NEXT-Re-ignite – an evening art salon held at the wonderful Whitespace Gallery on Edgewood Avenue as part of the City of Atlanta’s ELEVATE festival
What an amazing, amazing night! NEXT-Re-ignite – an evening art salon held at the wonderful Whitespace Gallery on Edgewood Avenue as part of the City of Atlanta’s ELEVATE festival – was a poignantly beautiful and magical evening of art, music, healing and love under the stars! The outdoor garden, re-created into a living room space beneath the stars, served as a backdrop to a multi-genre showcase featuring four of Atlanta’s rising talents – the incredible poet, storyteller and author Jon Goode, the oh-so-talented jazz pianist Kenny Banks Jr. and his trio, the mesmerizing cultural archivist Malikah Berry and the tremendous artistry of Zipporah Camille Thompson. Following a year of unprecedented tumult and division, NEXT-Re-ignite was a celebration of the artists that help tell our stories, heal our communities and inspire us to rise again – even stronger.
Surrounded by flora and fairy lights, guests were treated to the sometimes-funny, sometimes-heartbreaking, but always thought-provoking stories and poetry of Jon Goode. They were awed by rare footage from the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King shared by Malikah Berry who called on us all to “claim our birthright as activists”, and moved by the inspired jazz originals from Kenny Banks Jr. and his trio. The evening was anchored by Zipporah Camille Thompson’s exhibit, “Wild Chrysalis Bloom” on display in Whitespace’s main gallery. As the sun set, the evening culminated with a first ever, extemporaneous collaboration between Goode and Banks – an intoxicating duet of words and music that left audience members speechless before rising to their feet in appreciation!
But the event was more than just art for the sake of art. It transformed, ultimately, into an evening of music and words, dialogue and communion that blurred the lines between performer and audience — ushering in both community and healing.
NEXT Reignite would not have been possible without the wonderful support of our partners and patrons – including our gracious host Susan Bridges of Whitespace Gallery and the team at ELEVATE ATLANTA and its curator-extraordinaire Charmaine Minnifield. The evening was also a testament to the passion and excellence of the NEXT Team including Kailey Elder, Yana Lee Fong, Paris Humphrey, Catherine Kim, Jan’na Reed, Michael Robinson, Wendy Thomas and Leslyn Wong.
For those fortunate enough to have been in the space – the evening was pure blessing! We are full. We are grateful!
For those that missed it, we will see you… NEXT time!
NEXT Co-Founder/Executive Director