Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta (ALMA)

Cultivating Leaders in the Region’s Arts Community

Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta (ALMA) is an ARC leadership program that addresses the challenges facing the Atlanta region’s arts and culture community.

The program seeks to:

  • Provide arts leaders with insights from corporate and foundation leaders as to why the arts are important to them, why they fund the arts, and how to plan for success when seeking corporate funding
  • Provide arts and corporate leaders with the tools and knowledge to become informed and powerful advocates for the arts in Atlanta and Georgia
  • Facilitate frank, high-level conversations on policies, problems, and solutions for key arts issues in the region

Program Details

ALMA meets once a month for five months and features speakers representing the region’s arts, culture, and civic communities. This schedule also includes trips to various cultural events around the region.


  • $600 for corporate or civic leaders
  • $300 for nonprofit leaders

Spring 2017 ALMA Class Schedule

  • Kickoff Reception – January 31st
  • February 15th
  • March 15th
  • April 19th
  • May 17th
  • June 14th

NOTE: The schedule includes additional cultural events.

Application Process

Applications are solicited region-wide. Interested individuals may apply directly to ARC. Board members, business leaders, arts leaders, government officials and ALMA alumni may nominate individuals for participation in the program.

Application Deadline:

ARC will be accepting applications for the 2018 ALMA class in the fall of 2017.

Review Process:

The ALMA Steering Committee is comprised of ARC staff and selected ALMA alumni. Each year the committee seeks to recruit a diverse group of individuals with regard to ethnicity, gender, geography, profession, community service and demonstrated leadership. If you have questions, email Josh Phillipson or call 404-463-3217.

ALMA Speakers

Past speakers include:

  • Mayor Shirley Franklin (Former Mayor, city of Atlanta)
  • Sam Olens (Former Attorney General, State of Georgia)
  • Lisa Cremin (Director, Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund)
  • Joe Bankoff (Past President and CEO, Woodruff Arts Center)
  • David Connell (Cobb Chamber of Commerce)
  • Peggy McCormick (Director of Economic Development, Atlanta Development Authority)
  • Ben Cameron (Doris Duke Charitable Foundation)
  • Kenny Leon (Artistic Director, True Colors Theater)
  • Michael Shapiro (Former Executive Director, High Museum of Art)
  • Tom Key (Executive Artistic Director, Theatrical Outfit)
  • Susan Neugent (President and CEO, Fernbank Museum of Natural History)
  • Mayor Kasim Reed (Mayor, city of Atlanta)
  • Virginia Hepner (President and CEO, Woodruff Arts Center)
  • Penny McPhee (President, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation)
  • Carlton Mackey (Director, Ethics & the Arts, Emory University)
  • Lauri Stallings (Artistic Director, gloATL)
  • Susannah Darrow (Executive Director, ArtsATL)
  • Melissa Johnson (Senior Policy Analyst, Georgia Budget & Policy Institute)
  • Lizzy Smith (Grants Program Director, Robert W. Woodruff Family Foundation)
  • Kristina Christy (Community Affairs, Wells Fargo)
  • Makeba Dixon-Hill (Curator of Education, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art)