Atlanta Jewish Music Festival (AJMF)

With music as our inspirational partner, we grow Jewish community and celebrate our heritage through year-round live performance events and dynamic learning programs for the Southeast region. We bring diverse community together for a resounding annual world music Spring Festival (March 2016).

Location: Atlanta , GA
Year founded: 2010

Description

AJMF creates community for people in their 20s and 30s who are interested in world music, contemporary music, Jewish music, Israeli music, and/or great concerts. Despite the focus on this demographic, AJMF consistently attracts other age groups as well, with high rate of participation from people in their 40s and 50s as well as teens. AJMF events, sponsored by local organizations, synagogues and other affinity groups, enable potential audience members, volunteers, supporters and artists to come together to listen and enjoy the best of new Jewish music. AJMF engages and unifies an elusive Jewish demographic that is not inspired by traditional Jewish programming. As an entry point to Atlanta’s Jewish community for young Jews and recent arrivals, AJMF creates a deeper interest in Jewish identity through modern culture. AJMF enriches our entire community through new sounds and timeless melodies.
8th annual Atlanta Jewish Music Festival (AJMF8, March 2017, dates TBD)

About

Our signature event is the Spring Festival, which attracted 3300+ attendees in 2015 (March 12-23, 2015) for 10 events over a 12 day period and will grow to 13-15 events over 18 days in 2016 (dates/events for 2017 TBD). People from all ages, backgrounds, affiliations and denominations attended the 2015 Spring Festival, including Jews and non-Jews. Throughout the festival, audience members had the opportunity to engage with local artists and vendors in a casual, informal environment.  Future Spring Festivals will build on the success of previous Spring Festivals, bringing in new artists and reaching greater audiences with similar appealing programming, while helping to further establish Atlanta as the Jewish cultural hub of the South.

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What is the mission and purpose of this program?

Our mission is to inspire community through the transcendent power of Jewish musci

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Program Description








The 2015 Spring Festival included a wide range of programs for people of all ages and backgrounds:









  • -  Canadian Ska group Jump Babylon performance at The Weber School (200 students and faculty)




  • -  Jump Babylon double set Opening Night at Steve’s Live Music (150 fans)




  • -  Shabbat Service featuring musicians from CBH and AA (175 worshippers)




  • -  Zale “Fortress” album release at Steve’s Live Music (150 supporters of local music)




  • -  ACFB Hunger Walk/Run feat. 4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra and Tony Levitas (1,000 runners/walkers engaged by AJMF stage)




  • -  Macon-based Klezmer/Zydeco group Red Heifers at Beth Shalom (200 Klezmer fans)




  • -  OCA Midday Arts Café feat. Sammy Rosenbaum and Adam Klein (150 City of Atlanta employees)




  • -  Shabbat Ruach feat. local musicians at Beth Shalom (200 worshippers)




  • -  Main Event feat. Israeli artists Yael Deckelbaum and Diwan Saz (400 Israeli, young and/or unaffiliated Jews)




  • -  Interfaith Dialogue feat. members of Diwan Saz (15 humans);




  • -  Cantorial Concert feat. Cantors Adesnik, Hartman, Kassel and Margulis (375 lovers of sacred music and Broadway)




  • -  Holocaust Remembrance Concert feat. local musicians (325 commemorators) 






As we continue to grow and thrive, our Spring Festival will get more broad and diverse both in terms of programming and audience. But our target, primary demographic is and continues to be young and/or unaffiliated Jews.

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Demonstrated Need
















AJMF engages and unifies an elusive Jewish demographic, young and unaffiliated Jews, through the draw
of cultural and social programming. AJMF experiences strengthen relationships between attendees and
serve as an entry point or main point of connection to Atlanta’s Jewish community. Driven by the power
of music, AJMF fosters enthusiasm for Jewish identity and plays a critical role at the crossroads of young Jews' journey.


While Atlanta has displayed a vibrant Jewish cultural scene for over a decade, our annual celebration of
Jewish music has only been active for a few years. And only recently (2012-2013) did we commit to
serving our community year-round, with nearly four-five events each month. We must continue providing
dynamic cultural and social programming throughout our ever-growing community and particularly during the Spring Festival, if we plan to engage
the next generation of Jewish leaders, donors and families. 






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Program Accomplishments

In January 2016, we will be announced in the Slingshot Guide, the first time we have earned this honor and one of the few arts & culture institutions to be recognized for innovation.

In 6 years, we've grown from a one-day, $20,000 annual budget to a year-round programmer with a current budget projected over $150,000.

We've supported dozens of Jewish Atlanta partnering organizations, hundreds of Jewish artists around the world and thousands of fans of fresh Jewish music in and around Atlanta.

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How do you measure the success of your program?








AJMF’s short term goals are simple: more people engaged with Jewish music, more musicians
supported by our work and continued growth this season, in both attendance and revenue. In
the long term, we hope AJMF will continue to be a strong and capable cultural force for the
Atlanta Jewish community and the Greater Atlanta area. We believe AJMF, along with our
siblings AJFF (Atlanta Jewish Film Festival) and the MJCCA’s Book Festival, can solidify Atlanta
as the Jewish cultural hub of the South. In addition, AJMF hopes to inspire other cities
throughout the Southeast to create community through fresh Jewish music. We hope to lead
cities like Birmingham, Nashville, Charlotte, Charleston and others to a place of empowered creativity and innovation. Their growth and strength will further help AJMF, creating a cycle of
support and collaboration. 

We have been successful but there is still plenty to accomplish. We plan to continue working towards more success as we celebrate our traditions and heritage through a modern lens.





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