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Atlanta Regional Public Art Program Awards Funding in Four Communities

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) will provide funding and technical assistance to four communities across the region, helping them realize their respective visions for public art.

Inspired by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program in 2014, a group of Metro Atlanta leaders collaborated with ARC and raised funds to create the Atlanta Regional Public Art Program. The new program provides matching funding through a competitive grant process to help communities install public art in their communities. Each work of art will celebrate a community’s unique identity while symbolizing the commonalities of our region.

Sixteen jurisdictions from six different counties submitted applications in the first cycle of funding, and were asked to focus on interpreting the theme: “There is ample opportunity to participate in making history in our region.” Eligible applicants included local governments, Community Improvement Districts, neighborhood associations and nonprofit organizations located in the 10-county Atlanta region.

“ARC and its partners believe that this program can truly be transformative for communities throughout the Atlanta region,” said Doug Hooker, ARC Executive Director. “To get 16 applications in the first year proves that our local government leaders feel the same way. We look forward to finding long-term funding sources and helping create more public art that instills pride and interest in all of our communities.”

Grantees were selected by a panel of regional civic leaders, community engagement professionals, artists and design professionals selected grantees. Projects were selected based on the community engagement processes proposed for interpreting the theme in their communities and the quality of the projects that could be anticipated.

The 2015 Atlanta Regional Public Art Program recipients are:

Mural on Marta Overpass at the Intersection of W. Trinity & Atlanta Avenue
Sponsor: City of Decatur
Amount: $15,000
Contacts: Linda Harris, Chief of Civic Engagement, Education & Communication, linda.harris@decaturga.com

The Decatur MARTA Overpass bisects several diverse communities while sheltering children waiting for school buses, as well as neighbors and employees walking and riding bikes. Many cars traverse the corridor daily, and thousands of citizens from all over the Atlanta Region ride the Blue Line MARTA train across the overpass every day. In essence, it creates a gateway into these economically and racially diverse communities and provides an opportunity for real connections through meaningful art on this large, durable concrete canvas.

The MARTA Overpass Mural will create neighborhood connections and an exceptional art form that is reflective of the revitalization and vibrancy of this historical community in downtown Decatur.

Hapeville 125th Anniversary Sculpture Project
Sponsor: City of Hapeville
Amount: $15,000
Contact: David Burt, Economic Development Consultant, dbburt100@msn.com

In 2016, Hapeville will mark the 125th anniversary of its founding Community leaders planning a celebration of their city’s history while also furthering their goal of becoming a center for the arts in metro Atlanta. The result is the “Sharing Our Stories” project, a combination oral history/public art project. “Sharing Our Stories” will begin with a community-wide effort to gather the oral histories of current and former residents. These “stories” of the community will then be compiled and interpreted through works of art (primarily sculpture) that represent one or more of these stories in creative and unexpected ways.

Downtown Woodstock Mural
Sponsor: City of Woodstock
Amount: $8,000
Contact: Katie Coulborn, City Planner, kcoulborn@woodstockga.gov

The Downtown Development Authority, Preservation Woodstock, and the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau are planning for the installation of a new mural that will highlight Woodstock history in a fresh, new and engaging way. Aside from beautification and placemaking, the goal of this project will be community consensus-building resulting in a mural that is a source of community pride and admiration. The Woodstock Pharmacy wall, on the corner of Main Street and Mill Street is in the heart of Downtown Woodstock, and was selected for its bustling traffic and high visibility. Pedestrians use this street to walk from the farmer’s market and one of the main downtown public parking areas to Main Street and Chambers Street, the two busiest downtown retail and restaurant avenues.

MARTA En Route Community Based Mural Project
Sponsor: MARTA
Amount: $15,000
Contact: Lyle Harris, Chief Spokesperson, MARTA, lvharris@itsmarta.com

The King Memorial MARTA mural project is part of the En Route Community-Based Mural Project, which uses public art as a tool for MARTA station beautification and as a platform for dialogue around access, mobility, public transportation and other issues determined by the community. The collaborative design and creation of a meaningful, thought- provoking, imaginative mural at the King Memorial MARTA station will provide a platform to engage a variety of voices. The En Route project will bolster MARTA’s efforts to improve rider experience by using art to engage residents, transit users and artists in dialogue around issues important to the community. Public art will beautify the station and better integrate it into the fiber of the community, while establishing a place of arrival and destination for visitors.

ARC will work with select other applicants who did not receive funding to explore other ways it can support them and further extend the reach of the program. This program is managed with the support of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

In the spring of 2015 the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation hosted Jane Golden in Metro Atlanta to launch the program at the Power of Public Murals: It Ain’t About the Paint event. Video from that event can be seen here: https://blankfoundation.org/muralarts. To learn more about the Atlanta Regional Public Art Program and to track project implementation, visit https://publicart.atlantaregional.com

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