Find art, music and more at the 2023 Decatur Arts FestivalArtist market exhibitor Dymond Philllips of MixArt LLC stands with her oil paintings during the Decatur Arts Festival on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.
By Lucas Hill, contributor
Decatur, GA — Join the Decatur Arts Alliance for a weekend of creativity and fun at the 2023 Decatur Arts Festival. This year, the festival will be held from May 5 to 7 in Downtown Decatur, with activities for all ages ranging from multiple musical performances to a Kids’ Fest.
The Decatur Arts Festival aims to unite the community through a multi-day offering of live music, dance, comedy, theatrical performances, kids’ fest, exhibitions, and an expansive and diverse artists’ market. The festival is a free public event, with no tickets required to attend. The festival will be centered around the Decatur Square, 101 East Court Square.
The festivities kick off with an ArtWalk on Friday, May 5, from 6 to 10 p.m. ArtWalk is a single-night, city-wide art experience. Stroll around downtown Decatur enjoying light refreshments and artwork at ArtSpots, exhibits hosted at local galleries, retailers and restaurants. ArtSpots include a fine arts exhibition at the Decatur Library, an artwork scavenger hunt at Little Shop of Stories and sculpture, jewelry and paintings at Wild Oats & Billy Goats.
For the full list of ArtSpots, click here.
On Saturday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the festival’s artist market will showcase artists from Decatur, all over the Southeast and beyond. This year, 120 artists were selected through a competitive jury process. Explore ceramics, jewelry, 2D and 3D works, watercolor, woodwork, photography, paintings, and more from local and visiting artists. The artist market will also be available on Sunday, May 7, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For the full list of artist booths, click here.
Both Saturday and Sunday will feature packed line-ups at the performing arts tent outside the Historic DeKalb Courthouse. Featuring various talented artists, the performing arts stage will host engaging theatrical performances, acoustic music, literary presentations, magic, puppets and words of inspiration throughout the weekend.
The Saturday schedule will last from 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and will feature performances such as poetry by Aaliyah Cesaire and puppetry by Nguzo Babies. The Sunday schedule will last from noon to 3:45 p.m., featuring performances such as dancing from Alma Mexicana and an acoustic set by Reverend Hylton. For the complete line-up of performers on both Saturday and Sunday, click here.
On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., stop by the LOL Tent for a rip-roaring good time as local comedians and improv troupes bring laughter and levity to the Decatur Arts Festival. Take a turn at the mic and sign up for the open mic segment on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Find the list of comedic performances here.
The Decatur Art Festival’s new dance program is co-presented with Beacon Dance and the Decatur Recreation Center. Most of the performances and classes available at the festival will be held at the Decatur Recreation Center at 231 Sycamore Street, with a few pop-up performances around the festival grounds.
Programming will include learning opportunities in addition to entertaining and thought-provoking performances. Dance activities will be held on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. and Sunday from 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. For a full list of activities, click here.
On Saturday, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., kids get their own mini-festival at the Decatur Arts Fest. Kids’ Fest celebrates the artist in all young people. With plenty of creative activities, dance music, inflatables and some fluffy surprises, this area will be fun for the young and young at heart. Kiddos can enjoy face painting, chalk art, dog kisses, sand art, and returning this year – Four Minutes of Fame. Kids will have four minutes on stage with a mic to do whatever brings them joy.
This year’s Arts Festival coincides with the city of Decatur’s bicentennial celebration. The 2023 poster was created by Oakhurst artist Laurie Jones and unveiled at Decatur Glassblowing on March 30 of this year – captures the spirit of the city and the arts’ vital role in the community. Posters are available for purchase at the Decatur Arts Alliance, located at 113 Clairemont Avenue. During the event, visit the merchandise tent on the Square to purchase the festival’s posters and t-shirts.
“I really want to thank the City of Decatur Public Works, Police Department, Fire Department and Decatur Rec,” said Decatur Arts Alliance Executive Director Angie Macon at a recent city commission meeting. “We could not continue this legacy event without them.”
“I wanted to give a shout-out because April is National Volunteer Month. And we use 300 incredible volunteers for the Decatur Arts Festival. We understood we could never pull off something like this every year without our volunteers, so thank you so much and thank you for the support of the Decatur arts.”
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