The November Celebrate Atlanta Block Party. Image by Kelly Truitt.
Get ready to party with a purpose tomorrow.
The third iteration of the Celebrate Atlanta Block Party series, hosted by Lululemon, Organized Noize with this month’s event sponsor Wild Heaven Beer, will be kicking off Dec. 16 at noon at the Wild Heaven brewery in Decatur.
The event will feature local hip hop artists, spoken word performances, a yoga class guided by instructor Chelsea Jackson Roberts and of course, lots of delicious beer according to one of the event’s organizers, Asher Payne. And while he’s sure it’ll be a blast, he says this event is about so much more than just the party.
Payne works as Lululemon’s Atlanta Maven. There are five individuals with these roles across the country, and they are charged with determining how the brand can best impact their communities. Payne has been working with the local hip hop community and non-profit organizations to bring these socially conscious parties to life.
“I see opportunities within the city,” Payne says. “I partner with the heroes of this city – the people who are in social impact and social justice – and figure out ways to share what they’re up to and bolster them.”
Asher Payne. Image by Kelly Truitt.
In other words, Payne says he uses the resources of Lululemon and the Atlanta hip hop industry to take care of the city. One of the main focuses of the block parties, he shares, is wellness through yoga.
“Red Clay Yoga is an organization that shares literature, movement and art classes for young men and woman who wouldn’t traditionally have access to that type of education,” Payne says. “We see this as being something mindful. Yoga in this case – the form of yoga – is us giving back to the city. It’s living yoga off the mat.”
Payne says the location for each block party is strategic, and he hopes they will serve communities that are often dismissed. “These [parties] are experiments in activating neighborhoods in Atlanta that larger brands haven’t invested in at all,” he says. “These neighborhoods that are seeing a lot of transition and gentrification. We’re using Celebrate Atlanta as a way to celebrate the true
The experimental element of the block party is interesting (yoga fused with hip hop? Who does that?) but ultimately it’s about unification. “We want to have an event where the entire neighborhood can come out and celebrate one another,” Payne says. “I can’t say “I love Atlanta” without doing tangible things to take care of the city.”
Tickets are free, but you should reserve one here as space is limited. Parking is also tight, so organizers are encouraging ridesharing or taking public transit.