Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs | Elevate
Atlanta OCA


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ELEVATE 2014 :: The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs will present ELEVATE 2014 from Friday, October 17 through Thursday, October 23. Programming will include public art installations, music and dance performances, gallery exhibits and eclectic street art in various venues throughout downtown Atlanta such as Gallery 72 and Woodruff Park. Participating artists and organizations include Branden Collins, The Goat Farm, and La Passante which is co-sponsored by France Atlanta.

“Our theme is ‘Social City’ and, with the help of more than 100 artists, we are creating an environment ripe for exploration, discovery and conversation. You’ll have a chance to engage with living sculptures, interactive gadgetry, artist panels, portable art and dance performances, and quite a few surprises.”

-Camille Russell Love, Executive Director Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs

Elevate Atlanta 2014 Social City Project examples:

Branden Collins will use ancient forms of masking and costuming from various cultures as reference points in his exhibit at Gallery 72. His artwork incorporates brilliant colors and tribal elements and encourages the viewer to come closer.

The Goat Farm, working with over 20 artists and designers, will transform ten dumpsters into built galleries, installations and sculptures. Utilizing art, science, technology and micro-manufacturing they’ll create cozy, inviting spaces. Among the galleries, located in hidden alleyways and nearby parks, visitors will discover a Secret Garden to make a wish or a Giant Synthesizer where they can make public music. These are just two of the ten experiences offered by the Goat Farm during Elevate week.

Strolling through downtown at lunchtime you may encounter La Passante. These walking French parasols invite you to join them for an intimate poem and a brief respite from the city’s hustle and bustle, an unforgettable experience. La Passante is co-sponsored by France Atlanta.

Joanie Le Mercier’s unique, light-based projection art will create optical illusions and “geometrisize” areas of Atlanta’s urban landscape. His works combines math with art and immerses the viewer in a journey that conjures space exploration.

Dance Truck will present dance and performance art, complete with lighting, music and all the trappings that you find on a traditional stage…in a most extraordinary mobile setting.

ELEVATE 2014 is being created with a wealth of talented artists and organizational collaboration. Just to name a few: Casey Lynch, Dustin Chambers, Romy Maloon, Joanie Le Mercier, Jane Garver, Igor Korsunskiy, Kris Pilcher, Branden Collins, The Goat Farm, Mammal Gallery, Dance Truck, The French Consulate and Eyedrum.

Locations for this year’s ELEVATE are Woodruff Park, Gallery 72, Five Points Plaza and the Fairlie-Poplar District. However, many exhibits will take place in unexpected, non-traditional locations around town and some art will be mobile.


Elevate’s mission is to initiate positive urban growth through arts economics – or the concept of culture being a driving force for commerce. Each year, the organization selects a section of downtown Atlanta to “reclaim” for a week to show the impact art can have on an often overlooked part of town. The staff assesses community conversations, infrastructure improvements or losses and historical challenges to identify an area – that through artwork and cultural patronage – would be transformative for the city as a whole.

Elevate History :: From Elevate, Art Above Underground (the exhibit) to Elevate (the annual art program).

Launched in 2011, the first exhibition of Elevate, Elevate//Art Above Underground,  hosted 15 events and 40 performances over 66 days. Artwork filled vacant properties, street corners and plazas to showcase artwork ranging from 13 story murals to contemporary dance, video, installation and poetry. Although public funding allocated through our percent for art program was the direct source for the artist commissions, additional funding to execute an exhibition of this caliber was provided through local Atlanta businesses. Donation of art space, hotel rooms, theatrical lighting, food, advertising and cash support nearly doubled the exhibitions initial budget, demonstrating the immediate community support. This intensive cultural programming brought in 13,313 new visitors to downtown Atlanta.

At the end of the program, downtown property owners and businesses adopted the bulk of the visual work commissioned through Elevate. The artwork has now been incorporated into the permanent downtown landscape. In addition to the adopted artwork, other aesthetic improvements to the downtown district were implemented surrounding the close of Elevate. Underground Atlanta was publicly earmarked for a potential art space by Atlanta Mayor, Kasim Reed.

Elevate strives to build bridges in the downtown community though partnerships and collaboration. The total amount of partnerships formed in Elevate 2011 was 19, including Universities, not for profit organizations, government organizations and private businesses. Within one month following the close of Elevate 2011, 101 local, national and international articles were published regarding downtown Atlanta, the arts and most importantly their relationship to the businesses and surrounding economy.

Elevate officially became an annual downtown arts program of the Office of Cultural Affairs in 2012. Now in the second year, the physical project area has been extended from coverage of three blocks to all of central downtown Atlanta. Partnerships have grown to include contemporary museums such as the High and MocaGA as has local community support and volunteer base. This year, artwork commissioned through Elevate will be offered a larger budget per project, increasing the caliber and scale of selected work to exhibit. We expect Elevate 2012 programs and commissions to impact the Atlanta economy, increase the quality of life for our citizens, educate the public and gain global attention for our city as a creative and culturally engaging contemporary city.



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