AthFest Accepting Compilation Album Submissions

AthFest is now accepting submissions from Athens bands for the AthFest compilation album. The album will be released this June to celebrate the 20th annual AthFest Music and Arts Festival. The album is once again being compiled by students from the UGA Music Business Program and Ghostmeat Records. Submission deadline is Feb. 19th so scoot on over to the AthFest site to submit your music online.

AthFest Educates Awards $25,000 in Grants to Athens Teachers and Community Educators

          AthFest Educates announced its winter grant recipients. The organization, dedicated to advancing high-quality music and arts education for Athens area youth in grades k-8 by awarding educators and youth development specialists with the funds they need to provide meaningful arts experience for their students, awarded grants totaling $25,469.  $11,130 was awarded for grants for music and arts programs and experiences, and $14,339 for instruments and equipment, bringing the total to date that AthFest Educates has donated to local teachers and educators to over $236,000. 

          The UGA Performing Arts Center received a $5000 grant for 2,000 Clarke County School District students to attend concerts at the center.  Nuci’s Space received $3,000 to offer five full scholarships to attend Camp Amped.  The Lyndon House Arts Center got $3,130 for 50 5th-8th graders to participate in a portrait photography workshop in collaboration with the Athens Council on Aging that will have participants create portraits of local senior citizens. 

          Chase Street Elementary got $4,250 to purchase contrabass chimes to create an outdoor music garden.  Teachers at Winterville Elementary got $3,410 for musical instruments, as well as $1,226 for display rails to exhibit artwork at the school.  Hilsman Middle School, Timothy Road Elementary and Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle got musical instruments totaling $5.451, including multiple string instruments for their orchestra, ukuleles and electric guitars/ basses and amps for their music programs. 

          A full list of grantees and descriptions of grants are available here.             

          AthFest Educates Executive Director Jill Helme said, “We're continually impressed by the creative ideas we receive and we're excited to support the wide range of music and arts opportunities and experiences that are being made available to Athens youth."   

AthFest Educates Seeks Proposals for 20th Anniversary Mural Project


Public art project will celebrate festival, Athens creative community

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the AthFest Music and Arts Festival, AthFest Educates announced it will commission a large-scale public mural that reflects AthFest Educates’ commitment to music and arts education for youth and the role AthFest has played in shaping the community’s music and arts culture.

The organization, which is dedicated to sustaining and advancing music and arts education for young people in Athens-Clarke County, is requesting proposals from youth-serving organizations interested in producing a mural as part of a multi-month arts program, and from professional artists who would work with that organization’s youth to create the mural. AthFest Educates will invest up to $20,000 to be divided among the youth-serving organization(s) coordinating and operating the youth programming and the professional artist(s) designing and producing the mural with the young people.

AthFest Educates is also requesting proposals from local business property owners interested in donating a highly visible outdoor wall to be used for the large-scale public art mural.

Jill Helme, Executive Director of AthFest Educates said, “we wanted to commemorate this milestone in a way that honors the festival, our community's local artists and artistic culture, and the AthFest Educates mission of supporting music and arts education for youth.  The mural project allows us to proudly showcase the artistic talent of both professional and young emerging artists here in Athens, while also beautifying our great city with a large-scale public art piece that everyone can enjoy.  AthFest lets us put our city's musicians on stage for the community to enjoy and the mural does the same thing for our artists.  We're excited about the mural project and very much look forward to the creativity the project will inspire for youth and adults.” 

The organization will host a public question and answer session to hear from local artists, youth development organizations and businesses interested in applying for this opportunity, on November 16th at 11:00am at the Athens Clarke County Library in Multipurpose Room B.  Proposals to be the youth serving organization, the professional artist or the business partner with the space to donate are due by January 11th and will be selected by February 8th.  The mural will be dedicated on June 24th, the first day of AthFest Music and Arts Festival.

For more information contact AthFest Educates at or (706) 548-1973 

AthFest Educates Awards Grants to Local Teachers and Community Educators for Music and Arts Education


AthFest Educates has announced its fall grant recipients. The organization, dedicated to advancing high-quality music and art education for Athens area youth in grades k-8, awarded grants totaling $26,251.  $11,430 was awarded for grants for music and arts programs and experiences, $14,153 for instruments and equipment, and $668 for professional development related grants.

The largest grant went to the Clarke Middle School music program, which will receive $5,650 worth of instruments, including three 1/4-size double bass and two 1/8-size double bass instruments.  Barrow, JJ Harris, Whit Davis, and Whitehead Elementary schools also will receive music and art equipment grants, as well as Hilsman Middle. 

Other schools receiving grants for professional development, and programs and experiences are Howard B. Stroud Elementary School, W.R. Coile Middle School and Alps Road Elementary.  In addition to public schools, AthFest Educates awards grants to community agencies.  This period AthFest Educates awarded grants to East Athens Community Center for an after-school art program, Experience UGA to bring all CCSD 3rd graders to a live performance of Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales by the UGA Children’s Theatre Troupe, Nuci’s Space for scholarships for Camp Amped After School programs, and the YWCO of Athens for girls in their Summer Girls Club to participate in a week-long drama program.  A full list of grantees and descriptions of their AthFest Educates grant are on the AthFest Educates website

Kitty Meyran, YWCO Executive Director said, “Through a partnership with ACC Leisure Services’ Athens Creative Theatre, this grant will help us introduce our girls to the world of drama through the “Monologues and More” program. This award-winning program developed by Terry Powell, Director of ACT, is designed to help build confidence in public speaking, develop empathy by role-playing, improve our campers’ verbal skills, and more.  We are thrilled and honored that AthFest Educates is helping to support this effort.”

The awards this grant cycle brings the total to date that AthFest Educates has donated to local teachers and educators to $211,000.  

AthFest Educates Receives Grant From Georgia Council for the Arts

Funds Will Be Used to Improve Production of AthFest, Celebrate 20th Anniversary

ATHENS, July 8, 2015—AthFest Educates was awarded a $5,000 grant from Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) today as part of its Partner and Project grant funding for fiscal year 2016.

Jill Helme, AthFest Educates Executive Director, said the funding, “will allow us to make the AthFest Music and Arts festival even better in 2016 with some production improvements, and add some special projects to mark and celebrate the festival’s 20th anniversary!”  She added, “we are thrilled that the council recognizes the important contribution that AthFest Educates makes by holding the annual festival, showcasing the artists and musicians of the area and celebrating the colorful and collaborative creative scene here, while also raising money to help strengthen the next generation of artists.”

GCA executive director Karen Paty said, “We are proud to be able to support the work of organizations around the state that exemplify the role of the arts in community development, economic development and education.”

Funds awarded by Georgia Council for the Arts include appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. GCA council members and fellow professionals who are experienced in the arts discipline or type of grant being reviewed or are citizens with a record of arts activities, experience, and knowledge review all the grant applications. Grant recipients include theaters, dance companies, museums, cities, colleges and multi-discipline arts entities.            

AthFest Educates is a non-profit organization that awards grants to local teachers and community educators for music and arts educational programs in public schools and community organizations serving children in kindergarten through 8th grade.

Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) is a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development whose mission is to cultivate the growth of vibrant, thriving Georgia communities through the arts.  The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) plans, manages and mobilizes state resources to attract new business investment to Georgia, drive the expansion of existing industry and small business, inspire tourists to visit Georgia and promote the state as a top destination for arts events and film, music and digital entertainment projects.                                                   

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AthFest Educates 2015 Fall Grant Application Period July 13th to August 21st


AthFest Educates announced the application period for its Fall 2015 grant cycle for local music and arts programs will be open July 13th and close August 21st.  Applications are accepted from individuals from nonprofit organizations, public schools or local or state government agencies serving Athens-Clarke County youth in grades K-8. Funding priority is given to grants for music and arts based non-consumable equipment, programs and experiences, and professional development for educators and/or youth development specialists.  Awards will be announced September 14th and checks mailed September 21st.  The organization awards up to $25,000 per grant cycle. For more information and to apply  Questions email or call (706) 548-1973. 

AthFest Educates holds two annual events—AthFest Music and Arts Festival, and the AthHalf Half Marathon—to raise funds for the organization’s bi-annual grant-making efforts in September and January. To date, AthFest Educates has donated nearly $200,000 in grants to local schools and community programs that promote arts and music education.

Grants are not just for music or arts teachers.  Jill Helme, director of AthFest Educates says, “we firmly believe in the power of music and the arts to develop and deepen young people’s understanding of all core subject areas, not just in music or art class, so we strongly encourage teachers and youth development specialists in our community who want to use music and arts in their teaching of core subject areas or social/emotional skill development to apply for grants as well.” 

AthFest Educates Grantee Brings Shadow Puppetry to Pinewoods

By Jessica Smith

Flagpole Magazine, May 27, 2015

In less than a month, the streets and venues of downtown will swarm with musicians and club crawlers during AthFest, the beloved music and arts festival that contributes not only fun in the sun, but some serious funding for AthFest Educates. The nonprofit, which has awarded nearly $200,000 in grants since 2009, supports the advancement of music and arts education through programs organized by local schools, community organizations and government agencies. 

This past winter, AthFest Educates announced its current wave of recipients, awarding a total of $15,000 in grants towards equipment and cultural programming... An interesting project brings the ancient art of shadow puppetry to the Pinewoods Library—also known as Biblioteca y Centro Educativo de la Communidad de Pinewoods—which is located within a mobile home park predominantly populated by residents of Hispanic heritage. After a three-day workshop, children of the Pinewoods community gave a public performance, in which their handmade, cut-out characters were illuminated from behind a translucent screen. 

Read the full article here.