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ARC’s Newest Class of Arts Leaders to Infuse Arts & Culture into Community Planning

Atlanta — Mar 15, 2021

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) today announced that 32 people have been selected to participate in the 2021 Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta (ALMA) program. This year’s ALMA Workshop brings together artists, creatives, designers, urban planners, and city and county officials to examine the role of arts and culture in community development and develop cross-sector responses to community opportunities.

Based on recommendations from the ARC’s Arts, Culture, and Creative Placemaking Strategic Plan, ALMA leaders reimagined the program to develop arts and culture-led approaches to community challenges. This year’s class, which meets for one full day each month from March through June, will work in teams on various planning projects, presenting their final efforts in a juried design review.

ARC today also launches a regional artist survey to engage metro Atlanta artists, creatives, and culture bearers with experience or interest in civic, social, and community practice. ARC is partnering with Fulton County Arts and Culture, the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) and Department of City Planning (DCP), as well as Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. on the survey. Metro Atlanta artists working in all media are invited to visit to take the 20-question survey by May 12. Initial findings will be announced at the ARC’s Arts Forum on June 9, which concludes the ALMA Workshop and features a juried competition among the various project teams.

“We are thrilled to welcome this year’s incoming ALMA class, which will examine the essential role that arts and arts organizations can play in planning and development,” said Josh Phillipson, Principal of Arts, Culture, and Creative Placemaking at ARC. “Infusing the community planning process with diverse perspectives and creative energy will help communities better tackle their challenges in a way that improves quality of life for all residents.”

2021 ALMA Workshop Participants

  • Michelle Alexander, Director of Planning, The Collaborative Firm
  • Lauren Bohn, Program Manager, Placemaking and Public Art, Midtown Alliance
  • Diamond Bradley, Founder and Arts Director, The Primary Movement
  • Katrina DeBerry, Program Officer, Thriving Communities, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
  • Lynn Deutsch, Mayor, City of Dunwoody
  • Katherine Dirga, Director of Art in Transit, MARTA
  • Irasema Concepcion Gonzalez Vargas, AT&T Prepaid Portfolio (Cricket Wireless and AT&T PREPAID)
  • Liz Hall-Dukin, Director, Fayette Environmental Education Center
  • Kimberly Hawkins, Board Member, East Point Cultural Enrichment Commission
  • Jennifer Hogan, Director, Town Center Alliance
  • Hank Houser, Architect
  • Heidi S. Howard, Artistic Director, 7 Stages Theater
  • Tamara Irving, Educator, Atlanta Public Schools; CEO, TMI Design & Consulting, LLC
  • Sheoyki Jones, Program Manager, Creative Industries, Invest Atlanta
  • Tinashe Kajese-Bolden, BOLD Artistic Director Fellow, Alliance Theatre
  • Mark Kendall, Comedian
  • Vanita Keswani, Guest Experience Manager and Art Educator, City of Kennesaw/Smith-Gilbert Gardens
  • Adria Kitchens, Director of Equity & Activism, Out of Hand Theater
  • Oshun Layne, Director of Operations, Dashboard
  • Sonia Linton, Planner II, Forsyth County
  • April McKown, Planning Manager, City of Douglasville
  • Deanna Murphy, Director of Planning, Sizemore Group
  • Kelly J. Nelson, Founder/Creative Director/Circus Mamma/Cat Herder, L.E.D. Experience Design
  • Katie O’Connor, Senior City Planner, City of Woodstock
  • Tarika Peeks, Director of Planning and Zoning, City of Fairburn
  • Jacquelyn Pritz, Operations Manager, DanceATL and Dance Artist
  • Catherine Rowell, Councilwoman, District 1, City of South Fulton
  • Liberty Rudo, Producer/Recording Artist
  • Daviorr Snipes, Actor/Director of Diversity, Equity & Engagement, Alliance Theatre
  • Victoria Walsh, Architect, Perkins&Will; Board Member, Freedom Park Conservancy
  • Sherri Washington, Commissioner, Rockdale County
  • Tiffany LaTrice Williams, Founder and Executive Director, TILA Studios, and Artistic Director, National Black Arts Festival

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 73 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.

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Contact Name: Kate Sweeney
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