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It’s STRUT Time!
By Carlen Hultgren
It’s STRUT time again, and this year’s festival promises to be full of all the things everyone loves about this annual, free, one-day extravaganza that showcases the hottest in-town neighborhood in Atlanta.
On Saturday, September 24, from 11:00am to 9:00pm, the 19th annual East Atlanta Strut will take place, as usual, in the heart of East Atlanta Village at the intersection of Flat Shoals and Glenwood Avenues.
The Strut Parade starts at 2:00pm at Glenwood and Patterson Avenues. This delightful event features marching bands, floats, scooters, and paraders of all ages, along with the 2016 Strut Queen and her court. From babies to retirees, the neighborhood’s musical and dancing artists take the spotlight.
The festival kicks off with the artists market running from 11:00am to 7:00pm, the kids’ area from 11:00am to 5:00pm, and the music stages from 11:00am until 9:00pm. The Friends of the East Atlanta Library also sponsor a book sale on the day 12:00pm to 4:00pm, on the side of the library at 400 Flat Shoals Avenue.
Food and drink options this year should satiate any palate with a variety of local vendors as well as favorite EAV restaurants offering specials and regular menu items as well. Drinks of the adult and family-friendly varieties will be available all throughout the festival area.
The Strut is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so if your company or organization needs community service hours, this is a great chance to get it done and have fun while helping in a great event. For more information about the festival or volunteering the day of, please visit www.EastAtlantaStrut.com.
18th Strut showcases East Atlanta’s artistic side
Published September 2015
East Atlanta is home to artists of all kinds. The 18th annual East Atlanta Strut on Saturday, Sept. 26, highlights those artists in myriad ways.
On festival day, the Strut will officially present three murals as gifts to the neighborhood. Five artists are giving their time to cover walls that have for years been repeatedly tagged with graffiti.
Heather Greenway and Olive47 will each work on a wall of the Nail Shack on Flat Shoals Avenue. Adrian Barzaga, Catlanta and Squish will each take space on a wall behind the block of buildings that’s home to the Flatiron Restaurant and Bar.
Included in this year’s artists market, which always features artists from the neighborhood, is a scholarship market booth where promising art students from the neighborhood’s high schools can sell their work. Artist Carl Janes, aka Future Ancestors, has volunteered to help students create art live before the nearly 10,000 festival attendees.
East Atlanta is the proverbial “neighborhood in transition.” Although this year it was named by Redfin as one of the hottest neighborhoods of 2015, it’s still home to too many vacant storefronts. The Dahlia Project, run by Maigh Houlihan and Lauren Langley, is prettying up some of those for Strut day with installations that not only highlight area artists, but also highlight the buildings as a great place to start a business.
The Doppler Projects takes that theme one step further, turning a vacant store into a gallery hosting a curated exhibition for the day.
It’s all being shepherded by Strut arts coordinator Davy Minor. Minor created Deer Bear Wolf, a multifaceted platform celebrating and connecting Atlanta’s arts, music, and literary scenes. Minor helped the Strut secure one of 11 neighborhood arts grants distributed by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.
The Strut Parade, at 2 p.m., is where the neighborhood’s musical and dancing artists of all ages take the spotlight, including the Street Strut-off, in which residents build parade floats to brag about their particular part of East Atlanta. Four music stages will feature local musicians throughout the day and evening.
Even the Strut kids area is taking on an artistic theme, building games and entertainment around the “Night at the Museum” films.
All this is run solely by volunteers to highlight East Atlanta as a great place to live, work and play. Sponsors include the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, which awarded the Strut one of 11 neighborhood arts grants, Greyhound Express, Paces Properties, AM1690 and many others.
New this year is Feats and Eats at the Midway, an area featuring games for grownups and contests of culinary overindulgence (Translation: eating contests). The East Atlanta Community Association is embracing the neighborhood’s hipster image by throwing a beard contest in the Feats and Eats area.
The festival kicks off with a 5K run at 8 a.m., one of three races organized by EAV Runfest, which supports Burgess-Peterson elementary school.
The artists market runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the kids area from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the music stages from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. The Friends of the East Atlanta Library also sponsor a book sale on the day. The festival takes place in East Atlanta Village, with the center of the action at Flat Shoals and Glenwood avenues. And don’t forget to Roll Before You Strut, with a classic car show filling the Village on Friday, Sept. 25, starting at 4 p.m.
How the Strut comes together
Published July 2015
For most people, the East Atlanta Strut is one really fun day in late September. But for about 20 volunteers, putting on the Strut is a year-round task that consumes hundreds of hours.
As part of the EAV Strut 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, volunteers send emails, make phone calls, brainstorm, collect supplies, pay bills, recruit sponsors and other volunteers, build games, and then go door to door to let everyone know the festival is coming.
This year East Atlanta will Strut for the 18th time. The festival, on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., attracts nearly 10,000 people for a day of listening to local music, shopping for handmade arts and crafts made by neighborhood artists, running the neighborhood’s challenging hilly streets in EAV Runfest, eating and drinking from some of the best bars and restaurants in Atlanta, watching a crazy quilt of a parade and playing in the adult games or kids games areas.
The Strut is free for visitors, but it’s not cheap or easy to turn a neighborhood business district into a fairground.
In January, the Strut started planning by asking the neighborhood what it wanted in its festival. After several meetings with business and residential neighbors, the Strut resolved to put even more emphasis on the things that make East Atlanta special: its residents and businesses.
In February, the Strut applied for (and later received) one of 11 neighborhood arts grants awarded by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. The plan is for several murals to be done in East Atlanta Village in conjunction with the Strut, a scholarship booth in the artists market to showcase the work of neighborhood art students, and another project or two to showcase EAV’s community of artists of all kinds. The kids area also will focus on the arts, with the theme of “Night at the Museum.”
In March it was time to settle on the various suppliers. There can’t be a Strut without stages, tents, tables, chairs, portable toilets, trash removal services, security, EMS personnel, insurance, electricity and city, state and county permits.
That means by April, the search for sponsors was well underway. Sponsorship packages range from $100 on up, and the Strut is also happy to receive donations in any amount from individuals.
To receive those donations, to let the public know everything else about the Strut, and to allow folks to sign up for the Strut artists market or the Strut Parade, there had to be a Strut website. That required a team of volunteers with the technical skills to create web forms and pretty web pages. See EastAtlantaStrut.com to decide how they did. Another team is focusing on social media.
In May, the Strut put out the call for artists and paraders, but don’t worry, it’s not too late to sign up. Go to that website you just read about.
Summer is here now, and it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty: Which tent goes where? What band is on which stage and when? How many classic cars will be in the parade? Is there enough money in the bank to pay for all this? Will there be enough volunteers on the day to make it all happen?
For 17 years, through rain and blazing sun, it has happened. Whether as an attendee or a volunteer, be sure to come out Sept. 26 and make it happen again.
EAV Scavenger Hunt Returns
By Carlen Hultgren
In support of the EAV Strut set for Saturday, September 26, the Save the Strut neighborhood group has brought back Scavenge for the Strut. Starting at 1:30 pm on Saturday, May 23, teams will get their lists and start the hunt. This is a walking scavenger hunt in and around the village. Families, friends and neighborhood groups are encouraged to join. The excitement starts and ends at Argosy at 470 Flat Shoals in East Atlanta. Teams will meet again at 4:30 pm to collect the booty and see which group has collected the most items.
Teams of four can sign up for $40 per team, all proceeds going to support the continuing effort to keep the Strut in East Atlanta this year and for many years to come. To sign up for this activity, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to find out more information about the effort to keep the Strut going, or to join in the planning or volunteer for the Strut, check out the website www.eastatlantastrut.com or Save the Strut Facebook page.