Regional Arts & Culture

Arts and Culture is essential for building a thriving, inclusive, and economically healthy region

Thriving communities require more than infrastructure. The region’s soul must be fed. Arts and cultural opportunities lead to a vibrant region and a thriving economy.

Since 2012, the Atlanta Regional Commission has included arts and culture as a staffed focus area. Over the first six years of the program it operated three core programs, Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta, Cultural Forums, and the Atlanta Regional Public Art program. In 2019, the ARC’s board adopted  a regional Arts, Culture, & Creative Placemaking Strategic Plan designed to better integrate arts and culture into the agency’s planning work.

The ARC is in a unique position as a regional planning and services agency to be innovative about how arts and culture are integrated upstream throughout planning processes and across disciplines and goals. Arts and culture are fundamental to providing a high quality of life and healthy, livable communities; they are a significant and  consistent part of building and sustaining a competitive economy; and they are especially suited for addressing challenges with creative, holistic solutions based on collaboration and community engagement.

ARC Arts and Culture Programs

Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta (ALMA)

Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta (ALMA), encourages leaders throughout the community to take an active role in solving the issues and challenges facing the region’s arts and culture community. The program brings together arts leaders and political, corporate and nonprofit supporters for five days of classes spread over a five-month period. Learn more.

Atlanta Regional Public Art Program

This mural on the side of the King Memorial MARTA station was the first project completed with help from the Atlanta Regional Public Art program.

The Atlanta Regional Public Art Program is a competitive grant program that provides matching funding to communities across the Atlanta region for public art installations. Inspired by Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program, participating communities select artists and sites and design a community engagement process to develop their projects. ARC provides training and technical assistance to support the collaborative public art process. The first grant recipients were selected in 2015.

Cultural Forums

The Atlanta Regional Commission regularly convenes Cultural Forums that bring voices and ideas from outside the region together with local leaders to discuss arts and culture topics in a public setting. Since 2013, the ARC has produces more than 10 forums on topics including arts and aging, arts and economic prosperity, and creative placemaking.

ARC Arts and Culture Reports & Plans

Arts, Culture, and Creative Placemaking Strategic Plan (2019)

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) board, at its February 27 meeting, adopted a regional Arts, Culture, & Creative Placemaking Strategic Plan designed to better integrate arts and culture into the agency’s planning work. Learn more.

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (2017)

In 2017, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) partnered with Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Fulton County and City of Atlanta to participate in Americans for the Arts’, Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 report. The results of this important study show the significant financial impact of the $719.8 million nonprofit arts and culture sector on the Metro Atlanta economy. Read the full report for the Metro Region to find out the number of jobs created and dollars contributed to local governments.

Conversations in Arts and Culture (2013)

After absorbing the work of the Metro Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition (MAACC), ARC engaged in a series of conversations that explored the importance of arts, culture and the creative industries in the Atlanta region. The Metro Atlanta Arts and Culture Report provides an overview of these conversations. Individual conversations looked at festivals, public art, livability, cultural districts, digital entertainment and typical audiences for different types of art. Learn more.

Metro Atlanta Cultural Assessment (2012)

The Metro Atlanta Cultural Assessment provides a clear snapshot of the creative industries in the Atlanta region. The data gathered provides a benchmark for arts and culture planning in the region and identifies opportunities where arts and culture could interface with ARC policies and areas of focus. The report also includes cultural summaries and inventories for each of the 10 counties in ARC’s planning region. Learn more.