A&E Atlanta’s 2021 grant recipients are Assane Kouyate, Bautanzt Here, Cam Kirk Studios, Full Radius Dance, MASS Collective, Onur Topal-Sumer & Asım Evren Yantac (KARMA Lab), Power Haus Creative, Shoccara Marcus, The Bakery, and Theatrical Outfit.
“We’re excited to award a larger allocation of funds to support the Atlanta arts community this year and we look forward to experiencing what these artists and arts organizations have in store for Downtown in 2022.” said Fredalyn M. Frasier, Project Director of Planning and Urban Design at Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (CAP/ADID), who oversees the Arts & Entertainment Atlanta effort.
A&E Atlanta is a neighborhood activation and economic development project for Downtown Atlanta. The program fuses new outdoor media, art, and advertising to fund and present cultural and public space programming in the city’s core. The effort is managed by the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) and self-funds its management and programming through revenue-sharing agreements with media companies within the district, which include Orange Barrel Media, and BIG Outdoor.
Assane Kouyaté is a choreographer and dancer from Senegal with over 25 years of experience. He is the artistic director of La Culture Mandingue, a traditional arts project that honors and celebrates ancestral griot traditions. Dance is an integral part of daily life in West Africa, and goes hand in hand with song, music, and associated artforms, representing a narrative of community, expression, communication, and culture-building. La Culture Mandingue will be a free, vibrant cultural event that will activate the Sweet Auburn neighborhood through traditional West African music and food, a folkloric dance workshop, and a fashion gala depicting attire common to Manding regions of Mali, Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea.
Multidisciplinary Arts Collective
The Bakery is a collective of creative thinkers aligned around social justice principles, environmental concerns, and the belief that art is pivotal to existence. The Bakery keeps community building at the core of its work. The A&E Atlanta grant funds will be used to continue supporting gallery exhibitions by providing free or discounted space for emerging curators, local artists, and partner organizations. As operational support, this grant will help cover insurance and facility-related expenses, provide marketing support for artists, and provide a stipend for volunteer gallery sitters.
Bautanzt Here is a team of strong dancers under the direction of experienced artistic director Nadya Zeitlin. Bautanzt Here merges dance and theatre, creating a unique language to tell meaningful and visually engaging stories in unconventional spaces. The dance company wants to make the art of dance more accessible by bringing it to public spaces and audiences who usually don't attend dance performances. Bautanzt Here will use their grant funding for a series of site-specific performances activating different public locations in Downtown Atlanta. The movement scores, set design, and costumes will be inspired by architectural features of iconic Atlanta buildings.
Cam Kirk Studios
Photography & Event Space
A creative brainchild of photographer, Cam Kirk, the studio is a place for photographers and creatives alike to create projects, sharpen their skills, and conduct their business with the professional tools needed to advance. Cam Kirk Studios will use their grant funding for Yesterday’s Tomorrow, a creative conference rooted in community. The immersive event takes place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and covers the topics of music, fashion, art, business, and community. To attend the conference, attendees must participate in a community service event initiated by Cam Kirk Studios.
Full Radius Dance
Full Radius Dance redefines the boundaries of dance by bringing together disabled and non-disabled dancers through performance, education, and advocacy. The dance company will perform a trio of site-specific dance works illuminating pivotal moments in Atlanta's civil rights history. These dances will reveal dimly remembered parts of the city’s multilayered past.
Multidisciplinary Arts Collective
MASS Collective is a community workshop and alternative education platform that works in all arts disciplines. MASS is dedicated to lowering the barrier of entry to manufacturing equipment and design resources. Through their membership, apprenticeship, education, and production programs, MASS provides individuals and businesses affordable access to the tools, knowledge, and training required to grow and thrive. Grant funds will be used to support the training of apprentices as well as provide public educational courses at a continued low rate. MASS Collective aims to expand its courses to new groups, fund more low-cost training, and partner with local organizations in need.
Onur Topal-Sümer & Asım Evren Yantac, KARMA Lab
Performing Arts & New Media Technologies
Artist Onur Topal Sümer, originally from Istanbul, has been based in Atlanta for the past 15 years as a movement designer, filmmaker and dance artist. For this project, Onur Topal Sümer will be collaborating with Asım Evren Yantac, Koç University KARMA XR Lab and Çiplak Ayaklar Dance Company from İstanbul to bring together an intercontinental, multidisciplinary remote-collaborative dance performance. This project will present a dance performance supported by XR (extended reality) technologies where two dancers (one from Atlanta and one from Istanbul) will remotely collaborate to build a choreography and perform a show which will be viewed in a public space in Downtown Atlanta.
Power Haus Creative
Multidisciplinary Arts Collective
Power Haus Creative is a creative project management and arts consulting company led by Ash Nash. With a mission of strengthening community bonds both visually and economically through the arts, Nash is a change agent that ensures Black culture is authentically represented within business, public art, fine art, and underserved communities. Grant funds will be used to support a Downtown mural project, “Ain’t Nothin' Minor About Us.” From birth, people of color carry the label of "minority". Through this artwork, Power Haus Creative aims to bring awareness to the power of language and subconscious impact of the term “minority” when addressing people of color.
Photography & Documentary Film
Shoccara Marcus is a dance photographer and documentarian with a BFA in dance from Howard University and an MFA in photography from Savannah College of Art and Design. The “Black Dance in Atlanta'' project is the first of a series exploring the evolution of the first Black dance studios in Atlanta, Georgia. A series of documentaries will be created to highlight and give homage to significant figures in the Atlanta dance community and their impact.
Theatrical Outfit is proud to be Atlanta's Downtown theatre, pursuing a mission to produce world-class theatre that starts the conversations that matter. That mission has never been more relevant than in this moment as the theatre embraces the profound ability of its work to create a vision of a compassionate community grounded in justice, equity, and dignity. Grant funding will support engagement events exploring the topic of community-police relations inspired by Theatrical Outfit’s production of “The Wolf at the End of the Block” by Ike Holter. “Wolf” tells the story of Abe, a resident of a Chicago neighborhood, who seeks truth and justice after a mysterious, late-night interaction at a boarded-up bar. This thriller is socially conscious, relentlessly suspenseful, and bitingly funny as it addresses the complex issues of race and community-police relations.