For many Atlantans, Edgewood Avenue has garnered quite a reputation for attracting Buckhead Bros and their Betty counterparts, and that reputation is somewhat warranted. Edgewood has seen its fair share of changes—and with those, growing pains.
Since 2005 (ish), the five or so city-block stretch in what’s now deemed the Historic Old Fourth Ward (it was originally simply called the Fourth Ward; its name was changed to attract special attention), has gone from vastly quiet (I’m talking tumbleweeds) to a mildly bustling lunch destination to one of the late-night go-to’s for all who have the chance to pass through the A.
The street and its adjacent cultures and various intersections risked a whitewash factor rolling through once Edgewood found its stride in its nightlife dance parties circa 2008. Edgewood became the hot new place to be and that left it vulnerable to appropriation. I won’t lie and say it never happened. Unfortunately, it’s an ebb and flow that occurs regularly in culturally (and monetarily) booming areas of any city.
However, the mainstays on Edgewood work together and ultimately hold the reigns on the street’s course, mindfully curating events that seek to boost intersectionality and foster networks that uplift artists, musicians, DJs, and the like. Among these establishments are CHURCH (it’s a bar), Noni’s Bar & Deli (one of the original pioneers of Edgewood), Joystick (the only cool game bar around), and Mother—where we find Atlanta’s newest multi-genre dance party, PRISM.
“PRISM feels like a night out where you let loose like it’s your birthday even though it may not be, or the type of house party you remember fondly the next day. A place that can be whatever you want it to be. Featuring all types of music, fun and upbeat, from hip-hop, house, experimental, RnB remixes, Baile funk, and more. PRISM feels intimate and fun. People seemed free. Usually in nightlife spaces you feel like you might need alcohol to enjoy yourself, but at PRISM it was a place where I felt okay to dance freely.” — chel xi, sound selector & cultural curator
The DJs aren’t here to get cheap shakes by dropping Top 40 hit after Top 40 hit. Nights like PRISM consist of thoughtful curatorial efforts to deliver an experience for those with a variety of music tastes and backgrounds. Mother recently collaborated with Streetcat Media, whose mission is to “collaborate with organizations and individuals to create accessible human interaction with technology,” and worked with Mother to build in a stage (dancing allowed!) and lighting system.
In a digitized age where people feel so far away, and in a city where our culture is far too often robbed and gentrified so folks can make a quick buck or get more likes, the two forces between Mother and Streetcat are much, much needed.
The next PRISM is on Fri., Dec. 5, at Mother. 10pm-late. $5 at the door.