Arts are an integral part of a thriving, diverse community, and our city needs to develop and support the artists of Atlanta. Atlanta children deserve the benefits that arts bring which are safety, a whole education, appreciation, empathy, and a future full of opportunities. We want to reinvigorate the creative economy after the devastating impacts of COVID on the arts community. Arts are vital to our humanity, culture, health, and community, so as Mayor, I will use the resources of the City to advocate for the arts on behalf of the citizens, visitors, and artists of Atlanta.
My goals as Mayor include:
- Make the arts accessible to everyone.
- Support individual artists.
- Ensure equity in art funding and support.
- Reinvigorate the creative economy after impacts of COVID.
- Further cultivate the Atlanta arts community for future generations.
1. Codify an Atlanta Arts, Culture & Creative Economy Advisory Committee to the Mayor
- Appoint a variety of members from different artistic disciplines and backgrounds within the Atlanta arts community, including college and university members and APS Arts faculty.
- Solicit advice and support from the Advisory Committee to better understand and engage with the Arts community.
- Committee would be tasked with developing a comprehensive Arts and Culture Plan for the City of Atlanta along with the Office of Cultural Affairs, which will lead to greater funding and exposure opportunities.
2. Establish an Arts District Exploratory Commission
- Appoint a commission to seek out the best place or places to develop creator districts with spaces available specifically for creators (artist lofts, creator workspaces, studio space, etc.).
- Develop a diverse group of artists and art designed to uplift the underserved and build wealth on a local level.
- Determine/develop strategies to establish more affordable housing and artist studio options through art focused land trusts, live/work studio space, and mixed-income developments.
- Evaluate strategies implemented in other cities to learn best practices for long-term, dedicated revenue streams to support arts development and fund it through various means like private development.
3. Provide Greater Support for Artists
- Develop strategies to restore economic vitality to the large number of artists who lost wages during COVID.
- Increase access to local grants and federal funding through the National Endowment for the Arts.
- Ensure equity in art philanthropy and government funding.
- Provide direct financial support for those who lost income during COVID.
- Develop strategies to help with healthcare for artists.
- Provide greater exposure through exhibition spaces in city facilities such as city hall, recreation centers, etc.
4. Increase the Annual Grant Making Capacity Within the City’s Budget
- The general fund contribution to arts grant-making moved from $1 million to $2 million under Mayor Bottoms. The goal was to get to $3 million, and I will do that in my budget.
- As Mayor, I will put in the American Rescue Plan up to $12 million in funding for small businesses, nonprofits, and the arts community.
- Additionally, I will put in the American Rescue Plan up to $4 million to support permanent affordable commercial spaces for small businesses and creatives in LMI or gentrifying communities.
5. Provide Additional Dedicated Revenue Streams for Arts
- I believe that a percentage of all eligible infrastructure project budgets should be set aside for art.
- I also believe private developers should contribute 1% of each construction project to the arts.