Editor's Note - The arts have a hard time in Atlanta

If only leaders could see that culture benefits the entire city

A genuine muckety-muck called the other day. Joel Babbit is a legend in Atlanta ad agency circles. But he was calling because he's hopping mad about the Atlanta Film Festival.

Babbit had resigned from the board of advisors of IMAGE Film & Video Center, which runs the festival. The festival had lost yet another director and, for a year, IMAGE hasn't had a permanent executive director. Why, Babbit wants to know, is IMAGE jumping from year to year with little leadership continuity? Could that be one reason our festival has stagnated while others grow enormously?

As Staff Writer Curt Holman reports this week, IMAGE has now hired an executive director (p. 18). But an Atlanta art institution's tribulations are a familiar chorus in a sad ballad. Now, it's IMAGE. Last winter, Eyedrum — the fantastic alternative arts space — was struggling to pay the rent.

In another article this week, Staff Writer Felicia Feaster enthusiastically reviews an exhibit at Young Blood Gallery (p. 38). She also reveals that Young Blood owners Kelly Teasley and Maggie White are having a hard time keeping the gallery going. Their game plan is to run through this exhibit and then, perhaps, to give Young Blood one last stab at another location before calling it quits.

Contrast this with last weekend's shuttering of Vision nightclub. Turns out, RedEye columnist Tony Ware reports, that Vision's owners have purchased mega-competitor Compound (p. 89). Meanwhile, nonprofit arts groups bump along, never gaining the financial breathing room to take the risks that would place a richly creative community on the national map.

Why is that? Simple answer: In Atlanta's go-go commercial culture, it just doesn't compute that arts groups could give more to the community if only local government and businesses invested in them the way leaders in other cities do. Arts groups certainly need to do their part by running their organizations competently.

Until more of our corporate and political muckety-mucks figure out that we all gain by supporting such organizations, however, the sad ballad will add new verses.


More By This Writer


Wednesday November 19, 2008 04:57 am EST

Huffington Post reported this afternoon that former Veep Al Gore will campaign here Sunday for Democratic Senate candidate Jim Martin. I'm sure Young Thomas will be getting us more details later.

Meanwhile, here are details on former President Bill Clinton's visit tomorrow (or today by the time you read this) at Clark Atlanta University on behalf of Martin. For those keeping score, John...

| more...


Monday November 17, 2008 02:35 pm EST

1. Serious injury at Atlanta Downhill Soapbox Derby By Andisheh Nouraee

2. Paul Broun compares Obama to Hitler By Andisheh Nouraee

3. Atlanta's 11 Least Influential People: No. 6 By Andisheh Nouraee

4. Atlanta's 11 Least Influential People: No. 7 By Andisheh Nouraee

5. Wendy Whitaker faces under court ruling By Scott Henry

| more...


Saturday November 15, 2008 02:27 pm EST

Creative Loafing Inc. has asked a bankruptcy judge to allow it to pay $495 an hour to the investment banker who engineered last year's purchase by CL of two other alternative weeklies, according to Atlanta Magazine's Steve Fennessy. This time Skyway Capital Partners' Bryan Crino would be tasked with helping to solve the company's financial woes.

Under the company's Nov. 10 motion to the...

| more...


Monday November 10, 2008 11:17 pm EST

After eight years during which the federal government didn't even have an urban policy, an aide  President-elect Obama is indicating that he plans to coordinate aid to cities.

The Washington Post reports that Obama plans to establish a White House Office of Urban Policy.

"He's going to have a White House chief of urban policy," transition co-chair Valerie Jarrett told the Trotter...

| more...


Monday November 10, 2008 03:17 pm EST

1. AJC censors comics, movie ads By Scott Henry

2. Georgia Court of Appeals: The most important vote you may skip on Tuesday By Ken Edelstein

3. Election night photos By Alejandro A. Leal

4. Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Obama celebration photos By Thomas Wheatley

5. The Libertarian effect on Georgia's U.S. Senate race By Thomas Wheatley

| more...
Search for more by Ken Edelstein

[Admin link: Editor's Note - The arts have a hard time in Atlanta]