After launching a regional busing program at last year’s spring fest, the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival will tweak the program to bring artists to local communities instead of the other way around.

Rather than stick with their model of busing fans in from cities like Birmingham and Savannah to see Jewish music, AJMF will now work with Atlanta artists to send them to the local communities instead.

Atlanta Jewish Music Festival Executive Director, Russell Gottschalk realized perhaps our local Southern communities weren’t familiar with AJMF and because the festival didn’t have a powerful brand awareness in those cities yet, the events weren’t as big as they could be. The impact would likely be greater if rather than bring people to events, AJMF was able to bring events to them. So after working with several local cities, Augusta and Brunswick, Georgia were selected to host Jewish talent.

Visiting artist Noah Aronson will partner with congregation Adas Yeshurun in Augusta for a Havdalah show on March 18, and Atlanta’s Marla Tov Cocktails featuring Marla Feeney will perform at Brunswick’s Jewish Food and Culture Festival on March 19. If this year is a success, Gottschalk said, AJMF seeks to expand to other nearby cities.

Noah Aronson will partner with congregation Adas Yeshurun in Augusta for a Havdalah show on March 18.

“We’re thrilled to connect visiting and local Jewish musicians to nearby southern communities,” he said. Though we exist to support and energize Jewish Atlanta, AJMF is committed to enabling like-minded peers throughout the region.”

Gottschalk is already thinking ahead to what the festival could do for local communities in 2018. He’s hopeful that after this year, enough people will have an awareness of AJMF that they’ll travel to Atlanta to experience the festival for themselves.

“The power of Jewish music transcends,” Gottschalk said, “and we just wish to inspire all communities with it.”