Resources for Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta

2022 ALMA Workshop Resources

This page includes resources for each of the ALMA Workshop classes in 2022. References and reading that come up in class will be added as classes progress.

ALMA 2022 Contacts and Bios
ARC Arts in Planning Handbook

Class Days: Projects:

Class 1: February 16, 2022 (9AM-3PM)


Day 1: Framing and Undoing
During class we will explore typologies and possibilities for how to take arts-based approaches to community planning challenges. By the end of the day the class will have a framework for thinking about the role of arts and culture in community planning and will discussed unlearning past practices. Teams and community organizations will have a mutual understanding of project vision the team’s role in achieving it. Teams will understand expectation of how they will work together.


Mallory Rukhsana Nezam, Justice + Joy

Project Work

  • Team introductions
  • Introduction of project topics
  • Project organizations present their project and answer questions


Site Visits: Feb 22 – Mar 2

Alif Institute
3288 Marjan Drive, Atlanta, GA 30340
Tuesday, February 22, 2-4PM
(Wear clothing appropriate to walk through some nature!)

Ballethnic Dance Company
2587 Cheney Street, East Point, GA 30344
Wednesday, March 2, 11am – 1PM

We Love Buford Highway
Plaza Fiesta and Chinatown Mall
Monday, February 28, 2-4PM

Not able to make your team’s site visit time? If you want to see the site, check with your team after the visit about what public areas you can see on your own. We will also ask the organizations for public events you can attend (even if you do go on the site visit!). But we can’t organize a second visit — the organization is only signed up to give us the one site visit time.

Class 2: March 8, 2022 (9AM to 3PM)

Location: ARC’s Harry West Conference Center, 229 Peachtree Center, Atlanta, GA


Day 2: Centering Lived Experiences
Each community and its individual members has their own lived experience that varies based on geographical history, socioeconomic background, and identity. In honoring these experiences, there is power in storytelling and its ability to create empathy around the impacts of the past, present, and future.

Lauren Radman, Midtown
Lauren’s Presentation
Midtown Bus Stop Enhancements RFP

Walis Johnson, Artist/Researcher –
Walis’s Presentation
Red Line Archive site
Red Line Labyrinth video

Rachel Will, ARC
Self-Reflexivity Presentation

Project Work
Teams will have more time to gather and generate ideas in person. By the end of the day teams should have a narrative and organizing framework for their projects. Projects will be informed by speakers on centering lived experience and self-reflexivity.

– Review Arts in Planning Handbook section on Centering Lived Experience
– Review Team Seafoam and Team Scarlet presentations from ALMA 2021
– Develop your presentations outside of class
– Use the project evaluation rubric as a guide


Class 3: March 23, 2022 (9AM to 3PM)

Location: Online


Day 3: Prioritizing Creative Involvement
The existence and celebration of arts and culture is a foundation of community identity, and creatives have long played a central role in their communities in the context of public artwork and performance. Centering creatives as active partners in community planning and engagement initiatives can lead to a thoughtful, innovative, and successful implementation of project ideas that bring excitement and originality to the final product.

Roberto Bedoya, City of Oakland
Creative Strategists in Government program description
ArtPlace Reflection

Creative Community Engagement – Spectrum of Engagement Matrix
Prework: Bring a brief written description (in the 50-to-150-word range) of an engagement activity or process – that you’ve experience, dreamt up, or looked up! We’ll be asking you to cut-and-paste it into a shared document as part of small group discussion.

Project Work
Team-to-Team Feedback: Teams will present a draft of their presentation to one other group who will give them feedback.

Class 4: April 20, 2022 (9AM to 3PM)

ArtsXChange – Southeast Community Cultural Center
2148 Newnan Street, East Point, GA 30344


Day 4: Putting Projects into Practice
Throughout the day local leaders who have lead projects with similarities to this year’s ALMA projects will speak with the class about their experience making these projects a reality. The rest of the time will be allocated for teams to work together on their projects.


Dr. Calinda Lee, National Center for Civil and Human Rights (until April 29)
Calinda’s Presentation – Difficult Dialogues, Tough Talks, Beautiful Art

Alex Frankcombe, Fulton County Arts & Culture
Alex’s Presentation on Public Art Futures Lab

Alice Lovelace, ArtsXchange

Project Work
As teams hone their projects they will add practical elements including an implementation strategy and budgets.

Class 5: May 18, 2022 (9AM to 3PM)

Location: ARC’s Harry West Conference Center, 229 Peachtree Center, Atlanta, GA


Each team will have 25 minutes to present their project their sponsor organization, their peers, and an audience from around the Atlanta region. Projects will be evaluated with this rubric.

Team Lilac’s Presentation for We Love Buford Highway

Team Burgundy’s Presentation for Ballethnic Dance Company
Google Slides | PDF

Team Aquamarine’s Presentation for Alif Institute
Google Slides | PDF


Alif Institute – Project Information


About the Organization
Alif Institute is a nonprofit education, culture, arts and enrichment center with a mission to foster understanding and appreciation of Arab cultures.

Project Description
Alif’s facility is located on Marjan Drive in the unincorporated DeKalb area bound by Interstates 85 and 285 and Chamblee Tucker Road. It backs up to the proposed route for the Doraville spur of the Peachtree Creek Greenway along a tributary to the North Fork of Peachtree Creek. Alif owns the land including a large undeveloped plot between their existing building and the creek and path route.

Alif wishes to develop their property adjoining the trail to create a space that connects their building, programs, and community to future users of the Greenway. Currently their space is tucked away on a street that sees little or no foot or car traffic and is not well-served by public transit. For an organization that seeks to foster an understanding of Arab culture and to serve as cultural center for metro Atlanta’s dispersed Arab residents, this is a limiting factor in how people learn of the center or reach it.

Alif is planning a capital campaign to make their property into a campus including community gardens, a café, markets, and public art – all adjacent to the proposed trail route. They need to fill out what this space would feel like, and how it would function as space to engage the broader community and a space for the community they serve.


  • Create a presentation representing Alif’s vision that could be given to Peachtree Creek Greenway, the DeKalb County Commission, and other potential partners which includes:
    • Recommendations for an artist-led community engagement process of neighbors and trail users that would inform:
      • The development of the Alif property adjacent to the Greenway route;
      • How the trail is physically connected to the Alif property; and
      • How Alif is connected to and engaging with its new neighbors along the trail.
    • A recommendation for artist activation of the trail near the Alif facility – Alif would like to produce a multi-cultural art project featuring Arab artists and artists from other backgrounds
    • Three to five recommendations for interactive experiences Alif could provide on its property adjacent to the trail. Recommendations should include both temporary experiences (e.g. performances, markets) and more permanent or ongoing experiences (e.g. public art, café)
    • Making the case for including Alif Institute as a “point of interest” and a key cultural landmark for the Greenway

Site Visit

  • Visit the Alif Institute site on Marjan Drive, track the proposed path of the trail from their property in both directions. Note: this will require some tromping through nature, please wear appropriate shoes and clothes!
  • Visit the existing portion of the Peachtree Creek Greenway between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road. How does this trail connect to the adjacent communities and businesses? How does it not? How do other trails in the region?


Ballethnic Dance Company – Project Information

Nena Gilreath, Co-Founder –
Waverly Lucas, Co-Founder –

About the Organization
Ballethnic Dance Company is a professional ballet company that creates visibility for Black and Brown dancers who, in spite of proper training, are overlooked. Located in East Point, Ballethnic’s impact is local, regional and beyond and it is recognized internationally and across the African diaspora. Ballethnic has been selected to perform at the Kennedy Center in June of 2022; is one of six dance organizations selected by Dance USA to participate in its 2022 Archiving and Preservation Fellowship; and has been recognized countless time over its 32-year history.

Ballethnic owns its building and surrounding property on Cheney Street in East Point. In addition to providing dance training, creating original works, and producing shows, Ballethnic holds community events that take over their cul de sac. Whether they are organized by the staff or they are hosting other community organizations and arts groups, these events provide an important free or low-cost place to gather and experience art.

Project Description
Despite its history and impact, Ballethnic, like the dancers it trains, is often overlooked locally. Ballethnic needs more visibility to the community – in East Point and the Aerotropolis area. To support and facilitate its role as an artistic and cultural leader, and a city and neighborhood asset and convener, the organization need to be better connected by streets, sidewalks, path, routes to transit, neighborhood entry points and in the consciousness of the larger community.


  • Create a presentation that could be given to City of East Point and/or Aerotropolis with recommendations on how to make both connections between Ballethnic’s location and work and East Point and the Aerotropolis area including:
    • Artist-led community engagement in increasing connectivity from Main Street, MARTA and the planned nearby AeroATL Greenway
    • Recommendations to increase Ballethnic’s capacity and impact as an arts-centered community gathering space
    • Recommendations to increase Ballethnic’s visibility in East Point, including:
    • Proposing wayfinding signage to Ballethnic – from downtown and MARTA station
    • Direct visibility from nearby MARTA tracks and Norman Berry Drive
    • Ideas for increasing awareness of Ballethnic’s integral role in the East Point and Aerotropolis community

Site Visit

  • Visit Ballethnic’s building and property and surrounding neighborhood on Cheney Street in East Point


Potential Interviews


We Love Buford Highway – Project Information

Lily Pabian, Executive Director –

About the Organization
We Love Buford Highway (WLBH) preserves the multicultural identity of Atlanta’s Buford Highway and sees its people as the epicenter for advocacy and impact where immigrant communities thrive for generations.

The organization’s Story Pillar has several programs that preserve and collect the stories of people along Buford Highway. Through long and short form interviews and recordings, WLBH’s Story Pillar programs digitally record the stories of people that live and work along Buford Highway. Some of their programs include the Voices of a Highway Podcast, the Oral History Project with Georgia State University, and the Sabores de Buford Highway Story Guide.

Project Description
WLBH is looking to design a project that brings the contents of their Story Pillar programs to the people of Buford Highway through mobile and interactive exhibits along the corridor. This project will engage the communities with the stories in creative ways that are appealing and exciting for the audiences. The mobile story exhibit project is based on three elements: the aesthetic/creative vision of these mobile exhibits; the engagement components for the attendees; and a data collection component to evaluate engagement with the exhibits.

Archiving the stories of Buford Highway is essential in the preservation of the multicultural identity of this locality. However, if the archive is not brought to the people who create it and make it possible (the communities of Buford Highway), then it is not a public-centered and community-active archive.

In order to make the stories in the archive more accessible, the organization seeks to create a series of mobile archive exhibits that can reach people along Buford Highway. These mobile exhibits will showcase selected stories that have been recorded in an appealing way and combine them with interactive components for families to engage with these stories.


  • Create a presentation to give to We Love Buford Highway staff with recommendations for how to display and tell the stories from the archive along Buford Highway. The recommendations should:
    • Include three different visions for how this can be accomplished. Be sure to:
    • Include a concept that builds on existing projects (e.g. Sabores de Buford Highway, BuHi Walk);
    • Include a spectrum of ideas ranging from one that is achievable without major expense to an expansive idea that pushes boundaries
    • Address the appearance/design, functionality, and user experience of the project as well as logistical and regulatory concerns
    • Provide guidance as to how each idea (and the project as a whole) can be presented to community stakeholders and potential funders.

Site Visit

  • Three locations on Buford Highway to be confirmed by WLBH:
    • Northeast Plaza
    • Plaza Fiesta
    • One of the following: Asian Square / Peachtree Pavilion / Doraville MARTA Station


Potential Interviews

  • Patrice Ruffin, Assistant City Manager, City of Brookhaven – What do they envision for the newly designated Buford Highway Cultural Corridor? (Related Article)
  • Michelle Alexander, Director of Planning & Development, City of Chamblee,

Project Milestones

Class 1: Introduction and Framing – Teams should have a solid understanding of their project and the expected deliverables. Before the next class, they will discuss team roles and collaboration.

Site Visit: Research – Teams have begun to research and gather site specific information.

Class 2: Ideate and Center – Projects will have an outline that follows the list of deliverables and includes a central idea or narrative. By the end of the second class they will have ideas to test with classmates on other teams in the next class.

Class 3: Draft Presentation – For this class, teams will present a draft presentation of their project to another ALMA team for constructive feedback.

Class 4: Refine – By the end of the fourth class, teams will be putting more specific details into their project and refining their presentation.

Class 5: Present – Each team will get 30 minutes to present their final project presentation and answer questions.

Questions to Organizations

So that we do not give our three partners organizations a constant stream of questions, we’d like you to think through your team’s questions and present them at a couple points during the process.

Question Opportunity 1 – After Site Visits
March 4 – Teams will send questions to Josh at the ARC
March 7 – The ARC will send the questions to the organization
March 11 – Organization sends responses back to ARC
March 14 – ARC will send responses back to the teams

Question Opportunity 2 – After Third Class
March 25 – Teams will send questions to Josh at the ARC
March 28 – The ARC will send the questions to the organization
April 1 – Organization sends responses back to ARC
April 4 – ARC will send responses back to the teams