By Tina Chadwick

Leave it to the arts to come up with a creative way to solve funding issues. The mix of funding cuts paired with a sluggish economy could have spelled doom, but many of the 400 arts organizations in Atlanta have pooled their money to fund an awareness campaign aimed at raising interest in the city’s robust arts community.

Modeled on a successful Milwaukee initiative, the campaign is called Atlanta, Art Lives Here – You Are Where The Art Is.  Developed by ClarityClose, the program encourages the arts community to work together collaboratively and change the psyche of Atlanta to one that recognizes the vibrant arts community already here.

Arts groups will also pool their monetary resources for group media buys, which would otherwise be unaffordable. An outdoor advertising campaign kicks off in September.

“A lot of people go to New York or Chicago for fine arts, but we have a world-class arts community right here in Atlanta,” said Nicole Jones, editor for Atlanta PlanIt, the organizing body of the awareness initiative.

Atlanta PlanIt’s researched showed that while Atlanta ranks toward the very bottom for arts funding, the state of Georgia is in the Top 10 for positive economic impact from the arts.

Jones encouraged residents to attend arts events in the city. “The best way anyone can support the arts in Atlanta is to go to the events and recognize how amazing Atlanta’s arts community is,” Jones said.

For more, visit

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.