Influential Artists of Color Explore the Pandemic, Racial Reckoning Through Music, Words & Film; Consider Question of “Where Do We Go Next?”
MARTA’s public art program Artbound, along with local arts collective NEXT Atlanta announce an interactive, multi-genre art performance that is the culmination of the social action arts campaign “The NEXT Movement”. Launched in September, the first season of the NEXT Movement brought together five of Atlanta’s most influential artists of color and five local leading art activists to share their artistry and personal stories through the lens of the global pandemic and racial reckoning spurred by the murder of George Floyd and others.
On Thursday, Nov. 17 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the artists will come together at the High Museum of Art for an evening of soul-baring performance and candid conversations between artist and audience. The event will also feature the premiere of the NEXT Movement film series, a virtual concert series showcasing each artist performing their commissioned work on a stationary MARTA train, ala National Public Radio (NPR)’s Tiny Desk series, set to air on WABE early next year.
The upcoming salon and first season of the NEXT Movement showcases the talents and perspectives of self-taught visual artist Melissa A. Mitchell, Atlanta’s own poet griot, Jon Goode, nationally-renowned musician CC Sunchild, Atlanta’s premier cellist Okorie ‘OkCello’ Johnson, award-winning HBO Def Jam poet Carlos Andres Gomez, nationally-renowned visual artist Charly Palmer, curator and visual artist Tracy Murrell, curator of African Art for the High Museum of Art Lauren Tate Baeza, CEO of The Integral Group and leading art patron Egbert Perry, and National Black Arts Executive Director Stephanie Owens.
In addition to the virtual concert series and performance at the High, the NEXT Movement campaign included citywide digital poster exhibits in and near MARTA rail stations featuring portraits of the artists alongside messages of hope and inspiration. (Photography by Steve West Photo)
“MARTA is a community connector, and the purpose of Artbound is to bring high-quality art and culture to people where they live,” said Katherine Dirga, Director of Art in Transit. “The virtual and in-person works of the NEXT Movement highlight the ways in which MARTA supports access to the Arts through moving visual and performance pieces and with an important social action message.”
“NEXT is about leveraging and harnessing the power of art for social change in our community,” said P. Faith Carmichael, Executive Director, NEXT-Atlanta. “All the artists we work with are committed to their communities and able to enact change using the power of words, music and their talents. And a powerful way of elevating our artists is bringing their work to MARTA spaces.”
Several Atlanta organizations including National Black Arts, The Integral Group, WABE, Central Atlanta Progress, the High Museum of Art, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have also used their platforms to help amplify the artists’ voices around these critical issues.
The performance on Nov. 17 is free but seating is limited, so reserve your space early. Attendees are encouraged to take MARTA to Arts Center Station, adjacent to the High Museum of Art.
To learn more visit www.next-atlanta.com or @MARTA_Artbound on Instagram.
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