey from Hip Hop’s past to its popular place in contemporary culture. Moderated discussion with writer and journalist and cultural critic Ronda Racha Penrice begins at 3pm. All Ages.

ELEVATE Karaoke With DJ Jelly

2:00 p.m., Sat., Sept. 23 at Who Wanna Pho, 1126 Euclid Ave NE

Rap your favorite tunes like you wrote them yourself! Hosted by DJ Jelly and Chyna Marie of V103, ELEVATE Karaoke is a special edition of Jelly’s on-going event in celebration of and honoring  hip-hop culture’s 50th anniversary!

Atlanta Streets Alive featuring Poetry vs. Hip-Hop and Tamy Moyo

1:00 p.m., Sun., Sept. 24 at Peachtree Center, 225 Peachtree St

Immerse yourself in the rhythmic collision of words and beats at our Poetry vs. Hip-Hop Artist Showcase and the heartfelt sounds of Zimbabwean-born Tamy Moyo. Witness an electrifying afternoon where the eloquence of poetry goes head-to-head with the pulsating cadence of hip-hop. Renowned poets and dynamic hip-hop artists will share the stage, exploring the intricate dance between spoken verse and lyrical flow. Join us for an unforgettable fusion of literary prowess and musical ingenuity that transcends genres and sparks a vibrant creative dialogue. Brought to you in partnership with ATL-DOT and ZimExpo. All Ages.

Week 2
 (9/29-10/1)

The Shonibare Sculpture Unveiling and Friday Vibe Art Walk with Centennial Yards Atlanta

5:00 p.m., Fri., Sept. 29 at The Centennial Yards Steele Bridge

Friday, September 29, 2023 Join us at the Centennial Yards Steele Bridge for the dedication of the new public artwork Wind Sculpture (IV) by British-Nigerian artist, Yinka Shonibare. This Internationally significant public sculpture was acquired by the City of Atlanta to further its mission to offer diverse high-caliber artwork that is accessible to all. The Centennial Yards Friday Vibe arts walk will include live music, a community led mural with Alexandria Artistry, live painting with Jamie Calkin, and a set from DJ Shabazz celebrating 50 Years of Hip-Hop. All Ages.

Alliance Française and Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta present, in partnership with Villa Albertine, “Lost In Traplanta” Screening and Discussion with Filmmaker Mathieu Rochet

6:00 p.m., Fri., Sept. 29 at Tara Theaters

Join filmmaker, Mathieu Rochet, for a screening of Lost in Traplanta, a screening of a short film series, about the quest of a young Frenchman to reunite the famous rap duo Andre 3000 and Big Boi, known as Outkast, and his discovery of the Atlanta Hip Hop scene. After the screening, stay for discussion about the making of the film. All Ages

Tipsy Taggin’ with Antar Fierce

8:00 p.m., Fri., Sept. 29 at Best End Brewing

Tipsy Taggin’ is an instructor lead graffiti art paint-and-sip style class with Antar Fierce. This class takes the complex process of making art with spray paint and puts it into easy to follow steps while encouraging the participant to mind their own creativity and apply it to their piece. Experience in art making is not necessary. Ages 18+. RSVP Required.

Youth Breakin’ Workshop with Toma Fit + Book Giveaway

12:00 p.m., Sat., Sept. 30 at CreateATL

Youth Breakin’ is a dynamic workshop on the foundation of hip hop culture’s original movement art: breakin’ (break dance). Core concepts of collaboration, innovative movement, music theory and trusting one’s creative instinct are taught and explored in this dance intensive with instructor and b-boy King Quic. After breaking a sweat, cool down and listen to Baby Jade read Eric Morse’s What Is Hip-Hop? children’s book. Giveaway to follow reading. Ages 5-12.

Architects of Atlanta Hip-Hop, Panel Discussion

6:00 p.m., Sat., Sept. 30 at McEreath Hall, Atlanta History Center

Join us as we pay tribute to ones who cold rock the party, the ones who create the music that returns you again and again to the most poignant times in your life: the DJ and the Producer.

Architects of Atlanta Hip-Hop is an interactive panel discussion that will honor originators and creators of the Atlanta hip-hop culture we have come to know and love. Moderated by Talib Shabazz of Earwax Records, he will be in conversation with the likes of DJ Toomp, DJ Wis, and DC The Brain Supreme, understanding how they took cues from the DJs from New York City and Los Angeles and incorporated their own style that was distinct to Atlanta. Expect to hear interesting stories, expect to leave with a deeper appreciation and understanding for this Atlanta hip-hop culture we hold dear. All Ages.

Heard It All Before Game Night

8:00 p.m., Sat., Sept. 30 at M-Bar Ultra Lounge

Have you ever listened to a song and recognized a familiar sound to the tune? More than likely, you heard a music sample. Heard It All Before: A Game Of Hip Hop Samples is the ultimate party game for uncovering and discovering the songs behind your favorite songs.  In the spirit of 50 years of Hip Hop and nearly a century of the Soul music that sources its greatest samples, we’re turning our card game experience into a live game night for ELEVATE Atlanta 2023. Music heads and sample snobs, this one’s for you. Come for the prize or just come for the vibes. Ages 21+.

‘House Party’ Film Screening

7:00 p.m., Sun., Oct. 1 at Tara Theaters

House Party, the oft-told tale of what teenagers get into when their parents are out of town, was an automatic classic when it premiered in 1990. Directed by Reginald Hudlin and starring Kid N’ Play, Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, and the late great comedians John Witherspoon and Robin Harris, House Party was hip-hop’s answer to Risky Business and National Lampoon’s Animal House. Come recite your favorite lines and laugh with us! Rest assured, this is your type of hype. Rated R, Children under 17 Require Accompanying Parent of Adult Guardian.

Week 3
 (10/6-8)

Stay Productive, A Producer Showcase

9:00 p.m., Fri., Oct. 6 at 529 Bar

Stay Productive is an annual gathering of some of the finest Atlanta hip hop producers and special guests. Producers stand on stage at once and take turns offering their best beats to each other and the crowd - it’s not for money, it’s for the props. Come along with us on a journey into sound. Hosted by Fort Knox, Stay Productive features resident producers Day Tripper, DJ Nervex, Dr. Conspiracy, Floyd the Locsmif, Illastrate, Lex Boogie, Yamin Semali, and more. Ages 21+.

Virtual Insanity: A Virtual Reality Graffiti Experience

2:00 p.m., Sat., Oct. 7 at Public Art Futures Lab, Underground Atlanta

Calling all future artists and game programmers! Instructor and graffiti artist Antar Fierce will guide youth students in making their own graffiti masterpieces without ever spilling one drop of paint. Utilizing Oculus headsets and the King Spray game, students will learn real world graffiti skills, such as color selection and spray can control. Located at the incredible Public Art Futures Lab, students and gamers will move from the couch into a laboratory of invention. Kids Ages 7-13.

The World Famous Mic Club Freestyle Battle

9:00 p.m., Sat., Oct. 7 at East Atlanta Treehouse

Marking the 15th anniversary reunion, The World Famous Mic Club Freestyle Battles have pitted MCs against each other in tournament-style lyrical sparring matches that have held their audiences’ attention since 2001. Playing off the wittiest rhymes with winners chosen by audience participation, only the strongest MCs survive here! Hosted by Dres Tha Beatnik with a backing band and DJ, Mic Club is a sure shot way to appreciate the up-and-coming battle rappers of today. Ages 21+

Music in the Park

1:00 p.m., Sun., Oct. 8 at Peeples Street by Rose Circle Park

Join Music in the Park for another great day in the West End celebrating music and community. Check out the full line up at MusicinthePark.org. All Ages.

THE RETURN with Toni Blackman and Bideew Bou Bess from Senegal Presented by the Praise House Project

4:00 p.m., Sun., Oct. 8 at Hammonds House Museum

Recalling the ring shout as the cypher, Charmaine Minniefield collaborates once again with hip-hop artist Toni Blackman. Based in both Brooklyn, NY and Dakar, Senegal, Blackman will participate in a 30-day artist residency in Atlanta. She is joined by Senegalese artists, Bideew Bou Bess, made up of brothers Moctar Sall, Baidy Sall, and Ibrahima Sall. Through workshops and performances, Blackman the group will mix traditional Senegalese music, World music, and Hip-hop to acknowledge the emcee as griot by connecting ancestral traditions across time and space. The work explores Black expressive culture as ancestral memory. Presented by The Praise House Project. All Ages.

Week 4
 (10/13-15)

The Mayor’s Pride Exhibition

The Mayor’s Pride Exhibit will showcase the diverse array of talent in Atlanta’s LGBTQ+ community. All Ages.

Alliance Française and Goethe Zentrum Atlanta present EURO CYPHER ATL a Hip Hop Collab Concert with Marseille-Cologne-Atlanta

7:00 p.m., Fri., Oct. 13 at Atlantucky Brewing

This Hip Hop Collab Concert, connecting Marseille, Cologne, and Atlanta, will feature German hip hop artist Leila Akinyi, from Cologne, Germany, DJ Djel, from Marseille, France, and Atlanta’s own Soul Food Cypher as part of the 2023 Elevate Festival. In partnership with Villa Albertine and Atlanta Influences Everything. Made possible through funding of the Franco-German Cultural Fund, and the German Consulate.

THE BEAT - A Ring Shout and Community Freestyle Cypher with Toni Blackman

4:00 p.m., Sat., Oct. 14 at Emory University Schwartz Center for Performing Arts

Join the cypher at Emory University with internationally renowned hip-hop artist Toni Blackman who will demonstrate how the cypher is a contemporary iteration of the Ring Shout. Audiences should come ready to participate in this call-and-response! For more info: PraiseHouseProject.org All Ages.

Presented by the Praise House Project through funds provided by the Atlanta Global Research and Education Collaborative (AGREC), the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Villa Albertine in Atlanta with the French Consulate.

Hip Hop Saved My Life, discussion moderated by Shanti Das

As a culture, hip-hop is far more than the glitz and glamor that the media portrays. From block to block, the healing ways that hip-hop shows up in our lives can be overlooked. Hip-Hop Saved My Life offers hope for a better way. In a discussion moderated by Shanti Das, creator of Silence the Shame, b-boy King Quic, MC A.O.S., graffiti artist Antar Fierce, and community advocate Minister Server wax poetic about the ways that hip-hop allowed them to face their inner (and outer) turmoil with courage. All Ages.

The Atlanta Classic

8:00 p.m., Sun., Oct. 15 at MJQ Concourse

Whether you yeek or do the Bankhead bounce, wobble your head and rag top, or decide to walk it out, there’s one thing you cannot deny when it comes to Atlanta’s hip-hop: we know how to get our bodies moving. Come celebrate the last party of ELEVATE 2023 by doing what we do best in Atlanta: DANCE. With a soundtrack for the evening provided by DJ Toomp, DJ Kizzy Rock, DJ Sean Falyon, and Lady Marauder, we are going to celebrate every era of music that put Atlanta on the map. Hosted by 4-Ize. Ages 21+.

Event Information 

Event

Friday September 22, 2023 12:00 PM EDT
Friday, September 22, 2023

12:00 p.m.
The History of Atlanta Hip-Hop Lunch and Learn
Atlanta City Hall Atrium, 55 Trinity Ave.

Bring your lunch and join us for a discussion with Atlanta Artists about Hip-Hop and its intersection with photography and design, moderated byA. R. Shaw featuring Big Rub... | more...

Event

Friday September 22, 2023 05:00 PM EDT
5:00 p.m.


“ATLiens Visit Planet MARS,” Gallery Opening and Artist Talk

“ATLiens Visit Planet MARS” captures the early origins of hip-hop communities in two creative capitals — Atlanta and Marseille. As hip-hop began to spread beyond New York and Los Angeles in the early 1990s, communities around ... | more...

Event

Saturday September 23, 2023 02:00 PM EDT
2:00 PM

“Another Gaze: Women Photographers of Hip-Hop” Gallery Opening and Artist Talk

“Another Gaze: Women Photographers of Hip-Hop” showcases the work and hip-hop culture documentation of photographers Sheila Pree Bright, Julia Beverly, Carolyn Grady, Tamara Rafkin, and shelia turner. Navigating... | more...

Event

Saturday September 23, 2023 09:00 PM EDT
9:00 p.m.

ELEVATE Karaoke with DJ Jelly
Saturday, September 23, 2023


Rap your favorite tunes like you wrote them yourself! Hosted by DJ Jelly and Chyna Marie of V103, ELEVATE Karaoke is a special edition of Jelly’s on-going event in celebration of and honoring hip-hop culture’s 50th anniversary!

... | more...

Event

Sunday September 24, 2023 01:00 PM EDT
Sunday, September 24, 2023

1:00 p.m.
“Atlanta Streets Alive” featuring Poetry vs. Hip-Hop and Tamy Moyo

Immerse yourself in the rhythmic collision of words and beats at our Poetry vs. Hip-Hop Artist Showcase and the heartfelt sounds of Zimbabwean-born Tamy Moyo. Witness an electrifying afternoon w... | more...

Event

Friday September 29, 2023 05:00 PM EDT
Friday, September 29, 2023

5:00 p.m.
The Shonibare Sculpture Unveiling and Friday Vibe Art Walk with Centennial Yards Atlanta

Join us at the Centennial Yards Steele Bridge for the dedication of the new public artwork Wind Sculpture (IV) by British-Nigerian artist, Yinka Shonibare. This Internation... | more...

Event

Friday September 29, 2023 06:00 PM EDT
Friday, September 29, 2023

6:00 p.m.
Alliance Française and Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta present, in partnership with Villa Albertine, Lost In Traplanta Screening and Discussion with Filmmaker Mathieu Rochet

Join filmmaker, Mathieu Rochet, for a screening of Lost in Traplanta, a screening of a short fil... | more...

Event

Friday September 29, 2023 08:00 PM EDT
Friday, September 29, 2023

8:00 p.m.
Tipsy Taggin’ with Antar Fierce

Tipsy Taggin’ is an instructor lead graffiti art paint-and-sip style class with Antar Fierce. This class takes the complex process of making art with spray paint and puts it into easy to follow steps while encouraging the partici... | more...

Event

Saturday September 30, 2023 12:00 PM EDT
Saturday, September 30, 2023

12:00 p.m.
Youth Breakin’ Workshop with Toma Fit + Book Giveaway

Youth Breakin’ is a dynamic workshop on the foundation of hip hop culture’s original movement art: breakin’ (break dance). Core concepts of collaboration, innovative movement, music theory and trusting on... | more...

Event

Saturday September 30, 2023 06:00 PM EDT
Saturday, September 30, 2023

6:00 PM
“Architects of Atlanta Hip-Hop” Panel Discussion


Join us as we pay tribute to ones who cold rock the party, the ones who create the music that returns you again and again to the most poignant times in your life: the DJ and the Producer.

“Architects of Atlanta... | more...

Event

Saturday September 30, 2023 08:00 PM EDT
Saturday, September 30, 2023

8:00 p.m.
“Heard It All Before” Game Night

Have you ever listened to a song and recognized a familiar sound to the tune? More than likely, you heard a music sample. “Heard It All Before: A Game Of Hip Hop Samples” is the ultimate party game for uncovering and discoveri... | more...

Event

Sunday October 1, 2023 02:00 PM EDT
Sunday, October 1, 2023

2:00 p.m.
Community Mural with ARRRT ADDICT

Create a mural with local artist, Lisette Correa aka ARRRTADDICT, inspired by the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop and Atlanta’s integral role in the art form. Community members of all ages are invited to join the fun and become a part... | more...

Event

Sunday October 1, 2023 07:00 PM EDT
Sunday, October 1, 2023

7:00 p.m.
House Party Film Screening

House Party, the oft-told tale of what teenagers get into when their parents are out of town, was an automatic classic when it premiered in 1990. Directed by Reginald Hudlin and starring Kid N’ Play, Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, and ... | more...