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 2013 – Transit: Time, People & Places
The theme of Elevate Week 2013 is “Transit: Time, People & Places” which is highly suitable given current streetcar project and the extensive growth the city is seeing in with regard to public transportation and urban accessibility. The installations, murals and events will be in a centralized along North and South Broad Street and the Broad Street Plaza/Five Points Station. Participating artists run the gamut from locally-known muralists to international performance troupes that had never performed in the United States. A taste of the line-up includes:
- Shelia Pree Bright: The installation entitled, 1960 Who? is inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and will feature a series of large scaled portraits of civil right workers. WonderRoot and artist William Shweigert will host a series of public performances to complement the installations and provide context to the images through print media and sound installation.
- Sarah Emerson: The mural entitled, Lost and Found, will be a continuation of the South Broad Mural Project. Emerson’s mural will speak directly to the growth and potential of the street due to the impact of the artwork from 2012. Emerson will be the first female artist to produce work for the South Broad Murals.
- Peter Tonningsten and Lisa Levine: Leveraging images from photo booths placed around the city, these California based photo artists will install mural banners throughout downtown to illustrate the diversity of the landscape and community members within.
- Mass Transit Muse: Mike Molina, an Atlanta based theatrical artist, will leverage three MARTA stations (Inman Park, Georgia State University and Five Points) to conduct a dramatic multimedia performance to illustrate the importance of public transportation and public art. Viewers will be invited into the Marta stations and the trains for this mobile theater performance.
- Bistaki: The French group G. Bistaki will use light and music while performing in unison with objects. The audience is involved in the movement creating a force of emotion that plays with the form, weight, texture and color of objects that seem very ordinary (roof tiles and purses), exploiting to the max the relationship between body-object-space.
To view the full artwork lineup visit the official Elevate website @ www.ElevateAtlantaArt.com
In addition to the artwork and performance, Elevate will be hosting several transportation inspired events throughout the downtown area. Alongside the daily walking and biking tours, Elevate has joined forces with MARTA , which has created an official Elevate-Marta bus route #49 to allow residents to view the artwork via public transport.
On October 19 at 4pm Elevate will host “Moving in a Creative Atlanta“, a panel led by Tom Sabulis, the Atlanta Journal Constitution “Atlanta Forward” moderator. Learn about the progress of our ATL transportation systems with regard to art, community and accessibility. Presenters are Keith Parker, CEO of Marta, Paul Morris, President/CEO of the Atlanta BeltLine, Tom Weyandt, Senior Transportation Policy Advisor to Mayor Reed, Rebecca Serna, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition & Cain Williamson, Principle Planer at the Atlanta Regional Commission/Transportation division. This event is hosted by Georgia Pacific and will be held in their auditorium at 133 Peachtree Street.
View the full schedule of events through the official Elevate website @ www.ElevateAtlantaArt.com
Through various exhibitions, commissions tours and events, Elevate looks to encourage artists, organizations, and collaboratives to heighten the public experience and encourage urban growth by re imagining public space through contemporary art and performance. Elevate is FREE and Open to the public during the month of October.
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.