Let’s put Atlanta on the map as a great arts and culture town.


Imagine you fly into Miami, get in a cab, and the driver knows you’re there for Art Basel. Or you fly into New York, and the cabbie knows you’re in town to see the Guggenheim and a Broadway show. Atlanta has a rich, vibrant arts scene, but still, all we’re known for is traffic and heat. So how do we make the arts a bigger part of our identity? How can we as a city become known for arts and culture?

If you’re reading this right now, you probably care about Atlanta. You know it’s a great city, and you believe it’s got the potential to take things to the next level. To one day be the kind of place that’s known for all the great arts, entertainment and culture available. This is your chance to help make that happen.

Atlanta has always faced some challenges in the arts arena. Namely, how do we boost participation, attendance and support of the arts within the greater Atlanta area? And second, how do we elevate perception, and get the word out to the world at large in a real, believable way that doesn’t involve a hollow-sounding ad campaign?

The good news is that we have plenty to work with. Atlanta has a tremendous amount going for it in the arts and culture arena. We’ve got great weather, affordable housing, a diverse population, a handful of great universities and a wonderful collection of neighborhoods, each with its own unique character. Add to that a multitude of festivals throughout the year. All these factors and more contribute to a thriving arts scene that occupies a broad spectrum. Everything from independent galleries, small concert venues, outdoor murals and improv, to theater, ballet, symphony and visual arts, it all has a home here.

Solutions could run the gamut. And they’re more likely to be found in things we do as a city, not things we say. So imagine unexpected partnerships and events between corporate sponsors and grassroots arts organizations. What could we do to expose kids to arts and culture beyond the usual museum field trips? What would a centralized arts district look like? What kinds of festivals or signature events could Atlanta become known for? How do we make both locals and tourists aware of all the arts and culture options available to them?

Think about all the different ways Atlanta can beef up its arts scene both locally and nationally. Pretend money is no object, and you have the attention of dedicated, resourceful people who can really make some interesting things happen. Generate as many ideas as possible. Don’t be afraid of ideas that seem far-fetched or unconventional. The more the better, and think across a broad spectrum of disciplines. Because this is your chance to do some wonderful things for your city.

So please take action. Give us your wildest, most constructive, innovative thoughts. Go to www.colabsummit.com/ideastring and tell us how Atlanta can amplify its arts and culture, and one day be known for something big, meaningful and beautiful.