The 12th annual Westobou Festival kicks off

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Westobou is not your average arts festival. Its purpose is to push the boundaries of Augusta’s growing art culture with dance, film, music, and spoken words.

It’s been a busy fall for downtown Augusta. And doesn’t seem to slow down with Westobou kicking off its annual five-day block party. The executive director says its another way to expand Augusta’s art culture.

“Then we expose you to an artist that maybe you never heard of before,” says Kristi Jilson. “So, the idea is to bring emerging regional acts and national acts to your attention.”

Jilson says every year they like to promote filmmakers, dancers, and poets. The staff saw a gap in visual arts within the Augusta base talent. This year, with the “Idea Generated Project Sponsorships,” the festival sponsored nine local artists to produce projects for the festival.

“For them, they now have something to hang that hat on that they contribute to the cultural fabric of Augusta,” said Jilson. “Hopefully, more opportunities open up for them to do similar projects here, and elsewhere.”

NewsChannel 6 reporter Devin Johnson spoke with one artist who is participating in the festival for the first time. She told Devin Westobou allows her and other artists to connect with their audience

“When I tell them it is old tuber ware or things from the garage, I kind see this light go off,” explained Katie Kameen. “They are like, oh, I had that, or my grandparents had that, I recognize that.”

The visual artist says for her, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

“I see that something I might throw away and use it for something,” said Katie Kameen.

Jilson says the goal of the festival is to push the boundaries to enhance the Garden City.

“Come support the organizations they are pushing Augusta forward,” said Jilson. “That is pushing Augusta to a place where all can speak positive about our community, and be so proud.”

The festival kicks back up Friday at noon, and it continues until 10 pm on Saturday.

Photojournalist: Will Baker

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