Fall Folklife Festival

Fall Folklife Festival

Celebrate all things Southern at the Atlanta History Center’s Fall Folklife Festival. The Smith Family Farm provides the ideal backdrop for exploring our Southern foodways traditions with chef demos and discussions in our open hearth kitchens. Hands-on demonstrations explore Southern crafts such as basket weaving, woodworking, pottery, food preservation and candle dipping. Sip local brews while listening to the sounds of Georgia folk musicians, visiting with regional folk artists and exploring signature exhibitions and the fall foliage in our Goizueta Gardens.

This program is free to members; included in the cost of general admission for nonmembers.


Smith Family Farm and Allen Atrium

Folk Art Marketplace

A show and sale of works by …

Steve Turpin, folk potter from Homer who makes facejugs, chickens, vessels and more. Turpin will demonstrate turning pots on a kick-wheel.

Peter Loose, painter and dulcimer/bird-house maker from Hull. When not helping customers, Peter will be painting.

Miz Thang (Deb Garner), maker of pop-culture-inspired wooden cutouts from Hawkinsville

Sandy Hall, African-American memory painter and ceramic sculptor from Athens

Suzy Sue Smith, nature-inspired painter, found-object artist and photographer from Gainesville

Mavis Stevens, Atlanta fiber artist who crafts pillows, kitchen towels, bags, Christmas stockings and more

Tex Crawford, cut tin sculptor from Hull. Crawford will demonstrate how he cuts and paints his elaborate dragons and beasties.

Larry Ledford, a woodcarver (Limber Jack dolls of historic figures) and painter (Americana imagery) from Lula

Michelle Prahler, Atlanta artist who renders flora and fauna with oils and collage on wood panels

Celena Schoen, Demorest folk potter who creates flasks, mini face jugs and jewelry pieces

Claire Brightly, Atlanta artist who decorates tea towels, magnets and more with whimsical drawings and sayings

Jeanne Flint, Atlanta jewelry maker who fabricates custom pieces out of sterling silver, found objects, and photographs

Around Back at Rocky’s Place gallery from Dawsonville, showing an array of paintings by Cornbread and other artists, pottery, folk sculpture and more

Smith Family Farm

Erika Council, Cooking Demonstration
Ongoing from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Enjoy the scent of homemade biscuits and other Southern fare cooked on the open hearth as the author behind the popular blog Southern Soufflé bakes while discussing the origins of these Southern staples.

Council was born and raised in North Carolina and spent a few years in Louisiana before moving to Georgia, like so many others, after Katrina. Some of her recipes and a lot of her knowledge comes from her grandmother, Mildred Council of Chapel Hill's Mama Dips Kitchen, a haven of country cooking since 1976. Erika Council experienced the art of biscuit making at the ripe old age of 4, grew up washing collards in the bath tub, and saw moonshine distilled in old radiators.

Her blog, Southern Soufflé, features plenty of cooking with cane syrup, marinating with bourbon, and worshiping in the House of Cast Iron Skillets.

Smokehouse Demonstration

Watch as bacon is smoked in the 19th century smokehouse. Discuss 19th-century methods of preservation with museum interpreters, and witness a small piece of the hard work of preparing the farm for the winter.

Blacksmithing Demonstration

The sounds of the forge greet you as museum interpreters demonstrate the historical method of blacksmithing while they make tools for harvest on the farm.

Pottery Activity

Create your own pinch pot and discover the methods used to preserve meats and other foods in early America. Afterwards, check out the famed pottery of Dave Drake, an enslaved potter of the 1800s from Edgefield, South Carolina, in our Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South exhibition.

Corn Husk Doll Activity

Make your own harvest-time toy and discover a part of agricultural history. Each part of the corn plant was used by Native Americans, and the corn husk was often shaped into dolls. This tradition was then passed down to early European settlers, and continues today.

Storytelling with LaDoris-Bias Davis 

11 AM, 12:30 PM, 2:30 PM

Listen to traditional Southern folktales and learn about the history behind them. Become a part of the story as LaDoris Bias-Davis brings traditional harvest-time tales of the South to life!

Mabel Dorn Reeder Amphitheater

Smokey’s Farmland Band
Noon, 2:00 PM

Based in Atlanta, Smokey's Farmland Band blends musical influences ranging from bluegrass to gypsy jazz to Cajun, creating a progressive sound the group likes to call "Goodtime Eclectic Bluegrass." While they enjoy venturing outside the realm of the traditional, the musicians respect the roots of bluegrass and retain the energy and twang of mountain music. During their two sets, expect original tunes, good ol' pickin’ numbers, and some unexpected covers, too.

Cash Bar

Local craft beers for the adults and juice boxes for the kiddos are available for sale throughout the day.

Food for Sale

Souper Jenny and Atlanta-based food trucks will have fresh bites available for sale.

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