To honor the contributions of artists who have helped place Athens on the international map as a musical destination, the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission has officially launched the Athens Music Walk of Fame with an announcement of its first 10 inductees. The project reflects a rich musical heritage that predates the indie alternative scene we’re most familiar with today, and recognizes unsung heroes dating from the late nineteenth century.
The Athens Music Walk of Fame will be located downtown within a two-square-block area bound by Pulaski, Washington, Lumpkin and Clayton Streets, and will pass by renowned venues such as the Morton Theatre, 40 Watt Club and Georgia Theatre. Slated to be installed into the sidewalks in early September, the bronze plaques were designed by local artist Allen Sutton to resemble a guitar pick and location pin, a nod to the relationship between music and the special place it was created.
The first round of 10 inductees of the Athens Music Walk of Fame include The B-52s, Danger Mouse (Brian Joseph Burton), Drive-By Truckers, The Elephant 6 Recording Company, Hall Johnson, Neal Pattman, Pylon, R.E.M., Vic Chesnutt and Widespread Panic. These inductees were selected by a committee of local residents who considered “the contribution to the identity of Athens, established career, diverse representation in cultural and racial identity, distinct musical style and historical context.” Additional artists will be selected for induction in future years.
To celebrate the launch of the project, Mayor Kelly Girtz will host a Community Conversation video program with inductees Michael Stipe of R.E.M. and Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers. Airing live on Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m., the video will stream on YouTube (youtube.com/accgov), Facebook (facebook.com/accgov) ACTV Spectrum Channel 180, UGA Cablevision Channel 6 and accgov.com/actvlive. A recording will be available after the live broadcast.
The Athens Music Walk of Fame is funded by the ACAC and supported by community partnerships, including the Athens Downtown Development Authority and the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Arts Division. The ADDA received a Tourism Product Development Grant from the Georgia Department of Economic Development that will fund a mobile app to supplement the walk through sights and sounds associated with each honoree.
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