Elevate Atlanta once again bridges the arts, culture and community

By Saba Long

In Atlanta, conversations on public and street art have progressed by leaps and bounds over the past three years.

Private citizens and city officials have watched the success of public art in strengthening community and fostering dialogue across the globe in Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, New York and even Gambia.

Elevate, one of two annual contemporary public art series to have transformed the city, is back for a fall installation sure to aide in the revitalization of downtown Atlanta.

Kicking off with a mixed-media installation, titled “Banho de Luz”, using the marble monument at Peachtree and Baker, the series will continue south with the final days of Elevate to focus on South Broad with spectators invited to watch Hense, Push, Tilt and other renowned street artists creative paintings on five buildings.

Central Atlanta Progress, Wonderroot, downtown residents and other interest groups developed the seven day program with the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Day-time walking tours led by the Cultural Affairs office will provide insights into the public arts displays and give participants an “on the ground” view of the challenges and opportunities of building a vibrant downtown.

The 200 Peachtree building will host The Imaginary Million gala Wednesday evening. Hosted by Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCAGa), Kennesaw State Museum and WonderRoot, 100 artists will bid on the works of their peers with imaginary funds with the artists taking home their winning bids.

An installation sure to wow downtown dwellers and tourists alike will be a vibrantly painted wraparound of the notoriusly rundown Atlanta Constitution building on Forsyth Street.

Part of what makes Elevate such a success is its weaving of the arts into discussions of economic vitality and the community. Closing out the program will be a lively Saturday evening of food trucks, performances by French choreagapher Pierre Rigal and the Atlanta Music Project all on South Broad, one of the more blighted corridors of downtown.

For a complete list of events, as well as info on participating artists, visit www.ocaAtlanta.com/ElevateAtlanta.

Saba Long is a communications and political professional who lives in downtown Atlanta. She serves as the senior council aide and communications liaison for Post 2 At-Large Atlanta City Councilman Aaron Watson. Most recently, Saba was the press secretary for MAVEN and Untie Atlanta -- the Metro Chamber’s education and advocacy campaigns in supportive of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Referendum. She has consulted with H.E.G. an analytics and evaluation firm where she lent strategic marketing and social media expertise to numerous political campaigns, including that of Fulton County Chairman John Eaves and the 2010 Clayton County transportation referendum. In 2009, Saba served as the deputy campaign manager for the campaign of City Council President Ceasar Mitchell. Previously, Saba was a Junior Account Executive at iFusion Marketing, where she lent fractional marketing strategy to various ATDC technology startups operating out of the Georgia Tech incubator, ATDC. For the past two years, Saba has presented on online marketing and politics to the incoming fellows of the Atlanta chapter of the New Leaders Council.

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