Promote the Use of Creative Placemaking to Build and Maintain the Character of Communities

Arts and culture often plays an overlooked and underappreciated role in defining a community and making it a thriving, vibrant place where people want to live, work, and play. This can take many forms, such as a concert in the town square, a mural on the side of a building, and a former school turned into a showcase of local history.



Public art more than beautifies a community. If done right, public art projects can foster public conversations about key issues, helping communities better define who they are and what issues are most important to residents.

ARC’s Regional Public Art Program strives to transform communities by engaging residents in the art making process and building pride in their local communities. ARC awarded grants to help four communities develop public art projects that focus on the theme of “making history” in the Atlanta region.

The public art initiative was launched by a group of metro Atlanta leaders who were inspired by Philadelphia’s highly regarded Mural Arts Program. The program is administered by ARC and managed with the support of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

Grant Recipients

The Decatur MARTA overpass bisects several diverse communities, provides shelter for children waiting for school buses and spans the busy Trinity Avenue corridor, which is used by motorists, pedestrians and bike riders. The overpass creates a gateway to several economically and racially diverse neighborhoods, providing a large, durable concrete canvas to create meaningful public art.

Grant amount: $15,000

In 2016, Hapeville will mark the 125th anniversary of its founding with an oral history/public art project called “Sharing Our Stories.” The project will begin with a community-wide effort to gather the oral histories of current and former residents. These stories will then be compiled and interpreted through works of art – primarily sculpture – that represent one or more of these stories in creative and unexpected ways.

Grant amount: $15,000

The Downtown Development Authority, Preservation Woodstock, and the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau are planning to install a mural that will highlight Woodstock’s history in a fresh and engaging way. Aside from beautification and placemaking, the goal of this project will be community consensus-building, resulting in a mural that is a source of community pride and admiration. The mural will be located on the Woodstock Pharmacy wall in the heart of Downtown Woodstock, at the corner of Main Street and Mill Street.

Grant amount: $8,000

MARTA’s En Route Community-Based Mural Project uses public art as a tool for MARTA station beautification and as a platform for dialogue around access, mobility, public transportation and other issues determined by the community. The collaborative design and creation of a meaningful, thought- provoking and imaginative mural at the King Memorial MARTA station will provide a platform to engage a variety of voices and better integrate the station into the fiber of the community.

Grant amount: $15,000

A mural at the King Memorial MARTA station provides a platform to engage a variety of voices and better integrate the station into the fabric of the community. A grant from the Atlanta Regional Public Art Program helped fund this project



What do streams, theaters and Civil War battlefields have in common? They are just a few of the vital resources that contribute to our quality of life in the Atlanta region.

A critical part of regional planning is an understanding and assessment of how our natural and cultural resources should be managed and preserved. Growth in metro Atlanta continues to be rapid and impactful to the people and places it envelops. Because of that growth, it’s important that we, as a region, identify places that make the region great and find ways to ensure their viability.

As such, ARC and the many local governments of the region are working to manage and protect these important places. As a start, ARC worked with local governments, state and federal agencies, local land trusts and conservation organizations to create a Regional Resource Plan that features a robust list of the region’s natural, cultural and historical assets. This resource list is fluid and is regularly updated.

Summary of Regionally Important Resources

  • Large Water Supply Watersheds
  • Small Water Supply Watersheds
  • Groundwater Recharge Areas
  • Wetlands
  • River Corridors
  • Mountain Protection
  • Lake Allatoona
  • Lake Lanier
  • Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
  • Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
  • Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area
  • Panola Mountain National Natural Landmark
  • Panola Mountain State Park
  • Sweetwater Creek State Park
  • Stone Mountain
  • Allatoona Wildlife Management Area
  • Pine Log Wildlife Management Area
  • McGraw Ford Wildlife Management Area
  • Lake Allatoona USACE Property
  • Big Creek Greenway
  • Lionel Hampton Greenway
  • Johns Creek Greenway
  • Suwanee Greenway
  • Ivy Creek Greenway
  • Camp Creek Greenway
  • Western Gwinnett Greenway
  • Silver Comet Trail
  • Spring Road Trail
  • Concord Road Trail
  • Bob Callan Connector Trail
  • Riverside Trail
  • Lower Roswell Trail
  • Bell Road Multi Use Trail
  • Rogers Bridge Road Multi Use Trail
  • State Bridge Road Multi Use Trail
  • Atlanta Beltline Eastside Trail
  • Atlanta Beltline Westside Trail
  • Stone Mountain Trail
  • Freedom Park Trail
  • Arabia Mountain Trail
  • Rockdale River Trail
  • Olde Town Conyers Trail
  • Woodstock Greenprints Trail
  • Peachtree City Path System
  • Georgia State Capitol
  • MLK National Historic Site and District
  • Sweet Auburn Historic District
  • Herndon Mansion
  • Wren’s Nest – the Joel Chandler House
  • Fox Theatre
  • Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Plant
  • Ezra Church/Battle of the Poor House
  • Jonesborough
  • Kennesaw Mountain
  • Lovejoy’s Station
  • Peachtree Creek
  • Utoy Creek
  • Nash Farm Battlefield Park
  • Shoupades/Johnston River Line
  • Camp McDonald Park
  • Fort Walker
  • Judge William Wilson House
  • Concord Bridge Historic District and Heritage Park
  • Jonesboro Confederate Cemetery
  • Marietta Confederate Cemetery
  • Soapstone Ridge
  • Fort Daniel
  • Oakland Cemetery
  • Marietta National Cemetery
  • Decatur City Cemetery
  • Westview Cemetery
  • Southview Cemetery
  • Georgia National Cemetery
  • National Archives – Southeast Region
  • Georgia State Archives
  • The Carter Center and the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum
  • Auburn Avenue Research Library
  • Monastery of the Holy Spirit
  • The Hindu Temple of Atlanta
  • Woodruff Arts Center
  • Pemberton Place
  • North Fulton County
  • South Fulton County
  • Gwinnett County
  • Western Cobb County
  • North Cherokee County
  • West Douglas County
  • South Fayette County/Clayton County Panhandle
  • AW Roberts Farm
  • Lake Laura Gardens
  • Moss Clark Farm
  • Fieldstone Farm
  • Rolling Acres Farm
  • Gresham Galt Farm
  • Mabry Farm
  • Alfarminda Farm
  • Rancho Alegre Farms
  • Southern Belle Farms
  • Yule Forest/The Pumpkin Patch
  • Adams Farm
  • Gibbs Gardens
  • The Spring at Kennesaw
  • Archibald Smith Plantation Garden
  • Barrington Hall
  • Bulloch Hall
  • Goodrum-Abreau House and Grounds
  • Iris Garden
  • Woodhaven (Georgia State Governor’s Mansion)
  • The Atlanta History Center Grounds
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Floral Clock
  • Atlanta Botanical Gardens
  • Claude T. Fortson Memorial Garden
  • Cator Woodlford Gardens
  • Callenwolde Park
  • Regional Bicycle Facility Network
  • Regional Parks
  • Urban Agriculture Sites
  • Archaeological Linkages
  • Cemeteries
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Theaters



Thriving communities require more than infrastructure. The region’s soul must be fed. Arts and cultural opportunities lead to a vibrant region and a thriving economy.

Since 2012, the Atlanta Regional Commission has included arts and culture as a staffed focus area. Over the first six years of the program it operated three core programs, Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta, Cultural Forums, and the Atlanta Regional Public Art program.

In 2019, the ARC’s board adopted  a regional Arts, Culture, & Creative Placemaking Strategic Plan designed to better integrate arts and culture into the agency’s planning work.

The ARC is in a unique position as a regional planning and services agency to be innovative about how arts and culture are integrated upstream throughout planning processes and across disciplines and goals. Arts and culture are fundamental to providing a high quality of life and healthy, livable communities; they are a significant and consistent part of building and sustaining a competitive economy; and they are especially suited for addressing challenges with creative, holistic solutions based on collaboration and community engagement.

Report – Arts, Culture & Creative Placemaking Strategic Plan

 It is the policy of ARC to:

  • Identify cultural resources and promote the development of cultural amenities
  • Encourage opportunities for integration of public art into planning for
    infrastructure and public spaces
  • Foster improved access to cultural assets
  • Connect existing cultural partners with new audiences
  • Seek ways to activate underutilized spaces and transform them into
    community assets