Midtown Alliance is expanding its “Heart of the Arts” initiative with the creation of its first-ever residency program. 

Applications are now being accepted for year-long residencies to provide artists with dedicated spaces to work inside commercial buildings at various sites throughout the district.

“We saw the first phase of Heart of the Arts bring both storefronts and street level to life,” said curator Neda Abghari. “It’s heartening to witness Midtown further invest in the city’s creative economy by expanding the program to serve artists through residencies. Heart of the Arts relies on strategic partnerships with commercial properties to further connect artists to the community.”

This program delivers regular and accessible opportunities for creative interaction. Midtown citizens benefit from having access to artwork that enriches the street level and public spaces. 

In addition, regularly occurring arts-based programming provides opportunities to observe the creation of art, participate in creative practices, and to become active collectors and patrons.

The Atlanta History Center Midtown Campus and Portman Holdings are the first to sign on to provide studio spaces for the residency program expected to open this summer. 

“At Atlanta’s History Center, we’re constantly looking for ways to be an asset to our community, and our Midtown campus is a wonderful opportunity to do that,” said Sheffield Hale, president and CEO of Atlanta History Center. “Art is also such an important way that we can connect with one another, and with our community. We’re excited about the possibilities for dialogue that having an artist in residence could bring over the next year.”

Host sites enjoy the creation of art on their property and quarterly programming events such as artist talks, workshops, classes, lectures and more.

The program is committed to the continued professional development of practicing Atlanta-based creatives. 

Each resident artist will be awarded studio space for 12 months. A stipend will be provided by Midtown Alliance to alleviate financial barriers to creating work and conducting business in Midtown. 

Residents will also enjoy opportunities to showcase work to new audiences and potential patrons, as well as to connect with curators, arts professionals and Midtown-based cultural institutions. 

Artwork generated throughout the term of the residency will be presented in an ongoing public display in a prominent location on the hosting property. Additionally, residing artists will receive priority consideration by Midtown Alliance and its partners for future commission opportunities that will benefit Midtown’s public spaces.

“Through the artist in residency program, we’re excited to be able to bring creative entrepreneurs directly into Coda’s innovative ecosystem,” said Ambrish Baisiwala, CEO and Chairman of Portman Holdings. “We will continue to see the social equity creation made possible by those meaningful connections.”

Heart of the Arts launched in December 2020 with seven storefront installations that activated empty ground level spaces and showcased talent that was new to the district. 

The mission of the multi-pronged program is to support local artists and create an even more exceptional urban experience in Midtown, which is widely recognized for its connection to artistic expression. 

The district is home to more than 50 public art installations and has the largest concentration of arts and cultural venues in the Southeast.

Artists will be selected by a committee composed of a number of Atlanta’s respected cultural agents, as well as Midtown business and property owners. Midtown’s inaugural class of resident artists will be announced in June.

Midtown Alliance invites property owners seeking opportunities for their available spaces in 2021 to reach out regarding potential partnerships.

“We believe the creative community is integral to vibrant city life,” said Ginny Kennedy, Midtown Alliance Director of Urban Design. “It’s inspiring to join forces with some of Midtown’s most influential property owners to help artists build a firm foundation in our district.”

For more about the Heart of the Arts program visit MidtownATL.com/arts. Follow Midtown Alliance on Instagram (@Midtown_ATL), Facebook (@MidtownATL) and Twitter (@MidtownATL) with hashtag #MidtownATLarts for updates about the program.

Midtown Alliance announced the second phase of its studio residency program with the Atlanta History Center and Portman Properties serving as commercial properties for artists. (Photo Credit: Midtown Alliance)
Midtown Alliance announced the second phase of its studio residency program with the Atlanta History Center and Portman Properties serving as commercial properties for artists. (Photo Credit: Midtown Alliance)

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