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Arts in Atlanta

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Title: Arts in Atlanta  
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Subject: Atlanta, Krog Street Tunnel, African Americans in Atlanta, Street art in Atlanta, List of private schools in Atlanta
Collection: Culture of Atlanta, Georgia
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Arts in Atlanta

The arts in Atlanta are well-represented, with a particularly prominent presence in music, fine art, and theater.


  • Music 1
    • Hip hop 1.1
  • Visual arts 2
    • Art museums 2.1
    • Public art 2.2
    • Street art 2.3
    • Arts centers 2.4
    • Galleries and art walks 2.5
  • Theater 3
  • Performing arts and music venues 4
  • Literature 5
    • Film festivals 5.1
  • Marching arts 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8


Atlanta has played a major or contributing role in the development of various genres of American music at different points in the city's history. Beginning as early as the 1920s, Atlanta emerged as a center for Fox Theatre in 1976, with lead singer Ronnie Van Zant directing the band to "play it pretty for Atlanta."[2] During the 1980s, Atlanta had an active Punk rock scene that was centered around two of the city’s music venues, 688 Club and the Metroplex, and Atlanta famously played host to the Sex Pistols first U.S. show, which was performed at the Great Southeastern Music Hall.[3] The 1990s saw the birth of Atlanta hip hop, a sub-genre that gained relevance following the success of home-grown duo OutKast; however, it was not until the 2000s that Atlanta moved "from the margins to becoming hip-hop’s center of gravity, part of a larger shift in hip-hop innovation to the South."[4] Also in the 2000s, Atlanta was recognized by the Brooklyn-based Vice magazine for its impressive yet under-appreciated Indie rock scene, which revolves around the EARL in East Atlanta Village.[5][6]

Hip hop

many hip-hop artists including Lil Jon, Ludacris, B.o.B and Usher. It is also a center of gospel music where the Gospel Music Association Dove Awards take place.

Visual arts

Rise Up Atlanta, by Charlie Brouwer, was a temporary urban-art sculpture made of ladders erected in the East Side's Freedom Park

Atlanta is home to a growing, established visual arts community. In 2010, the city was ranked as the ninth-best city for the arts by American Style Magazine.[7] Most of the city's art galleries are located in the Castleberry Hill and West Midtown neighborhoods. While every type of visual art is represented in the city, Atlanta is a major center for contemporary art, public art, and urban art.[8] The growing Atlanta campus of Savannah College of Art and Design has brought in a steady stream of artists and curators.[9]

Art museums

An exhibit at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center

In 2010, American Style Magazine ranked Atlanta as the ninth-best city for the arts.[10] The renowned Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory, containing the largest collection of ancient art in the Southeast.[11]

Public art

Zimbabwe sculpture: a tradition in stone at Atlanta airport between courses T and A

The city's Office of Cultural Affairs administers a public art program,[12] which include works such as Atlanta from the Ashes (The Phoenix), and Thornton Dial's The Bridge at John Lewis plaza in Freedom Park. The office also sponsors temporary exhibitions of art in public spaces such as "Elevate" in 2011. The Metropolitan Public Art Coalition also promotes public art in the city and stages occasional exhibitions.

The city's Aviation Arts program administers and art program at Atlanta's airport, including Zimbabwe Sculpture: a Tradition in Stone and the Deborah Whitehouse mural Spirit of Atlanta, which welcomes passengers as they arrive at baggage claim from the peoplemover.

The 22 miles (35 km) BeltLine corridor, a former rail corridor gradually being developed into an improved biking and walking trail, is home to the annual Art on the BeltLine exhibition. In 2011 66 visual and performance pieces were exhibited.[13]

Street art

Street art on the BeltLine, 2012
Street art on the BeltLine, 2012

Although historically never a haven for street art[14] like New York City or Los Angeles,[15] street art is becoming more prominent in Atlanta. The Krog Street Tunnel in Cabbagetown is the city's best-known street art canvas, with much new street art also being created along the 22-mile BeltLine trail. In 2011 the city hosted the Living Walls street art conference and will co-host it with Albany, New York in 2012.

In May 2011 Atlanta established a Graffiti Task Force. Though in October 2011 the police arrested 7 persons designated as vandals, city officials assert that they have no intention of stifling the street art scene. The city's Office of Cultural Affairs selected 29 standout murals to avoid whitewashing including murals commissioned as part of the BeltLine, works created during the Living Walls conferences, but not the most famous street art space in the city, the Krog Street Tunnel. Many street artists and members of the arts community interviewed by Creative Loafing believe the city's efforts are misdirected or futile.[16][17]

See also video of street art in Reynoldstown, Cabbagetown and Krog Street Tunnel.

Arts centers

Arts centers in Atlanta include King Plow Arts Center and the Goat Farm Arts Center in West Midtown, The Metropolitan in Adair Park and Studioplex in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood.

Galleries and art walks

There are small concentrations of galleries in the intown neighborhoods, including but not limited to Castleberry Hill, Buckhead, the Westside Arts District in West Midtown, at Studioplex in Old Fourth Ward, and along Ponce de Leon Avenue in Poncey-Highland. Each of those areas sponsors an art walk, usually monthly.[18]


Atlanta is one of few United States cities with permanent, professional, resident companies in all major performing arts disciplines: opera (Fox Theatre, a historic landmark that is among the highest grossing theatres in of its size.[19]

Other theater groups include the internationally-known Sandy Springs.[20] The Suzi Bass Awards and the Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Awards are two annual ceremonies honoring outstanding achievements in local theater. The Atlanta Radio Theatre Company preserves, promotes, performs, and educatesg people about the art of audio theatre (radio drama).

Performing arts and music venues

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

In the city of Atlanta:

In Metro Atlanta, the Duluth.


Atlanta is the home of many influential writers of the 20th century, including Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind, one of the best-selling books of all time; Alice Walker, author of Pulitzer Prize-winning and critically acclaimed novel The Color Purple; Alfred Uhry, playwright of Driving Miss Daisy, which deals with Jewish residents of Atlanta in the early 20th century; and Joel Chandler Harris, author of the Brer Rabbit children's stories. Famous journalists include Ralph McGill, the anti-segregationist editor and publisher of the Atlanta Constitution newspaper. Atlanta is also the home of contemporary editorial cartoonist Mike Luckovich, who is syndicated nationally to 150 newspapers.

Film festivals

Atlanta is the host of the Atlanta Film Festival, an Academy Award qualifying, international film festival held every April and showcasing a diverse range of independent films, including genre films such as horror and sci-fi. Other film festivals include the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Peachtree Village International Film Festival the Atlanta Asian Film Festival, the Out on Film gay film festival, Independent Film Month, Atlanta Film Festival 365, Atlanta Underground Film Festival, Atlanta International Documentary Film Festival, and the Buried Alive horror film fest.

Marching arts

Atlanta is also a major hub for the marching arts. The city is home of Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps, which competes in Drum Corps International, and the Alliance Drum and Bugle Corps and CorpsVets Drum and Bugle Corps, both of which participate in the Drum Corps Associates circuit.

See also


  1. ^ Daniel, Wayne W. "Pickin’ on Peachtree: a History of Country Music in Atlanta, Georgia". Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  2. ^ The Robesonian, Nov. 7, 1976, “Rock’s Top Southern Sound Viewed as Lynyrd Skynyrd”
  3. ^ , “Atlanta punk! A reunion for 688 and Metroplex”, Scott Henry, Creative Loafing, 10/1/2008
  4. ^ a b John Caramanica, "Gucci Mane, No Holds Barred ", ‘‘New York Times’’, December 11, 2009
  5. ^ Radford, Chad (2009-02-25). "Damn hipsters: Is Atlanta falling prey to its indie cachet?". Creative Loafing. 
  6. ^ Hines, Jack. "The VICE Guide to Atlanta". VICE. Retrieved 2012-07-16. 
  7. ^ "Top 25 Big Cities | AmericanStyle Magazine". Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  8. ^ "Breaking news: "Atlanta Art Now," an upcoming book celebrating the local visual arts scene by Pierre Ruhe". 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  9. ^ "Looking back at 2010: Visual arts scene strengthened as a community and advanced the conversation by Catherine Fox". 2010-12-27. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  10. ^ Clary, Jennifer (Summer 2010). "Top 25 Big Cities". AmericanStyle Magazine (72). 
  11. ^ "Michael C. Carlos Museum Pictures, Atlanta, GA – AOL Travel". Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  12. ^ City of Atlanta, Office of Cultural Affairs
  13. ^ Art on the BeltLine
  14. ^ magazineAtlanta"Off the Wall: Graffiti: Street Art Goes Mainstream",
  15. ^ Travel and Leisure"Best Cities for Street Art",
  16. ^ Sugg, John F. (2011-05-05). "Atlanta's graffiti task force begins investigating, removing vandalism | News Feature | News & Views | Creative Loafing Atlanta". Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  17. ^ Morris, Mike (2011-10-04). "Warrants issued for serial graffiti vandals". Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  18. ^ , June 4, 2010Creative LoafingWyatt Williams, "Neighborhood art walks thrive in Atlanta",
  19. ^ "1988: ‘‘Performance’’ magazine names the Fox Theatre the number one grossing theatre in the 3,000–5,000 seat category with the most events, the greatest box office receipts, and the highest attendance in the U.S." and "2009: Billboard magazine names the Fox the No. 1 non-residency theatre for the decade with 5,000 seats or less." on ‘‘Timeline’’, Fox Theatre website
  20. ^ Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts
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