Arthur Blank and the City of Atlanta recently pledged $32 million to the Westside at an announcement at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Photo courtesy Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.

The City of Atlanta and Arthur Blank have committed a combined $32 million to Westside neighborhoods.

On behalf of the city of Atlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed dedicated $15 million to the future Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry, $1 million to Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, and $1 million to Westside Works. Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, committed an additional $15 million through his family foundation, bringing the total of the Westside Neighborhood Prosperity Fund to $30 million.

“I am thankful to Arthur Blank for his ongoing commitment to our city, and for being an exemplary partner as we work to build equity and inclusion in our Westside neighborhoods,”  Reed said. “Arthur has now pledged $30 million to the Westside Neighborhood Prosperity Fund – a figure which will allow partner groups to continue their work to transform the Westside stadium neighborhoods with long-term residents. The City of Atlanta is proud to make its own commitment to the new Westside Reservoir Park, which will be the largest new park in the entire city, and an additional $1 million each to the arts and Westside Works. Now is the time for our city’s corporate and philanthropic leaders to join us and make their own commitment to the Westside as we make long-term, transformational change.”

The future Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry, when completed, will be the largest park in the city with nearly 300 acres of greenspace and will connect to the Atlanta BeltLine. The park will also include a reservoir with up to 30 days’ drinking water supply.

“Real, impactful change is happening in Atlanta’s historic Westside communities because of the passion and trust expressed by residents, the belief in inclusive transformation from corporate partners and the city of Atlanta, and the dedication by Westside-based nonprofits to serve those facing some of the toughest of circumstances,” Blank said. “We know there is more to be done, and our family foundation is unreservedly committed to the people and place of Atlanta’s historic Westside.”

Reed also committed $1 million to establish Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre on the Westside and an additional $1 million contribution to Westside Works, a neighborhood program focused on creating employment opportunities and job training for residents of the Westside community.

Collin Kelley

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.