The NEXT movement serves as a platform for Atlanta’s up-and-coming artists on the cusp of stardom. This year the program chose three Atlanta artists who will showcase their talents at an interactive salon Friday, Sept. 13.
Lois Reitzes spoke with NEXT co-founder Faith Carmichael and one of the recipients, Okorie Johnson, also known as OK Cello.
NEXT partnered with the National Black Arts Festival in order to bring national attention to these artists. The three Atlanta artists chosen for this quarterly salon were: cellist and composer Okorie “OKCello” Johnson, visionary artist Angela Davis Johnson, and poet Carlos Andres Gomez.
“NEXT is about bringing together artists that have these incredible strong commitments to community. We use this platform as an incubator for us to work together and stand up by using art, music, or words, that actually propel forward things we feel are important. Whether it’s getting the vote out, or it’s homelessness, or the Black Lives Matter movement, we bring together these artists that are already in the community to really do more. We are a stage, but also a movement,” said Carmichael.
NEXT also has an outreach initiative called NEXTUp. It aims to help students with their artistic talents by educating local schools on the importance of having creative outlets.