Has the recession been good for artists?

Actually, in many ways, yes

Recession? What recession?

According to conventional wisdom, Atlanta's arts scene should be all but dead. As the story goes, when economic times are hard, arts and culture are the first activities to get the heave-ho as private and public belt tightening squeeze the life out of artists and nonprofit arts organizations.

But there's a problem with the conventional wisdom: exactly the opposite appears to be happening. A casual look around Atlanta reveals that after years of deep freeze, more arts projects are springing up in the city than any time in recent history.

A groundswell of new arts organizations is enlivening Atlanta from the bottom up. Scarcely a week goes by that some new arts production group, some new publication, festival or financial support vehicle isn't announcing that they've arrived on the scene. And although it's true that Atlanta's legacy arts institutions recently have suffered cutbacks and hardships, the once unspeakable idea that new arts activities might be fueled by the down economy is starting to seem more plausible.

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