The Savannah Urban Arts Festival is blowing through Savannah for the 3rd time since being founded in 2009 as the southeast regions only festival that celebrates local and regional artist. This years festival will include poetry, visual arts, film screenings and plenty of live music from artist from all across the southeast region and from around the world. The festival is set for April 17-24th at various venues around the Savannah area. (See festival schedule)
SUAF (pronounced “swaf”) as it is has been fondly dubbed by festival founders, is an 8-day series of of live performances, forums, workshops and film screenings presented as a celebration of the diverse styles of art, and music, that have developed in urban culture. At SUAF you are just as likely to see a rap group, as you are to see a rock band, a unique attribute of the event that sets it apart from all other festivals in the region. SUAF is also the festival with a conscious, always seeking to be strong advocates for up and coming artist. The event is presented by an all volunteer staff of community artist and promoters, lead by All Walks of Life, Inc., working together to make Savannah a cultural destination and to build the communities collective creative capital.
One of this year’s high- lights will include a performance by Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Anthony David, who released a new solo album As Above, So Below on 3/22/11. Raised in Savannah, Anthony moved to Atlanta after a short stint in the US Army, and began pursuing his career in music. Immediately upon arriving, Anthony met India Arie, and began penning songs and performing locally, gaining a large local following. David wrote “Part of my Life”, on Arie’s Grammy award winning album Acoustic Soul, as well as producing tunes on her follow up albums, and toured with her as a backing vocalist. His last album Acey Duecey was namedropped by First Lady Michelle Obama during an interview with Marie Claire.
This year’s festival will also feature a week-long workshop for youth called “Spoken Dance” that will be taught by award-winning poet/educator Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and explore the relationship between dance movements and spoken word poetry performance.
In the Fall of 2007, Bamuthi graced the cover of Smithsonian Magazine after being named one of America’s Top Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences. He is the artistic director of the 7-part HBO documentary “Russell Simmons presents Brave New Voices” and an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, which annually recognizes 50 of the country’s “greatest living artists”.
The third featured artist during the festival will be award winning local hip hop group KidSyc@ Brandywine. Since forming the group last year (they debuted during
SUAF), KidSyc@Brandywine won both the Sweetwater GearFest award during the summer of 2010, and the Georgia Lottery’s All Access Music Search, in which the band was honored with the title of “best hip hop group” earlier this year. Featuring local rapper/ educator Lloyd “KidSyc” Harold along with the quartet Brandywine, featuring bass player Charles Hodge, drummer Derrick Larry, guitarist Daniel Butler and keyboard player Lane Gardner.
Alongside the featured artists will be a variety of artists from around the region and the world. This year’s applications came from as far as France, along with artists representing Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Kentucky and beyond.
As always, the festival strives to feature top notch local and regional talent in a variety of venues, including several all-ages events. SUAF is a pass-the-hat production, and relies on donations from attendees as well as support from sponsors and supporters like Cricket Wireless, Paragon Design, The City of Savannah, Muse Arts Warehouse, the Creative Coast, WSAV, Comcast and many more.
SUAF is the only festival that runs entirely off the kindness of community volunteers that support our local and regional artist. If you have a few hours to spare during the week of the festival then please fill out our SUAF 2011 Online Volunteer Form.
Visit www.savannahurbanartsfestival.com for more information.