Festival with focus on restoring Proctor Creek returns to Atlanta

Creekside Community Festival, a Grove Park event with local art, music, education and ecology, is set for Aug. 13.

Creekside Community Festival, a Grove Park event with local art, music, education and ecology, is set for Aug. 13.

A gathering that aims to raise awareness for Proctor Creek neighborhoods is set to return for the second year.

Creekside Community Festival, a Grove Park event with local art, music, education and ecology, will be held along the banks of Proctor Creek, about a mile from the Bankhead MARTA station in northwest Atlanta.

A goal of the event is to help "restore Proctor Creek" and its surrounding neighborhoods, according to Karen Rose, Grove Park Neighborhood Association chairperson. The Chattahoochee River tributary, which has been historically plagued by problems including pollution and flooding, winds through some long-impoverished parts of Atlanta.

“We believe in furthering the arts and culture — something that the Grove Park neighborhood has been known for historically,” Rose said in a press release.

Kenny Leon's True Colors Theater Company is scheduled to headline the festival, performing excerpts from its production "Holler If Ya Hear Me," a musical inspired by Tupak Shakur. The musical "offers a window into urban realities as families struggle for peace amidst daily challenges relevant in today's society," the press release said.

Other performers and groups involved include The Jazz Collaborative, Unity Jazz Foundation, Mint and Myrna Clayton.

Debra Edelson, executive director of the Emerald Corridor Foundationsaid the event shows a commitment to "better outcomes for Proctor Creek community residents facing distressed conditions." The nonprofit aims to revitalize Proctor Creek and its surrounding neighborhoods by building greenspaces, restoring waterways and providing local communities with partnerships and grants.

Many of the creek's surrounding neighborhoods are thought to be on the brink of revitalization, partially due to the seven-mile Proctor Creek Greenway. The project is expected to bring connectivity to the Beltline Westside Trail.

The public event is free, with food available for purchase. Grove Park residents eat free on a first-come, first-served basis.

The second annual event will take place Aug. 13 from 2 to 6 p.m. at 709 Hortense Place N.W.

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Channel 2's Craig Lucie reports