AthFest Awarded $30,000 NEA Grant

Photo Credit: Whitley Carpenter

Sam Burchfield performs at the 2019 AthFest Music and Arts Festival.

AthFest Educates, which presents the AthFest Music and Arts Festival each summer, has been awarded a $30,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the local nonprofit announced Wednesday in a press release.

The grant is one of more than 1,100 the NEA has already awarded this year to arts organizations around the country, totaling over $27 million.

The Art Works grant “supports projects that focus on public engagement with, and access to, various forms of excellent art across the nation; and the integration of the arts into the fabric of community life,” says the press release.

“The award is a testament to the importance AthFest plays not only in our community, but also in our state, and to the thousands of volunteer hours committed each year to making it happen,” says AthFest Educates Director Jill Helme.

Critically, the money will allow the festival to book higher-profile musical acts that were previously out of its budget, as well as enabling other upgrades, says Helme.

“AthFest has always paid every musician who play[s] the festival, and with this grant we’ll increase that rate for every artist,” she says. “We will also use the award to increase some of the production aspects to make AthFest more enjoyable and comfortable for attendees.”

The 2020 AthFest takes place June 26–28 in downtown Athens. As is tradition, the festival will kick off with the Flagpole Athens Music Awards at the Morton Theatre on Thursday, June 25. Musicians hoping to perform at this year’s AthFest can apply now via the festival website


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