In a Bold Move, City of Atlanta Increases Arts Budget 100%


The City of Atlanta has approved a $1 million increase for the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs for fiscal year 2019.  The first city budget to be passed under Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms represents a 100% increase from last year’s arts budget, and is the first increase in eight years.

An amendment for the increase was introduced by newly elected council member Amir Farokhi of District 2. The council unanimously approved the increase. Last year, Farokhi hired BURNAWAY cofounder Susannah Darrow as his cultural advisor.

The news follows recent posts on social media shaming Atlanta for its paltry support of the arts, comparing it to “it” cities Nashville, with an arts budget of $2.4 million, and Charlotte, with an enviable. $13.7 million.

It’s not the first time ATL’s self-declared status as the Capital of the South has been challenged by Nashville and Charlotte.

The OCA’s Contracts for Art Services program provides funding for numerous nonprofits in Atlanta, including BURNAWAY.

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Comment(4)

  • Atlanta Mayor's Logo Competition Sets Off Furor - BURNAWAY
    July 2, 2018 at

    […] call has been met with skepticism from the artist community, which two weeks ago applauded Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for doubling the Office of Cultural Affairs […]

  • Joel
    June 25, 2018 at

    If the city wants to attract creative companies and wants to attract the kind of young talent that works in growth industries like tech, there needs to be investment in the arts. It is really is an investment, young people today move to a city based on how much is going on culturally, along with economic considerations. An arts scene is a very attractive asset for a city. Seems city government is not appreciating that considering the tiny amount of funding offered. The city has a $2billion budget, and 0.1% of our city’s budget is going to the arts. If we didnt have any art scene theres no way Amazon would even consider us. More arts means more jobs in all sort of industries pure and simple.

  • Amir Farokhi
    June 19, 2018 at

    If we had that GIF playing in City Council chambers, we might have been able to secure another $1M for the arts. Next year.

    • Stephanie Cash
      Stephanie Cash
      June 19, 2018 at

      Whatever it takes! Maybe live performers.

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