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The Heart of Albany Festival Is Nov 4 at the Albany Museum of Art

Formerly ChalkFest, the fall art festival will be held at the Albany Museum of Art

Now in its sixth year, the Albany Museum of Art’s fall celebration of art, music, and craft beer has a brand-new name—The Heart of Albany Festival—and a new location. The festival will be held from 10 am-5 pm on Saturday, Nov 4, 2023, on the grounds of the AMA, 311 Meadowlark Drive. Admission is free for everyone.

“The Albany Museum of Art strives to be a clubhouse for our beloved Albany community, and hosting The Heart of Albany Festival at the museum is an excellent way to demonstrate that commitment to all we serve,” said AMA Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf, Ph.D. “Certainly, art is at the heart of a thriving community that cares for mutual well-being and safe spaces for creativity. The new name reminds us that when we let the heart guide us, we see that beauty is still around us in sharing with each other this art-filled day. We also plan to incorporate more art experiences for those who attend this annual celebration.”

The James M. Barnett, Jr. Foundation is returning as a presenting sponsor for the festival, which again will feature professional and amateur chalk artists, live music and entertainment, craft beer and other libations, food trucks, and vendors.

“We shall continue to bring in world-class professional chalk artists to create large artwork on the pavement, but we are incorporating other captivating art media as well,” Wulf said. “The festival began moving in that direction last year with the additions of the glass-blowing demonstrations by the talented art students from Georgia Southwestern State University and the steamroller printing demonstrations by Columbus artist Chris Johnson. As this event grows, we want to expose festival goers to a wide variety of exciting, engaging art.”

Professional chalk artists from Georgia and neighboring states will create 50-square-foot or larger artworks on pavement while festival-goers watch. The Best of Show winner, who receives a cash prize of $100, will be announced at the end of the event. Amateur artists and school and organization groups are invited to register for free to create smaller artworks. They will compete for Best of Show bragging rights in their respective categories.

“One of the reasons we moved the festival up to the first Saturday in November is some schools were not able to participate because of the Thanksgiving holidays that immediately followed last year’s ChalkFest,” AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said. “We want to include as many kids and students as possible, and give them the opportunity to create art side-by-side with professional artists.”

A popular aspect of the annual festival is the vendor village, where artists and businesses sell their art and products. This year, the vendor fee will be waived for artists who agree to do demonstrations throughout the day. Artists who would like to do demos in addition to selling their work may contact Vanoteghem HERE.

“Last year, we had 2,500 people come through during the day, so the festival is terrific exposure for artists and businesses that want to get their art and products out in front of a large group of people,” AMA Director of Development and Membership Chloe Hinton said. “The timing is also perfect with the holiday shopping season just getting underway.”

Space also is available for food trucks. Links to applications may be found on the AMA website. Food truck operators with questions may contact AMA operations Director Jazzmond Kendricks HERE.

The Heart of Albany Festival will continue to present live entertainment throughout the day, and information on the lineup will be announced soon, Hinton said.

Beverage selections also will be expanded for adults who want to enjoy a beer, a cocktail, or a glass of wine while watching chalk artists create artwork on the pavement, listening to music, or browsing vendors.

“We have received feedback from those who have attended previous ChalkFests, and we have listened,” Hinton said. “We are adding to our offerings, and when the libation stations open at noon, festival goers who are 21 and older will be able to purchase all-inclusive wristbands or individual drink tickets this year.”

Sponsorships are available for The Heart of Albany Festival, Hinton said. In addition to the James M. Barnett, Jr. Foundation, Adams Exterminators has signed on as a chalk block sponsor.

“The Heart of Albany Festival is an event of unity, creativity, and goodwill that reflects positively on the community and the companies and organizations that support it,” Hinton said. “Our generous sponsors enable us to present a lovely outdoor event on a pleasant fall Saturday. We appreciate our sponsors, and so do those who enjoy the day that’s filled with wonderful art, music, food, and fellowship.”

More information about The Heart of Albany Festival will be available soon. Updates will be posted on the AMA website, and on AMA social media accounts.

Glassblowing was added at the 2022 AMA ChalkFest. Rechristened the Heart of Albany Festival, Albany Museum of Art organizers are working to expand the art offerings at the annual fall festival.