84th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival Postponed

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

The Atlanta Dogwood Festival has been closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and has remained in ongoing communication with the City of Atlanta and other local officials to determine the safest way to move forward with the festival. In light of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ state of emergency and prohibition of public gatherings of more than 250 through the end of the month, festival organizers have determined that this year’s festival, which was scheduled to take place April 17 – 19, will be postponed.
Organizers are working with the City to find alternate dates for the 84th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival.
“This was a difficult decision, but we feel it provides the highest level of safety for our artists, performers, vendors and attendees,” said Brian Hill, festival executive director. “We recognize that the Atlanta Dogwood Festival has been an important springtime tradition for more than eight decades, and our ultimate goal is to see this continue for the 84th year, once conditions improve. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during this public health crisis as we make the necessary adjustments for the health and safety of all participants.”
Since 1936, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival has celebrated the blooming of the dogwoods. In recent years, welcoming 200,000+ attendees to Piedmont Park, the event has brought visitors from the metro area, nearby states and even farther to enjoy the three-day outdoor arts festival and support nearby neighborhood businesses. Fine art, live entertainment, family activities and blooming dogwood trees have made the festival an annual favorite.
This year, the nonprofit festival launched two fundraising initiatives to support its youth visual arts programs that benefit many metro Atlanta high schools. Because both fundraising campaigns are virtual, they will continue, and all net proceeds will directly benefit high school artists, teachers and programming.
For the first time, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival presents the Online Art Auction, which takes place at https://dogwood.org/2020-art-auction/. Featuring works from a bevy of the 2020 festival Artist Market participants, the Online Art Auction offers the public the chance to see, bid and win in advance of the festival. Most of the pieces have been offered at starting bids below – sometimes far below – retail, and all net proceeds from the auction directly support the arts in Atlanta-area high schools.
In a second effort to raise funds for its high school arts programs, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival presents its first-ever No-Show Ball, a humorous take on the fundraising gala that asks supporters to “stay home for a good cause.” Rather than requiring attendees to spend money on a new gown or tux, and in lieu of the festival renting an expensive venue, the No-Show Ball simply requests that supporters make an online donation. In this way, 100% of the donations will go directly to the youth arts programs. “Tickets” are available at https://dogwood.org/product/no-show-ball-donate/.
For a fantastic evening in, arts lovers can even participate in the No-Show Ball and Online Art Auction at the same time – right from the comfort of their sofa, while wearing pajamas, ordering in and binge watching their favorite shows.
Since the early 1970s, the Atlanta High School Art Exhibition (AHSAE) has offered young artists the opportunity to compete, exhibit their work and earn prizes like scholarships and art supplies. Last year, the juried ASHAE drew 850 submissions from 70+ schools, and the top 149 works were featured in the show held throughout the festival in the Community Center near the 12th Street entrance to Piedmont Park. The Art Throwdown is a live art competition that takes place during the festival on the lawn in front of the Community Center and features teams of high school artists battling it out in contests like sketching and creating group multimedia projects.
The Atlanta Dogwood Festival underwrites the costs for these onsite events and provides supplies for art educators throughout the year.