Opening in



September 4 – September 6

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art|DBF returns to the AJC Decatur Book Festival in 2015 to showcase the arts and culture community of Decatur and surrounding Atlanta area. Curated by, metro Atlanta’s online guide to arts and cultural entertainment, this year’s program presents a diverse group of artists and arts organizations who will actively engage festival attendees of all ages through performances, installations, and interactive elements.

art|DBF celebrates that storytelling, the sharing of new ideas, the creation of characters, and the transportation of audiences to places both real and imagined not only happens in the pages of a book but also within museums, on stages, in film and video, on the streets, on the walls of buildings, and everywhere else you find artists and creators working.

Now in its third year, art|DBF continues to recognize the role of the arts as a driver for a vibrant, creative, and economically thriving community. art|DBF believes that by elevating the visibility of the arts—literary, visual, and performing—and connecting the public with these cultural opportunities, we can work to ensure the long-term sustainability of a strong arts community.

What will result from this meetup between the literary and art worlds?
Conversation. Collaboration. Activation. Creation. Transformation. Celebration.

art|DBF 2015 Overview

  • art|DBF Stage Performances: Theatrical performances will take place on various festival main stages throughout the weekend.
  • Outdoor/Pop-Up Performances: Interactive theatre, demonstrations and music performances will take place both around the art|DBF area and throughout the festival.
  • art|DBF Atlanta Planit Pavilion: The main hub for art|DBF is located on the Square this year with a dedicated arts neighborhood for local arts and cultural organizations to promote upcoming exhibitions, artists and performance seasons.
  • Art Installations: Festival attendees can encounter site-specific art installations in and around the Square.

About Atlanta Planit

Atlanta PlanIt is metro Atlanta's most comprehensive arts and culture calendar. It promotes events from more than 450 arts organizations in the area and helps users easily find events, purchase tickets, and learn about Atlanta's hidden gems, like public art. Atlanta PlanIt is a service of Public Broadcasting Atlanta (WABE 90.1FM/PBA30 TV).

art|DBF 2015 Schedule

Saturday, September 5

Serenbe Playhouse - 10:00–10:45 a.m.

Community Bandstand
Children's Programming
The Secret Garden

Greet the Decatur Book Festival and art|DBF with the triumphant tale of Mary Lennox and her secret garden. The show is a world premiere adaptation by Rachel Teagle for Serenbe Playhouse based on the Frances Hodgson Burnett novel about a girl left aimless in a foreign world without the guiding voices of her parents, and only her headstrong nature and loyalty to help her along the way.

The Wishing Jar - 11:00–11:30 a.m.

Community Bandstand
Children's Programming

Atlanta-based singer/songwriters Amber Humphries and Candi Shelton are the musical duo behind The Wishing Jar. Combining beauty, whimsy, and a touch of vintage flair, The Wishing Jar is all about making music for families to enjoy together and pass down for generations. Their first album "Until Tomorrow" is a collection of lullabies and has a corresponding children's book.

Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta - 12:00–12:30 p.m.

Community Bandstand
Children's Programming
Happily Never After

In this mini-musical from The Children's Museum's Imaginators, twins Sky and Raven learn what it takes to create a fairy tale of their own. However, they find out that they must save the endings of all fairy tales from a battle between another set of twins—Evil-Is and Good-I-Am. If they cannot find a prince and princess to help them out, all of the world's fairy tales will have an unhappy ending forever. Join the Imaginators and find out if this story will end happily... or unhappily ever after.

Alliance Theatre - 12:30–1:15 p.m.

Decatur Recreation Center Studio
Theatre for the Very Young—PLAY the PLAY with CAT the CAT

Based on Mo Willem's beloved CAT the CAT series, this play explores the often terrifying experience of making a new friend. Using the rhyming and simple language of the books, this theatrical experience invites young audiences to identify Cat the Cat's parade of animal friends, mimic their animal sounds, and even learn a new language! When Cat the Cat meets a newcomer on the scene, the audience shares in the nerves and joy of the experience, and ultimately makes a room full of new friends themselves.

7 Stages - 1:00–1:30 p.m.

Community Bandstand
Curious (Literary) Encounters - The Great Gatsby Circus

Imperial OPA Circus peresents a twist on the story of “The Great Gatsby.” Roving characters from The Great Gatsby Circus share scenes of drama, betrayal and secrecy through stiltwalking and acrobatics. After wandering the festival grounds, the performers make their way to the Community Bandstand for a finale performance.

Atlanta History Center - 1:45–2:30 p.m.

Decatur Library
Tomorrow is Another Day

A fictional exploration of the day before the Atlanta premiere of the move “Gone with the Wind.” Meet the novelist Margaret Mitchell in this staged reading and learn about her life and creative process as they collide at the intersection of gender, race and memory.

Théâtre du Rêve - 2:30–3:00 p.m.

Community Bandstand

Théâtre du Rêve (Theater of the Dream) brings fables from around the French-speaking world to life for audiences young and old. Stories will be told in English with some new French vocabulary sprinkled in. Audience participation encouraged!

Synchronicity Theatre - 3:00–3:45 p.m.

Historic Courthouse
Beyond Reasonable Doubt - The Troy Davis Project

Local playwright Lee Nowell's world premiere presents a balanced investigation of divergent and deeply-held beliefs on race, justice and the death penalty through the lives of her characters. Synchronicity Theatre presents a staged reading of scenes from the show along with a conversation about race and justice and tackling these issues in a balanced manner. Discussion will be led by Dina Bailey of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, playwright Lee Nowell and director Rachel May.

Serenbe Playhouse - 3:45–4:30 p.m.

Community Bandstand
A Cabaret

Serenbe Playhouse company members present an afternoon cabaret performance on the Community Bandstand.

Baha’i Local Spiritual Assembly — 5:00–5:30 p.m.

Community Bandstand
Education is Not a Crime

Learn about the plight of Baha’is and other minorities in Iran who are denied education and prosecuted for developing their own underground education system in this short play that fights for education and against censorship.

Alysia Burton Steele — 5:30–6:15 p.m.

Decatur First United Methodist Chapel State
Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother's Wisdom

Inspired by the memories of her beloved grandmother, photographer and author Alysia Burton Steele—picture editor on a Pulitzer Prize-winning team—combines heart-wrenching narrative with poignant photographs of more than 50 female church elders in the Mississippi Delta. With the help of local pastors, Steele recorded these living witnesses to history and folk ways and shares the significance of being a Black woman—child, daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother in Mississippi—a Jewel of the Delta.

Sunday, September 6

High Museum of Art — 12:00–12:30 p.m.

Community Bandstand and art|DBF Pavilion
Children's Programming
Storytelling on the Bandstand

Join the High Museum of Art for a variety of activities related to the special exhibition “Seriously Silly! The art & whimsy of Mo Willems,” currently on view through January 10, 2016. Featuring illustrations by acclaimed children's book author Mo Willems, this kid-friendly exhibition celebrates Willems' career and beloved characters. They'll bring The Pigeon, Elephant and Piggie, and Knuffle Bunny to life with Storytelling on the Bandstand book readings. Plus, get decked out with Pigeon temporary tattoos and participate in Mo-themed crafts! It's sure to be Seriously Silly!

Synchronicity Theatre — 12:45–1:15 p.m.

Community Bandstand and art|DBF Pavilion
Children's Programming
Fancy Nancy — The Musical

Synchronicity Theatre presents a musical adaption of the beloved “Fancy Nancy” children's book series, “Fancy Nancy the Musical.” In the show, Fancy Nancy and her best friend, Bree, can't wait to star as mermaids in their school's ballet production of “Deep Sea Dances.” But when Nancy is cast as a boring tree instead of the glamorous mermaid, can she stay true to her beliefs that anyone can be fancy?

ARTSATL - 1:15–2:00 p.m.

Decatur Library
ARTSATL in Conversation: A Look at Nexus Press

Nexus Press, which published a kaleidoscopic array of artists' books between 1973 and 2003, was a unique and prestigious chapter of Atlanta's art history. ArtsATL presents a conversation with those who shepherded the press about its adventurous spirit and leadership role in the evolution of artists' books. provides comprehensive coverage of the arts in metro Atlanta with reviews, news and commentary on Atlanta's vibrant arts scene.

Soul Food Cypher - 1:30–2:00 p.m.

Community Bandstand
Cypher on the Bandstand

Soul Food Cypher utilizes the craft of freestyle lyricism to transform the lives of individuals and their communities. As an organization, they look to change the negative perceptions off rap through their cypher events, membership prgrams, and community outreach. During this performance, emcees and invited members of the audience will freestyle based on images and words inspired by the 2015 DBF program.

7 Stages - 2:30–3:15 p.m.

Decatur Recreation Center Studio
Curious (Literary) Encounters - The Joy Luck Club Interactive Mah-Jongg Parlor

7 Stages Theatre presents an interactive performance from Atlanta ensemble Found Stages where audiences will join The Joy Luck Club's weekly Mahjong game. Characters from the novel serve tea, teach the game (approximately 13 minutes), and share a story from the book. The stories are theatrical in nature, but the experience is intimate, personal and authentic as the audience is drawn into the character's world.

Norman Giradot - 2:30–3:15 p.m.

Marriott Conference Center Ballroom C
Envisioning Howard Finster: The Religion and Art of a Stranger from Another World

The reverend Howard Finster (1916–2001) was called the “backwoods William Blake” and the “Andy Warhol of the South,” and he is considered the godfather of contemporary American folk and visionary art. Envisioning Howard Finster by Norman Girardot is the first interpretive analysis of the intertwined artistic and religious significance of Finster's work within the context of the American “outsider art” tradition. Finster began preaching as a teenager in the South in the 1930s. But it was not until he received a revelation from God at the age of sixty that he began to make sacred art.

Mercy Street - 3:15–3:45 p.m.

Community Bandstand

Mercy Street is a trio of seasoned Atlanta area acoustic singer-songwriters—Ashley Filip, Ben Wakeman and Allison Adams—who together weave rich sonic tapestries of stories, poetry and music. Their blends of guitars, mandolin, ukulele and vocal harmonies wraps around songs along with a wide range of themes such as the mysteries of space, death and laundry, and the wisdom of a life well lived. Upbeat, witty, thoughtful and literate, Mercy Street will engage your mind and heart and leave you humming.

Serenbe Playhouse - 3:45–4:45 p.m.

Marriott Ballroom A
Scenes from Sleepy Hollow

Enter a bone-chilling world in this mini preview of Serenbe Playhouse’s top-selling show “The Sleepy Hollow Experience.” The show returns for its third bone-chilling season on the Serenbe grounds Oct. 1 through Nov. 1 and is a full immersion into the haunted world of Ichabod Crane, his love Katrina, and the Headless Horseman.

Atlanta Shakespeare Company — 4:30–5:00 p.m.

Community Bandstand

Members of the Atlanta Shakespeare Company present some of the most famous scenes/monologues from Shakespeare’s canon. Comedies, tragedies and histories will all be represented in the selected pieces, satisfying audiences of all kinds. Representative of the signature “Original Practice” style of the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, this performance will “pop up” at the Community Bandstand with all actors appearing in fabulous Elizabethan costume.

St. Thomas More Church’s Theatre Ministry — 5:30–6:00 p.m.
Songs from “The Music Man”

Community Bandstand

See scenes from the upcoming production of “The Music Man” at St. Thomas Church’s Theatre Ministry. Adults and children from the show will sing and dance to some of the show’s most popular songs, including, of course, “Marian the Librarian.”

Pop-Up Performances/Art Installations

7 Stages — Saturday - 12:00–3:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00–3:00 p.m.

Curious (Literary) Encounters - The Great Gatsby Circus

Imperial OPA Circus presents a twist on the story of “The Great Gatsby.” Jugglers and fire breathers interact and perform along with characters and the plot of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic tale while wandering the festival grounds.

Atlanta Shakespeare Company — Saturday 3:30–4:15 p.m. and Sunday 2:15–3:00 p.m.

Members of the Atlanta Shakespeare Company present some of the most famous scenes/monologues from Shakespeare's canon. Comedies, tragedies and histories will all be represented in the selected pieces, satisfying audiences of all kinds. Representative of the signature “Original Practice” style of the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, these performances “pop up” in and around visitors to the festival, and, of course, all actors will appear in fabulous Elizabethan costume during each performance.

Atlanta Celli — Sunday 1–1:45 p.m.

Atlanta Celli is a group of four classically-trained cellists who push the boundaries of traditional cello music. The cellists will “pop up” throughout the festival grounds to perform an array of pieces, from artists like The Beatles to Taylor Swift; all performed exclusively with four cellists.

Guerilla Haiku Movement & Out of Hand Theater — Saturday and Sunday

The Guerilla Haiku Movement is a public art experience that has traveled to more than 40 cities across the country, joining communities in spontaneous interaction and dialogue through the creative, succinct and powerful use of haiku. With street names of Out of Hand Theater members and other “Agents of Haiku,” the Guerilla Haiku Movement will cover the festival grounds with sidewalk chalk haikus, written by festival-goers in response to their experiences at author talks and other art|DBF performances. Festival-goers can also create and display haikus at “Haiku Central,” located in the art|DBF Atlanta PlanIt pavilion on the Decatur Square.

Meg Mitchell — Saturday and Sunday

Live Chalk Art

Meg Mitchell is an Atlanta artist who has been creating one-of-a-kind chalk art for almost 6 years. This year at art|DBF, she will recreate a famous book cover in chalk on the sidewalk of the Decatur Square. Festival-goers can watch the process on Saturday and interact with the finished piece on Sunday.

#WELOVEATL — Saturday and Sunday

Mobile Gallery

#weloveatl inspires and empowers people in the Atlanta area to come together and share their love of the city through photography and other visual art. Started in Oct 2012 as a way to curate images from the Instagram community for an art show at a local gallery, the #weloveatl movement has grown to include 100,000+ images tagged and 10,000+ people connected by a love of their city. The #weloveatl mobile gallery is on location all weekend at the Decatur Book Festival, located near the art|DBF Atlanta PlanIt pavilion and Community Bandstand.

Decatur Arts Alliance - Saturday - 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday - 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

The Gallery at The Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur (101 W. Court Square)
The Book as Art v3.0: No Jacket Required

The Decatur Arts Alliance, in conjuction with the gallery at The Art Institute of Atlanta-Decatur, presents the third edition of the juried exhibition, “The Book as Art,” to art|DBF. Artist books take many forms—from handmade and lusciously tactile to linear and informative; abstract and questioning to sculptural and monumental. “The Book as Art” again emphasizes the art form that can be a delight to the eye, a pleasure to the hand, and made tangible in forms that introduce us not only to new interpretations of an ancient concept but also to questions and ideas on 21st century form and format.

art|DBF Atlanta PlanIt Pavilion Exhibitors

Atlanta Planit
Atlanta PlanIt is metro Atlanta's most comprehensive arts and culture calendar. It promotes events from more than 450 arts organizations in the area and helps users easily find events, purchase tickets and learn about Atlanta's hidden gems, like public art. Atlanta PlanIt is a service of Public Broadcasting Atlanta (WABE 90.1FM, PBA30 TV).

7 Stages
7 Stages is a professional, non-profit theatre company devoted to engaging artists and audiences by focusing on the social, political, and spiritual values of contemporary culture. 7 Stages gives primary emphasis to international work and the support and development of new plays, new playwrights, and new methods of collaboration. The 2015–16 season includes “Curious (Literary) Encounters,” where seven Atlanta artists and ensembles create original, interactive work based on famed works of literature.

Atlanta Chamber Players
The Atlanta Chamber Players, a mixed ensemble of strings, winds and piano, were founded in 1976 and are celebrating their 40th Anniversary Season in 2015–2016. The ensemble has earned a national reputation as a pioneer among chamber groups and is widely respected among arts organizations in the Southeast.

Arís Theatre
Arís is the Irish word for “Again!” Like the phoenix that is the symbol of the city of Atlanta, Arís (say “ah-REESH”) means to bring back with dramatic fire the Celtic theatrical traditions once so richly enjoyed here. Officially launched in June 2013, Arís was founded by nine talented and enthusiastic members of the Atlanta theatre community, with a collective total of over 200 years experience in the performing arts.

CORE Performance Company
Since 1980, CORE has been creating and performing innovative contemporary dance. Known for its riveting, passionate and unique work, CORE has been internationally acclaimed in its performance, tours and residences in the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala and Sweden. With homes in Atlanta and Houston, CORE creates intimate and original work that evolves through experimentation, improvisation and collaboration with artists from different mediums.

Georgia Museum of Art/Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau
Athens is the home not only of the Georgia Museum of Art (the state's official art museum), but also a wealth of performing and visual arts attractions. Come talk to representatives of the museum and the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau to plan a getaway to Athens, just over an hour away.

Guerilla Haiku Movement
The Guerilla Haiku Movement is a Public Art Experience that has traveled to over 40 cities across the country since April of 2011, joining communities in spontaneous interaction and dialogue through the creative, succinct and powerful use of haiku. Participants, not intimidated by haiku's 5-7-5 syllable structure, head out into their city to cover their neighborhoods with sidewalk-chalked poetry inspired by what they see and experience, and invite passers-by to engage with their own creative process. Conversations happen, memories are made, community is created.

High Museum of Art/The Woodruff Arts Center
The High Museum of Art is the leading art museum in the Southeastern United States. With more than 14,000 works of art in its permanent collection and award-winning architecture by Richard Meier and Renzo Piano, the Museum lies at the heart of the city's arts district. The High is committed to bringing international exhibitions to Atlanta, presenting those in the South with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to see artwork from across the world. The High works alongside the Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as partners in the Woodruff Arts Center to engage the community across all areas of the arts.

Kennesaw State University - Department of Museums, Archives and Rare Books (Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art, The Museum History and Holocaust Education and the Bentley Rare Book Museum)
Discover new ways of thinking through events, exhibitions, and programs at the Department of Museums, Archives and Rare Books (MARB). From viewing a 4000-year old cuneiform tablet to visiting Georgia's newest contemporary art museum, explore the cultural opportunities at Kennesaw State University. Divisions include the Zuckerman Museum of Art, the Museum of History and Holocaust Education, KSU Archives, and the Bentley Rare Book Program. Free and open to the public.

Out On Film
Out On Film, Atlanta's LGBT film festival, celebrates its 28th anniversary this year. One of Atlanta's largest film festivals, as well as one of the largest LGBT film festivals in the United States, it is known for its programming—as well as its embrace of filmmakers. Out On Film has received a grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts &l Sciences for its visiting filmmaker series, and has locally debuted the Cannes Film Festival winner “Pride” and the coming of age story “Blankbird,” starring Oscar winner Mo'Nique. This year's event runs October 1–8 at Landmark's Midtown Art Cinema.

Synchronicity Theatre
Synchronicity Theatre activates communities toward social change through powerful, transformative theatrical experiences. It was founded in 1997 and now reaches nearly 8,000 patrons through its season of plays for adults (Bold Voices) and families (Family Series); community outreach; and educational programming, including Playmaking for Kids (PFK) summer camps and after school programs and the award-winning Playmaking for Girls (PFK) program.

Théâtre du Rêve (Theater of the Dream)
Théâtre du Rêve brings live theater, the French language and Francophone culture to students of all ages. With a team of highly professional, bilingual theater artists, the company had performed classical and contemporary plays and company-created productions to sold out houses and has served more than 8,000 students through workshops and educational programming.

Other art|DBF Exhibitors at DBF

Serenbe Playhouse (Children's Area)
Serenbe Playhouse is a professional theatre company committed to producing bold new works and reinvented classics that connect art, nature and community. Founded in 2009, they are a pioneer in modeling Green Theatre Practices and seek to reduce the barriers between artists and audiences by immersing patrons in an environment that amplifies the beauty of nature, and provides opportunities for engagement, conversation and collaboration.

Center for Puppetry Arts (Children's Area)
Since 1978, the Center for Puppetry Arts has introduced millions of visitors to the wonder and art of puppetry through performances, curriculum-based workshops and its hands-on museum, as well as distance learning and outreach programs. This November, the Center opens its new museum, which includes the world's most comprehensive collection of Jim Henson's puppets and artifacts.

BEAUTIFUL IN EVERY SHADE™ is a grassroots empowerment movement affirming and celebrating the beauty found in every human being. It seems to transform the way everyday people from around the world look at themselves and others. It provides artists an opportunity to connect with their local communities in meaningful ways to harness the power within their art to bring about positive social change. It believes that “none of us are beautiful until we realize that all of us are.” BEAUTIFUL IN EVERY SHADE™ signature projects include 50 Shades of Black, 50 Shades of Latino, Black Men Smile and Typical American Families.

The Children's Museum of Atlanta
The Children's Museum of Atlanta is a smart place to play and a non-profit organization offering a family-friendly space filled with interactive, educational exhibits and programming for children ages 8 and under. The Museum's mission is to spark imagination and inspire discovery and learning for all children through the power of play. The Children's Museum of Atlanta is currently closed for renovations and is expected to unveil its new space in late 2015.