Arts & Entertainment Atlanta Announces 2021 Grant Program Recipients
Ten artists and arts organizations to receive a total of $100,000,
supporting operations and projects in Downtown Atlanta
ATLANTA (December 23, 2021) – Arts & Entertainment Atlanta (A&E Atlanta) is pleased to announce the recipients of its second grant cycle. Grants of up to $10,000 have been awarded to ten artists and arts organizations, representing a diverse spectrum of creative talent. The program furthers A&E Atlanta’s mission of enhancing the vibrancy of Downtown by championing local arts and culture. Doubling the amount of grant funds in its second year, A&E Atlanta is dispersing $100,000 to its new grantees, which will support vital operations and the development of multidisciplinary projects to be realized throughout 2022.
A&E Atlanta’s 2021 grant recipients are Cam Kirk Studios, Full Radius Dance, Lassana Kouyate, Shoccara Marcus, MASS Collective, Bautanzt Here, Onur Topal-Sumer & Asım Evren Yantac (KARMA Lab), Power Haus Creative, The Bakery, and Theatrical Outfit.
“We’re excited to award a larger allocation of funds to support the Atlanta arts community this year and we look forward to experiencing what these artists and arts organizations have in store for Downtown in 2022.” said Fredalyn M. Frasier, Project Director of Planning and Urban Design at Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (CAP/ADID), who oversees the Arts & Entertainment Atlanta effort.
A&E Atlanta is a neighborhood activation and economic development project for Downtown Atlanta. The program fuses new outdoor media, art, and advertising to fund and present cultural and public space programming in the city’s core. The effort is managed by the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) and self-funds its management and programming through revenue-sharing agreements with media companies within the district, which include Orange Barrel Media, and BIG Outdoor.
Since 2020, A&E Atlanta has:
- Presented two outdoor digital exhibits: The South Got Something to Say (2021), curated by Karen Comer Lowe, and In Light (2020), curated by Dashboard and MINT.
- Utilized its digital signs to feature COVID-19 community PSAs and uplifting messages created by local artists and curated by Dashboard, Orange Barrel Media, BIG Outdoor, Living Walls, and the United Way of Greater Atlanta.
- Sponsored art activations like Prism: Winter Lights and the Juneteenth Takeover.
- Supported community messaging through digital displays; notably the ATL1000 mural celebration, Reimagine the Legacy: Honoring John Lewis, Atlanta Design Festival, Elevate, and the Peachtree Shared Street demonstration project.
A&E Atlanta 2021 Grantees:
Assane Kouyate - Project Support: Performance/Cultural Exchange
Assane Kouyaté is a choreographer and dancer from Senegal with over 25 years of experience. He is the artistic director of La Culture Mandingue, a traditional arts project that honors and celebrates ancestral griot traditions. La Culture Mandingue will be a free, vibrant cultural event that will activate the Sweet Auburn neighborhood through traditional West African music and food, a folkloric dance workshop, and a fashion gala depicting attire common to Manding regions of Mali, Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea.
The Bakery – Operational Support: Gallery & Community Arts Programming
The Bakery is a collective of creative thinkers aligned around social justice principles, environmental concerns, and the belief that art is pivotal to existence. The Bakery keeps community building at the core of its work. The A&E Atlanta grant funds will be used to continue supporting gallery exhibitions by providing free or discounted space for emerging curators, local artists, and partner organizations.
Bautanzt Here - Project Support: Dance/Performance
Bautanzt Here is a team of strong dancers under the direction of experienced artistic director Nadya Zeitlin. Bautanzt Here merges dance and theatre, creating a unique language to tell meaningful and visually engaging stories in unconventional spaces. Bautanzt Here will use their grant funding for a series of site-specific performances activating different public locations in Downtown Atlanta. The movement scores, set design, and costumes will be inspired by the architectural features of iconic Atlanta buildings.
Cam Kirk Studios – Project Support: Community Conference
A creative brainchild of photographer, Cam Kirk, the studio is a place for photographers and creatives a like to create projects, sharpen their skills, and conduct their business with the professional tools needed to advance. Cam Kirk Studios will use their grant funding for Yesterday’s Tomorrow, a creative conference rooted in community. The event takes place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and will cover the topics of music, fashion, art, business, and community. To attend the conference, attendees must participate in a community service event initiated by Cam Kirk Studios.
Full Radius Dance – Project Support: Dance/Performance
Full Radius Dance redefines the boundaries of dance by bringing together disabled and nondisabled dancers through performance, education, and advocacy. The dance company will perform a trio of site-specific dance works illuminating pivotal moments in Atlanta's civil rights history. These dances will reveal dimly remembered parts of the city’s multilayered past.
MASS Collective – Operations Support: Education
MASS Collective is a community workshop and alternative education platform that works in all arts disciplines. Through their membership, apprenticeship, education, and production programs, MASS provides individuals and businesses affordable access to the tools, knowledge, and training required to grow and thrive. Grant funds will be used to support training of apprentices as well as provide public educational courses at a continued low rate.
Onur Topal-Sumer & Asım Evren Yantac (KARMA Lab) - Project Support: Performance/New Media Technologies
Artist Onur Topal Sümer, originally from Istanbul, has been based in Atlanta for the past 15 years as a movement designer, filmmaker, and dance artist. For this project, Onur Topal Sümer will be collaborating with Koç University KARMA XR Lab and Çiplak Ayaklar Dance Company from İstanbul. This project will present a dance performance supported by XR (extended reality) technologies where two dancers (one from Atlanta and one from Istanbul) will remotely collaborate to build a choreography and perform a show which will be viewed in a public space in Downtown Atlanta.
Power Haus Creative - Project Support: Mural
Power Haus Creative is a creative project management and arts consulting company led by Ash Nash with a mission to strengthen community bonds both visually and economically through the arts. Grant funds will be used to support a Downtown mural project, “Ain’t Nothin' Minor About Us.” Through this artwork, Power Haus Creative aims to bring awareness to the power of language and subconscious impact of the term “minority” when addressing people of color.
Shoccara Marcus - Project Support: Documentary Film
Shoccara Marcus is a dance photographer and documentarian with a BFA in dance from Howard University and a MFA in photography from Savannah College of Art and Design. The “Black Dance in Atlanta'' project is the first of a series exploring the evolution of the first Black dance studios in Atlanta, Georgia. A series of documentaries will be created to highlight and give homage to significant figures in the Atlanta dance community and their impact.
Theatrical Outfit – Project Support: Community Engagement Programming
Theatrical Outfit is proud to be Atlanta's Downtown theatre, pursuing a mission to produce world-class theatre that starts the conversations that matter. Grant funding will support engagement events exploring the topic of community-police relations inspired by Theatrical Outfit’s production of “The Wolf at the End of the Block” by Ike Holter.
More information about the grant recipients and their projects can be found on A&E Atlanta’s website, AEAtlanta.com.