Featured Member – Atlanta Jewish Music Festival

We want to tell the world about our members, so each month we will feature at least one artist member (coming soon!) and one member organization. This post is not about C4 Atlanta. It is about the people who make Atlanta a great place to live. We hope you enjoy!

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This month, we are featuring the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival. AJMF was a founding member of C4 Atlanta. They are crazy busy right now preparing for their music festival next week, May 9 – 13, 2012.

AJMF Postcard with May 9-13, 2012 and logo

 

AJMF provides the Greater Atlanta community an opportunity for connection to and involvement with fresh Jewish music.  AJMF’s third season will provide diverse and engaging musical experiences through its annual Spring Festival (May 9-13, 2012), an extended artist residency, listening parties, open mic events and more.

Russel Gottschalk, Director & Founder, is a great guy to know. He is super involved in many aspects of the Atlanta community. I see him everywhere. Russel, in the midst of putting together a festival, was gracious enough to spare a few moments to answer a some questions about AJMF.

Photo of Dan Saks of DeLeon playing the guitar
Dan Saks of DeLeon - Courtesy AJMF
JH- How long has AJMF been around?
RG – Established 2010, we are in our third season.
JHWhy did you form?
RG – AJMF was created to connect musicians and audiences to Jewish music, culture and each other through fresh Jewish music.
JH – What have been the greatest challenges facing your “emerging” company?
RG – Like many start-ups and arts organizations, fundraising has been and continues to be our greatest challenge.  We are currently pursuing an independent 501c3 to help overcome this challenge.
JH – What is AJMF’s vision for 5 years? 10 Years?
RG – AJMF’s vision for 5 years and 10 years is not far off from where we are now.  We’ll continue to partner extensively with like-minded organizations, producing events year-round to complement our multi-day annual Spring Festival.  We’ll serve a wide demographic and support our local community with commissions and visiting artist residencies.  We’ll continue to innovate and create dynamic experiences that provide a unique, meaningful pathway to a shared Jewish experience.  And if we grow and thrive, we’ll have more opportunities to make a greater impact on our region, inspiring Southern Jewish communities like Birmingham, Nashville and Charleston to join the global Jewish music renaissance.
JH – Why is Atlanta a good fit for you and your organization?
RG – Atlanta has a young and vibrant Jewish community and is home to successful Jewish cultural celebrations like the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (established 2001) and the Atlanta Jewish Book Festival (established in the 1980s).  Our community identifies with Judaism through culture and AJMF has a strong network of partners and supporters.  Atlanta is an ideal home for an organization that represents fresh Jewish music and the fact that I’m an Atlanta native doesn’t hurt.
JH – Who is the festival for?
RG – The festival primarily attracts Jewish young adults (20s and 30s) but most events have a range of demographics and social backgrounds represented, including non-Jews.  One of AJMF’s taglines is “By Jews, For Everyone” so our festival is for all!                                                                        

JH – How does one get involved with AJMF?

Greencard DJs, photo of people with laptop, mixing board and headphones.
Greencard DJs - Courtesy AJMF
RG – Please drop a note to info@atlantajmf.org and let us know how you want to join the party!  We currently are looking for volunteers for our upcoming festival (5/9-13, 2011) and people who want to help with music selection (summer and fall, 2012).
JH – Why did you join C4 Atlanta?
I joined C4 Atlanta to learn and collaborate with my peers.  I believe social networks like this are integral for meaningful impact and personal growth.  I’m honored to be a C4 Atlanta member.

 

Thanks, Russel!

 

Check out the work of this young arts leader by visiting http://atlantajewishmusicfestival.org

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