Photo Credit: Karica Smith
The sixth annual Athens Hip Hop Awards took place last night, with this year's event placing a special emphasis on activism. Local performers, politicians and community organizers gathered for a full evening of music and much more, in an effort to celebrate local hip hop and the community that supports it.
Read more about the awards here. Below, check out this year's winners:
Photo Credit: Stacey-Marie Piotrowski
Just as Athens' event calendar revs up to full speed this time of year, local bands seem to drop new music left and right at the first signs of springtime. To wit, here are three recent tunes from across the stylistic spectrum, each of which is worthy of your attention.
It's the Year of the Dog—or Dawg, if you prefer—and the State Botanical Garden helped usher in the lunar new year with a celebration Saturday featuring crafts, food, storytelling, music and more.
Flagpole photographer Jessica Silverman captured the festivities, but if you missed them, don't worry: more are on the way, thanks to a Big Read project sponsored by the University of Georgia Department of Language and Literacy Education and the National Endowment for the Arts. This year's Big Read is based around To Live by Yu Hua and the work of the young-adult novelist Grace Lin.
After a day of service and other Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities, thousands of Athens residents gathered downtown for the second annual MLK Day parade, organized by the Athens Anti-Discrimination Coalition. Hundreds marched while a diverse group of thousands more watched, and the parade was followed by a festival with kids' activities, a market for black-owned businesses, food trucks and live music at the Hot Corner, historically Athens' center of African-American life.
Flagpole photographer Nicole Adamson documented the scene:
The Downtown Parade of Lights is perennially one of the most family-friendly and diverse events in Athens, and this year was no different. Sure, there were a few hiccups—one of George Bugg's classic cars stalled out with Mayor Nancy Denson riding shotgun; a runaway camel that wasn't really feeling being dressed like a dinosaur—but in the end, a good time was had by all. Except this little girl:
Photo Credit: Nate Harris
In response to the shooting at a church in Texas on Nov. 5 that killed 26 people, members of the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America gathered at City Hall in Athens on Saturday for a vigil for the victims, as well as a call to action.
The event, deeply rooted in faith, began at First A.M.E. Church before marchers made their way through downtown to City Hall. Many of the roughly 40 people held signs calling for an end to gun violence and a repeal of Georgia's campus carry law. During the procession, the group sang in unison, and was greeted by a church choir on the front steps of City Hall.
At City Hall, state Rep. Spencer Frye (D-Athens) and others local leaders and gun safety advocates spoke to the crowd about the need for a solution to gun violence.
Photo Credit: Andrew D. Hurley/Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Nate Harris
With the Nov. 7 special election drawing nearer, the candidates for state House districts 117 and 119 met Monday night for one final forum, organized by the Athens-Clarke County Federation of Neighborhoods at the ACC Library.
Candidates running in both districts responded to prepared questions from a Federation representative; much to the disappointment of both attendees and some of the candidates, they did not field questions from the audience, nor did they debate the topics.
Republican Houston Gaines and Democrat Deborah Gonzalez took to the stage first, starting out with their legislative priorities. For Gaines, that includes fostering business and economic growth while addressing education and transportation issues; for Gonzalez, improvements to education and public health, she said, would lead to improvements in other areas as well, including crime and mass incarceration.
Halloween came early on Sunday as hundreds of people lined the boulevards of Boulevard for the second annual Boo-le-Bark dog parade. Costumed canines and their humans enjoyed popsicles, food-truck munchies, iced coffee and music from the Rev. Connor Tribble at Jittery Joe's Roasting Co., all to benefit Athens Pets, a local organization that places lost and abandoned animals with new homes. Flagpole intern Nicole Adamson was there to document the decorated doggos.
With Hurricane Irma looming, hundreds of people still turned out for the annual Athens PRIDE Festival—the culmination of PRIDE Week—featuring music, speakers, local businesses and political groups, and a drag show. Flagpole photo intern Jessica Silverman documented the scene.
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