EARTH WITHOUT ART IS JUST ‘EH’
2019 has been an extraordinary year for Gwinnett’s arts organizations, cultural celebrations, festivals, concerts and city events that keep our weekends busy. Our calendar of events at www.exploregwinnett.org is our most visited page on our website, and it’s easy to see why—one easy location to check out what’s going on this weekend, find free or kid-friendly events or just explore a new city.
As we fall into September and outdoor festivals take a back seat to indoor events, you’ll find dozens of arty events to choose from. So many, in fact, that just a few years ago we officially re-christened October as “ARTober!” ARTober is our month-long celebration of all things arty in Gwinnett. Through ARTober, our goal is to celebrate the arts, engage our visitors in local arts, elevate events by adding nightlife elements and highlight through social media, email marketing and website the 100+ arts, cultural and entertainment events going on in Gwinnett during the month. ARTober Gwinnett also coincides with National Arts + Humanities Month.
From the youngest budding artist on up, whether your passion is literary arts or great films, ARTober truly has something for everyone in Gwinnett. Mark your calendar for our new, 2019 ARTober events, perfect for a unique visitor experience, date night or girls’ night out:
Spirits & Spirits: Ghost Stories & Cocktails – At this adultsonly event, head over to the Aurora Theatre mainstage for an evening of spooky stories by the Parsec award-winning podcast, The Wicked Library, featuring dramatic tellings of horror fiction stories from independent and best-selling authors, all while enjoying craft cocktails. Join us for a cultured and clever way for adults to celebrate the Halloween season. Monday, October 14, 8 p.m., $25 recommended advance purchase.
Books & Brews – Enjoy an evening of Books, Beer and Bluegrass at Suwanee’s new StillFire Brewing. In partnership with the Gwinnett County Public Library and Explore Gwinnett, learn about Prohibition in Atlanta from local experts and authors Ron Smith and
Mary O. Boyle while listening to Bluegrass melodies from Lost Horizon. First pours on Explore Gwinnett (for the first 100 attendees!). Tuesday, October 29. Doors open 6:30 p.m., Free admission (GCPL library card, available for on-site sign up)
Words & Wine – Once again in partnership with the Gwinnett County Public Library, sip wine, gaze at works of fine art and enjoy a reading from author Kevin Begos’ book “Tasting the Past” at the R. Alexander Fine Art Gallery in Peachtree Corners. Friday, October 11. Doors open at 6 p.m., Wine + cheese included, Free Admission, GCPL Library card, available for on-site sign up
Hogwarts at the Hudgens – Come out for some magical family fun at the Hudgens Center for Art & Learning. All ages welcome as the Hudgens transforms into Hogwarts for the night with activities for the whole family. 5-8 p.m., Hudgens Center for Art & Learning, Free Admission.
Suwanee Fine Arts Fest – The North Gwinnett Arts Association (NGAA) is hosting a boutique juried art festival in October, bringing together a mix of talented visual, graphic, digital and sculpture art, paired with a Chalk Walk and diverse food vendors. For ARTober, we’ll take it up a notch with Parisian buskers and glassblowers, showcasing eclectic artists from far and wide. October 5-6, Noon, Town Center Park, Suwanee
Other ARTober events we partner with and highly recommend include the 16th annual Norcross Art Splash and Wine Festival, adding a wine component to the whimsical and fun arts festival where arts vendors line the downtown streets of Historic Norcross. The Snellville Fall Festival (October 19) brings an old-fashioned arts flavor to the community, with hayrides, scarecrows, arts, crafts and musical entertainment all day long.
Design art is showcased in ARTober at the Light Up Norcross Lantern and Costume Parade. From DIY lanterns to custom, professionally made lanterns, Norcross will light up the night on October 19.
Nightly in October, take a scary stroll at the Lawrenceville Ghost Tours or face your fears at the expanded and awardwinning Netherworld Haunted House. You’ll find Eddie Owen’s Red Clay Music Foundry busy almost every night, with over a dozen concerts in October. We can’t wait to see “The Roommate” at the Aurora Theatre, as the Jen Silverman penned production is drawing raves from its performances across the country.
With Georgia at the forefront of the entertainment and film world, it’s no wonder the 18th annual Urban Mediamakers Film Festival continues to grow and thrive. Now a weeklong event, film buffs and industry professionals will find film screenings, workshops, script readings and industry networking at various Atlanta, Duluth and Lawrenceville venues. UMFF’S mission is to inform and inspire films by blacks, Latinos, Asians and other cultures.
One of the most awe-inspiring events in ARTober is Diwali, or the “Festival of Lights.” Prepared to be awestruck as the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Lilburn lights up the Gwinnett skyline with fireworks, lights and homages. Truly the cultural highlight of the month, visitors and residents can learn more about the traditions and cultures of the Hindu faith.
Exploregwinnett.org will promote and showcase a full range of arts, cultural and entertainment events on our ARTtober events calendar—that’s over 125 events to look forward to. We can’t wait to celebrate all that literary, visual, performing, musical and entertainment arts bring to Gwinnett, elevating every experience that our cities and county offer. Pablo Picasso summed it up best of all: simply put, “art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Lisa is the Executive Director of Explore Gwinnett, Gwinnett’s official tourism office, and also serves as Gwinnett’s Camera Ready/film liaison representative to Georgia’s film/TV industry