Atlanta Jazz Festival benefited from car rentals at Atlanta’s airport

As crowds on Sunday depart the Atlanta Jazz Festival, they have some unlikely sponsors to thank for the free entertainment – travelers who have rented cars at Atlanta’s airport.

Atlanta provided up to $100,000 to the festival from the city’s motor vehicle excise tax. Citing a decline steep decline in sponsorship due to the economy, the Atlanta City Council voted unanimously to approve the funding at its April 21 meeting.

The festival was established in 1978 by then Mayor Maynard Jackson. Today the event is produced by the Atlanta mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

Proposal: Give Atlanta mayor direct control of city’s arts programs

Atlanta's Office of Cultural Affairs would be moved into the mayor's office under a proposal now pending before the Atlanta City Council.

The office currently is located in the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. The office is headed by Camille Russell Love, who reports to parks Commissioner George Dusenbury. Dusenbury reports to Atlanta COO Duriya Faroqui, who reports to the mayor.

Reed is an outspoken advocate of public arts programs and has provided city funding of the arts despite the recession. The Office of Cultural Affairs oversees Atlanta’s most prominent arts programs, including the 36th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival – for which Reed hosted a preview party at Loews Hotel.