The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) board, at its last meeting, adopted a regional Arts, Culture, & Creative Placemaking Strategic Plan designed to better integrate arts and culture into the agency’s planning work.
The plan also supports metro Atlanta’s vibrant and diverse arts and culture community and encourages local communities to incorporate arts and culture as they envision their futures.
“The importance of arts and culture in our local communities is often overlooked and underappreciated,” said Doug Hooker, ARC Executive Director. “This strategic plan highlights the critically important role that arts and culture plays in helping build community identity and fostering thriving, vibrant places to live, work, and play.”
Over the past six years, ARC has developed three core arts programs: A series of cultural forums, Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta and Atlanta Regional Public Art Program.
The new strategic plan builds on the work to date and charts a new path with a strategy designed to create a vision for further integrating arts and culture into the work of ARC.
“Arts and culture is much more than a ‘nice-to-have’ community amenity. From an economic perspective, it’s a must-have,” said Josh Phillipson, Principal, Arts, Culture, and Creative Placemaking, Community Partnerships. “It’s essential for building a thriving, inclusive, and economically healthy region.”
According to a recent study by Americans for the Arts and several local partners, metro Atlanta’s nonprofit arts and culture sector is a $719.8 million industry that supports more than 23,000 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $65 million in local and state government revenue.
Plan goals and recommendations include:
- Supporting the diverse cultural practices and traditions across the region and work to ensure diversity in arts and culture is a key element of the region’s identity.
- Advocating for artists, creatives, and arts and cultural organizations having a seat at the table in business, civic planning, and decision-making discussions to enhance holistic thinking and bring a different viewpoint to problem solving and a unique voice that needs to be heard.
- Leading the region in promoting and using arts, culture, and creative placemaking in planning across disciplines and jurisdictions in an integrated approach that improves the quality of life and makes the region more equitable for everyone.
- Incorporating arts and culture in the agency’s work and day-to-day operations and build a greater understanding of the impacts of arts and culture in regional and local planning.
- Encouraging a collaborative and inclusive ecosystem of arts, culture, and creative placemaking across the region.
ARC will create working groups to assist with the implementation of this plan, both within ARC and throughout the region’s many jurisdictions. The working groups will be comprised of staff from ARC, as well as external partners and volunteers who will collaborate to foster implementation around the region.
The process for developing this plan began in early 2018. It was spearheaded by a 28-person steering committee comprised of artists and leaders from arts nonprofits, local jurisdictions, and educational institutions throughout the region. The steering committee was co-chaired by Karen Paty, Executive Director, Georgia Council for the Arts; and Anthony Rodriguez, Producing Artistic Director, Aurora Theatre.