CREEKSIDE Brings Arts, Ecology to Proctor Creek Residents “Left-Behind” Building Pride, Community, Collaboration

CREEKSIDE is an annual gathering in Atlanta’s Grove Park neighborhood that fosters community collaboration and pride by sharing in an interactive day of local arts, music, education and ecology along the banks of Proctor Creek.

Atlanta’s Grove Park Proctor Creek community residents demonstrate pride, commitment and collaboration by celebrating with food, fun, music and art. The second annual “CREEKSIDE” event will showcase local artisans, musicians, educators, environmentalists, as well as nationally recognized performers.

West Atlanta, Ga – June 20, 2017 – On Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, 2-6pm, an array of artists, musicians, educators, environmentalists, and “fun-creators”, will showcase their commitment to building community pride through urban arts and environmental awareness with Proctor Creek’s resident community. Led by the CREEKSIDE Community Festival Steering Committee, this year’s CREEKSIDE event will take place in West Atlanta’s Grove Park, nestled along the banks of Proctor Creek (709 Hortense Place N.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30318).

“CREEKSIDE is truly unique. This ‘coming together’ demonstrates a mutual commitment to better outcomes for Proctor Creek community residents facing distressed conditions,” emphasizes Debra Edelson the Executive Director of the Emerald Corridor Foundation, and the founders of the event.

Distressed environmental and economic conditions for West Atlanta’s Grove Park and neighboring communities range from major health risks such as mold, storm water, and sewer overflows, to high vacancy, crime and transiency rates, a dearth of needed affordable housing, failing schools and the disappearance of basic services like pharmacies, banks and grocery stores.

Obama Administration’s EPA Chief Gina McCarthy acknowledged during a local site tour in 2016, “We’re trying to address the communities that have been left behind… like Proctor Creek, where they are bearing disproportionate burdens.”

Grove Park Neighborhood Association’s Chairperson Karen Rose sees the artistic, cultural tradition of the Grove Park neighborhood as a pathway to grounding the community’s efforts for revitalization:

“We believe in furthering the arts and culture — something that the Grove Park neighborhood has been known for historically.  In co-hosting this year’s CREEKSIDE, we can leverage our collaborative strength to restore Proctor Creek, and our neighborhoods.”

In its second year, the CREEKSIDE Community Festival is focused on arts and the environment in 2017, poised to build momentum for an ever-larger 2018 Community Festival. Creating a gathering of neighborhood, philanthropic, environmental and arts leaders along the banks of the Creek to build positive cultural and social ties within the community and its stakeholder partners is what CREEKSIDE is becoming known for.

Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theater Company is an example of one of CREEKSIDE’s special stakeholder partners. A nationally renown theater arts group, Leon/True Colors will be headlining the Festival this year. “True Colors is thrilled to be bringing our brand of art to the Westside and we are looking forward to being a community partner for years to come,” shares the Tony award-winning Broadway play director.

Visual artists will be featured at CREEKSIDE as well, supporting arts-oriented activities for attendees throughout the afternoon. 

“Art is so fun! It is a wonderful way to engage our community residents, the greater region, and build awareness of this community and the environmental gem that is Proctor Creek,” shares local artist and businesswoman Olivia Taylor, a member of the Steering Committee.

“These historic creekside communities along Proctor Creek are truly precious to us,” says the vivacious senior who will unveil the event’s new mascot in the promotion of this year’s CREEKSIDE.  Taylor hopes to bring to life the beauty of Proctor Creek and, at the same time, inspire budding artists of all ages and sizes to try their hand at creating art during the festival.


“These historic creekside communities along Proctor Creek are truly precious to us.” — local artist Olivia Taylor

Atlanta arts nonprofit MINT echoes Olivia Taylor’s enthusiasm about the effort: “CREEKSIDE is a demonstration of what’s possible in bringing resources, partnership, and collaboration to a critical juncture in community development,” Executive Director Erica Jamison agrees. “The artists we are supporting in their participation at CREEKSIDE represent our commitment to working wages for artists doing what they love, in the communities that mean the most to them — and we love that we have the opportunity to contribute to the CREEKSIDE effort.”

CREEKSIDE has also captured the commitment and the voices of several well-known jazz and American music performers and leaders, including Myrna Clayton/Abel2, JaNaan/Jazz Collaborative, and Stan Bryant/Unity Jazz Foundation.

“We know the power of music to bring awareness, to raise up issues, and to build, uplift community — especially when that music is performed in a beautiful outdoor setting like Grove Park,” the collaborative expressed in a public statement.  “We are excited about our role as artists and performers in connecting us all to the arts — and to the environment of Proctor Creek.”

As an urban environmentalist and community resident, Al Bartell is also active in the collaborative efforts and outcomes in the Proctor Creek watershed basin.  As the Vice Chairman of the Grove Park Neighborhood Association, and the Chairman of the Greenspace Committee for NPU J(Neighborhood Planning Unit J), Bartell is bringing a wealth of community reference points, and commitment to CREEKSIDE:  

“The CREEKSIDE Community Festival will help raise local awareness and build stewardship that can protect, preserve, and restore urban creeks as a community resource for generations to come,” Bartell points out. “And we’re just getting started.”

          CREEKSIDE needs your support.  To donate, join the effort, or voluteer: 

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                                                                    Proctor Creek at Grove Park, Atlanta GA

Visit us at: for more information about featured artists, sponsors and how to attend CREEKSIDE.

CREEKSIDE is an annual gathering in Atlanta’s Grove Park neighborhoodthat fosters community collaboration and pride by sharing in an interactive day of local arts, music, education and ecology along the banks of Proctor Creek.


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