Oct. 12—ALBANY ─ Publix VIP Experience and tasting tickets for "AMA ChalkFest: Masterpieces" are now available for purchase by the public. The Albany Museum of Art's popular chalk art, live music and food street festival returns to the 100 block of Pine Avenue in downtown Albany on Nov 13.
"We are thrilled to have Publix as the sponsor this year for the VIP Experience, which will be at a new location — on the terrace of the Flint RiverQuarium, which again is one of our partners for ChalkFest," Chloe Hinton, director of development and membership for the Albany Museum of Art, said. "The terrace overlooks all the chalk art that will be created on the pavement, and it will be the perfect location to enjoy the live music and entertainment that will be performed all day."
AMA ChalkFest, which debuted in 2018, is a daylong festival at which professional chalk artists, primarily from Georgia and Florida, create 50-square-foot chalk artworks on the pavement while festivalgoers watch and talk with them. Local amateur artists and school teams also create chalk artworks on smaller areas of the pavement.
In addition, those attending can enjoy craft beers from around the state, live music and entertainment, food truck delicacies and browse the offerings of various vendors. ChalkFest is returning as an in-person event after being a virtual experience in 2020 because of the COVID pandemic. The last in-person festival in 2019 attracted more than 4,000 people.
For the first time, admission to the festival will be free of charge for everyone. Festivalgoers need only to purchase tickets — in the form of wristbands — to access the Publix VIP Lounge or to enjoy unlimited tastings of craft beers and libations that will be available at ChalkFest. Patrons must be 21 or older to purchase the wristbands, and IDs will be checked at the entrance gates.
"We are able to offer free admission because of the wonderful support we have received from our many generous sponsors," Hinton said.
Even the nominal fees that have been charged in previous years for amateur artists to compete for chalk art bragging rights have been dropped this year because of the strong support of businesses like Smile Doctors, which is sponsoring the amateur and school team chalk blocks.
"Our sponsors are really stepping up and showing they truly care about our city and the southwest Georgia region," Andrew J. Wulf, executive director of the AMA, said. "They see the importance of using cultural assets like art to build a stronger, more unified community. More than that, they are willing to take action and support this community-building celebration.
Hinton said those who opt for the Publix VIP Experience will not be disappointed.
"VIPS will enjoy delicious food from Locos Grill & Pub, craft cocktails by Thirteenth Colony Distilleries, and Pretoria Fields Collective beers and seltzers," she said. "They also will receive swag bags provided by our amazing sponsors and access to the VIP parking area. And, of course, they have unlimited tastings at the craft beer and libation tents on the festival grounds.
"I wouldn't wait too long to order a VIP ticket. We only have 75 available, and they have sold out every year."
VIP tickets are $125 per adult and $30 per child accompanying an adult. Albany Museum of Art members may purchase VIP tickets for $100 per adult and $25 per child. AMA members also may purchase a table for eight for $700.
"This is the first year that we have had kids' VIP tickets," Hinton noted. "Your young artist can grab a bite to eat, catch the bird's-eye view of the event, and get this year's limited edition ChalkFest T-shirt."
Tickets may be purchased at the secure online link at www.amachalkfest.com/publix-vip-experience.
Those who want to taste the beers and libations at the various tents may purchase tasting wristbands in advance for $40. AMA members may purchase a wristband in advance for $30. All wristband purchases at the event will be $45. Wristbands may be purchased online at the secure link at www.amachalkfest.com/tasting-tic.
In addition to Publix and Smile Doctors, "AMA ChalkFest: Masterpieces" is sponsored by Yancey Rentals, Tri-State Florist Supply, Adams Exterminators, Webstaurant Store, Synovus Bank, Georgia Community Bank, Bridge Import Group, Phoebe, Albany Motorcars, BMW of Albany, the James M. Barnett Jr. Foundation, F&W Forestry, Bishop Clean Care, Fleming & Riles Insurance, J&J, Albany Internal Medicine, JLA, MetroPower, Thirteenth Colony Distilleries, LRA Constructors, AB&T, Flint Community Bank, Hughey & Neuman, Beverage South, Southern Spine & Health and Southern Point Staffing.
Partnering with the AMA on ChalkFest are the Flint RiverQuarium and the Artesian Alliance, the Flint River Entertainment Complex, WALB, The Albany Herald, Albany Beverage Company, Pretoria Fields Collective, Southwest Georgia Living, Eddie's Signs, Relative Media and Marketing, AAA Concrete, Locos Grill & Pub, Bottoms Up!, and Downtown Albany.
"AMA ChalkFest would be impossible to stage without fabulous partners, and we have the best not just in Albany, but in the world," Hinton said. "No organization is a community unto itself, and we appreciate each and every one who is helping us bring this falltastic event to life."