Annual Report 2022

Arts & Entertainment Atlanta

Arts & Entertainment Atlanta (A&E Atlanta) is a neighborhood activation and economic development initiative for Downtown Atlanta. A&E Atlanta celebrates our creative community by showcasing their work in a way that brings more vibrancy and excitement to the unique space of Downtown.

The signs and associated programming and installations are intended to authentically reflect the vibrancy, diversity, and creativity of the City as a whole by activating Downtown streets and public spaces, leveraging the talents of Atlanta’s diverse and thriving music, art, and sports culture. The program fuses new media, local art, performance, and advertising and funds cultural and public space programming in the city’s core.

Managed by the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID), The Arts and Entertainment District self-funds its' administration and programming through revenue-sharing agreements with media companies within the District. Currently, two media partners are active with the district: BIG Outdoor and Orange Barrel Media (OBM). An Advisory Council is comprised of individuals that represent the community, including Downtown residents and business, entertainment, and arts and culture leaders.

Melissa Huang, digital dreamer,
2022. Of the Fantastic: Extraordinary ATL,
2022 Digital Exhibition

The A&E Atlanta Grant Program

From theater to dance, film, visual arts, sculpture, and organizational support, the A&E grant program utilizes revenue generated from commercial content to support local artists and arts organizations working in Downtown. Grantees are selected through an annual application process that includes a review panel comprised of local arts professionals and community stakeholders.

2022 marked the third year of the A&E Grant Program. Grants of up to $10,000 totaling $150,000 were awarded to eighteen artists and arts organizations. The new grantees represent a diverse spectrum of creative talent, and funding will support vital operations and multidisciplinary projects to be realized throughout 2023. Since 2020, thirty-five artists and arts organizations have received grants to enliven Downtown.

In 2022, A&E Grant recipient
Bautanzt Here used funding for a series of site-specific performances activating different public locations in Downtown. The movement scores, set design, and costumes were inspired by architectural features of iconic local buildings.

2022/23 Grantees

Andrew Blooms – Art Exhibition

Anicka Austin - Dance/Performance

Ashlee Haze - Performance/Poetry

Carl Janes - Artist Studio & Performance Venue

Cienna Minniefield - Community/Education

DanceATL - Dance/Performance

Erin Palovick & Carley Rickles - Community/Education

Eso Tilin Projects - Art Exhibition

Fly on a Wall - Dance/Performance

Future Dead Artists - Gallery & Community Arts Programming

Gavin Bernard - Visual Art

Kerri Garrett - Visual Art

La Candela Flamenco - Dance/Performance

Mike Stasny - Artist Studio & Performance Venue


Praise House Project - Multimedia Installation

The Evil Doers Mega - Art Exhibition

T. Lang Dance - Dance/Performance

“I felt so proud to present a free screening of my film, Jordan, in my hometown for the community and film lovers to enjoy courtesy of Arts & Entertainment Atlanta. Accessible art is a defining aspect of the Atlanta community and my art practice. The funding and support has been the largest and most uplifting opportunity I have had as a working artist. This funding allowed me to stretch my talents and imagination. Not having to create from a place of scarcity is affirming, and every artist deserves that.”

- Ebony Blanding

Writer & Film Director, 2020/21 A&E Grant Recipient

Founder of

Future Dead Artists,

EuGene V. Byrd III, sits outside of Future Gallery located at Underground Atlanta.

2022 Activated Locations

A&E Atlanta continues to expand to new locations and identify innovative approaches to programming, elevating the cultural landscape of Downtown. With the addition of four new locations activated in 2022, A&E Atlanta has a network of twelve active locations.

New in 2022

Margaret Mitchell Square (140 Peachtree Street)

79 Marietta Street Garage

161 Peachtree Center

AmericasMart (240 Peachtree Street)

Amplifying Community Messaging

In collaboration with media partners Orange Barrel Media and BIG Outdoor, A&E Atlanta has presented over 20 digital campaigns that have strengthened community messaging.

So far, campaign topics have included support for AAPI communities, voter advocacy, COVID-19 testing information, combatting antisemitism, honoring the late Congressman John Lewis and Rev. C.T. Vivian, messages welcoming people to the Downtown core, and more.

Community messaging also includes the regular promotion of local arts events like the Atlanta Design Festival, ELEVATE, and the Atlanta Jazz Festival.

“The exhibition, Of the Fantastic: Extraordinary ATL, featured artists whose work is ethereal, yet layered in emotion and context. The fantastical elements in each of the works selected provide a look into the Atlanta artist's mind and offer underlying sentiments into their various cultures, ideals, and dynamics.”

- Curator Lauren Jackson Harris shares her inspiration for the exhibition during the closing reception tour.

Annual Digital Exhibition

Of the Fantastic: Extraordinary ATL

Each summer, A&E Atlanta partners with an Atlanta-based curator to uplift the work of a group of local artists for a two-month exhibition that’s displayed on several digital signs throughout Downtown Atlanta. In 2022, in partnership with Orange Barrel Media, Of the Fantastic: Extraordinary ATL was curated by Lauren Jackson Harris and featured works by 11 Atlanta-based artists.

Urban design, Building, Plant, Daytime, Photograph, Car, Window, Vehicle, Infrastructure, Tree
Land vehicle, Automotive lighting, Car, Building, Tire, Wheel, Infrastructure, Tree
Tower block, Urban design, Plant, Building, Daytime, Window, Infrastructure, Tree, Architecture, Condominium
Urban design, Plant, Daytime, Property, Photograph, Building, Window, Leaf, Lighting, Neighbourhood
Vehicle registration plate, Wheel, Tire, Car, Building, Window, Plant
Automotive parking light, Vehicle registration plate, Car, Wheel, Tire, Infrastructure, Tree

“For many of the artists, this was the first time seeing their work(s) larger-than-life and celebrated with advocates of the arts and Downtown ATL. A&E Atlanta continues to celebrate local creatives and tailor opportunities for the city to do so too!”

- Oshun Layne

Executive Director, DASH

Of the Fantastic: Extraordinary ATL featured artists

Uncovering Local Stories

In 2021, A&E Atlanta launched Local Stories as a cultural programming component, using specific digital sign locations as a platform to present the hidden and unique history of Downtown Atlanta. The short segments are designed to pique observers’ interest and encourage them to visit the A&E Atlanta website for the full story.

In 2022, A&E Atlanta worked with curators EuGene V. Byrd III, Corey Oberlander, and Lindsey Stapleton to select Atlanta artists to each interpret a local story through a visual lens. The seven stories were displayed at Margaret Mitchell Square by the following artists: Melissa Holmes, Karo Durojaiye, Kristan Woolford, Na’iim Shareef (curated by EuGene V. Byrd III), Alexis Childress, Courtney McClellan, and William Downs (curated by Corey Oberlander & Lindsey Stapleton). A&E Atlanta will continue to engage artists annually to contribute to the growing portfolio of unique stories.

Kristan Woolford


Melissa holmes


William Downs

Building Eisemans Facade

Courtney McClellan

The Advancement of Learning

Karo Durojaiye

Hands of Time: The Butler Street YMCA

Na'iim Shareef

Tales from the Tabernacle

Alexis Childress

A World from the Past

Kristan Woolford


Melissa holmes


William Downs

Building Eisemans Facade

Courtney McClellan

The Advancement of Learning

Karo Durojaiye

Hands of Time: The Butler Street YMCA

Na'iim Shareef

Tales from the Tabernacle

Alexis Childress

A World from the Past

A&E Artist in Residence

In Partnership with the Fulton County Public Art Futures Lab

The Fulton County Public Art Futures Lab offers physical and digital space for artists to exhibit, experiment, educate and experience the role of technology and its intersection with public art. As a program partner, A&E Atlanta sponsored two artist residencies in 2022 and both artists were charged with elevating digital content through innovative technology while simultaneously providing meaningful, exciting content authentic to Downtown.

2022 Residents included Salvador Iglesias and Eddie Farr. Each artist will have their work showcased on the digital signs and on the A&E Atlanta website. Beginning in 2023, A&E Atlanta will support six artists annually.

Pictured here: A&E Atlanta Artists in Residence Salvador Iglesias (top) and Eddie Farr (bottom)

Art in Public Spaces

Transforming Downtown

Not all A&E Atlanta initiatives are digital or temporary; several significant works by local and internationally renowned artists are now on display. These works punctuate the urban landscape with beautiful pops of color and thought-provoking messaging. In 2022, three notable public art installations are now a part of the Downtown landscape thanks to the partnership with Orange Barrel Media (OBM). These new highlights to downtown include: Look At Them Look At Us by Genevieve Gaignard, Lenticular Wall by HENSE (Alex Brewer), and Color Connection by Ash "Wolfdog" Hayner.

Photos below provided courtesy of Orange Barrel Media.

Alex Brewer (HENSE),
Lenticular Wall, 2022

240 Peachtree / AmericasMart Art Wall
Orange Barrel Media + A&E Atlanta

The imagery HENSE created for the lenticular wall is based on his recent public art projects as well as his studio work from the last few years. The artist intended to create a bold design that would read as one unified composition, but also break up into interesting areas when viewed from different angles. Traditionally a painter, this is the first time Brewer worked digitally to create a piece that would be printed and installed on site. As always with his public work, the artist considered the context, architecture, and overall space.

Ash 'WOLFDOG' Hayner,
Color Connection, 2022

240 Peachtree / AmericasMart Sky Bridge
Orange Barrel Media + A&E Atlanta

The concept for this piece was both about bringing color and excitement to an otherwise bland landscape, and about bringing people together. Utilizing the cement texture of the bridge as the background allowed for the bright abstract shapes to tease the larger, solid image of color on the opposite side of the bridge. Similarly, people from all walks of life use this space to connect from building to building. The artist’s hope with this piece is to provide an uplifting and unexpected meeting place for years to come.

Genevieve Gaignard,
Look at them Look at Us

79 Marietta St. / Large-scale outdoor public art
Orange Barrel Media + A&E Atlanta

The new work in the district exhibits Gaignard’s distinctive aesthetic, which blends glamour and camp and resonates with the exaggerated visuals of the social media age.

2022 By the numbers

local creatives


campaigns & programs


$1.1 Million

revenue generated*

*includes funds reserved for a future projection mapping installation


direct funding to local creatives

José Ibara Rizo, Giovanni, 2021
Of the Fantastic: Extraordinary ATL, 2022 Digital Exhibition

What's Next?

Now entering its fourth year of programming, A&E continues to find new ways to highlight art and culture in Downtown by supporting Atlanta artists and expanding the creative landscape of the community. Four new activation sites are in the queue for early 2023. We will feature even more public arts and culture programming as we advance Atlanta art and artists in every way imaginable to add to the richness of Downtown.

2023 will bring a heightened focus on partnerships with local art organizations and artists. Through expanded programming efforts and grants, we will provide even more opportunities for Atlanta creatives to express their authentic selves while contributing to the vibrancy of Downtown. 

Collaboration will continue with our media partners to promote an illuminated Downtown through innovative sign displays and art, with five location activations anticipated within the district.

Upcoming highlights for 2023 include

  • Local Stories Series III
  • Arts activations by eighteen A&E Atlanta Grantees
  • Issuance of three artist calls for digital artwork
  • A&E Atlanta’s Annual Digital Exhibition (Year 4), locally curated and featuring Atlanta artists
  • Continuation of the A&E Artist Residency with the Fulton County Public Art Futures Lab
  • Planning phase of projection mapping project
  • On-going community messaging programming
  • Selecting the fourth cohort of A&E Atlanta Grantees

Advisory CounCil Members

Tim Bearden

Adam Betuel

Jennifer Brooks

Drew Cleveland

Kristen Delahunt

David Hamilton

Dyesha Holmes

Sandy Jones

Kent Matlock

Britt McConnell

Patti Reeves

Deanna Robey

Horacio Romero

TG Shaw

Program Partners

Fulton County Public Art Futures Lab


Lance Russell

Jennifer Russell

Media Partners

BIG Outdoor

Orange Barrel Media