MARTA passengers soon will be able to enjoy the visual arts and performances at the public transit’s stations throughout the year. MARTA kicked off the initiative, Artbound, with an event on June 19.
Performances by Moving in the Spirit Dance Company and cellist Jenn Cornell accompanied by Emrah Kotan highlighted some artistic elements MARTA’s Artbound initiative will bring to customers beginning this year. In addition to the performing arts, officials announced upcoming restorations project at the Decatur MARTA station and a new art installation piece slated for H.E. Holmes MARTA station.
“From mosaics to murals, we are redefining the ridership experience here at MARTA by intentionally integrating art throughout the entire system,” said MARTA’s GM/CEO Keith Parker. “This new commitment to the arts allows us to engage our customers in a bold, exciting and often entertaining new way.”
In 2016, MARTA’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the investment in transit-center art with a goal of improving the overall customer experience throughout the system. Beginning with FY17, $2.5 to $3.5 million—up to 1% of MARTA’s annual budget– is allocated for art-related programs, art-focused community activities and system-wide art restoration projects.
In December 2016, the Authority hired Arts Administrator Katherine Dirga to curate and oversee the transit systems arts program. Since that time, MARTA has developed a comprehensive approach to engaging the region’s diverse artistic community inclusive of commissioned art pieces as well as the performing arts.
“Whether people are traveling northbound to southbound or eastbound to westbound, we want all of our customers to experience what Artbound is about,” said Dirga, who previously served as manager of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’s arts program. “Our approach is to install high-quality, captivating pieces that transcend various artistic genres and reflect, in some way, the vibrancy and history of the community.”
An art commission will help select artists, and contests also will be held to select art. Parker said there are to be several ways to participate. One of the first projects will be a commission at the westernmost train station, which will highlight the legacy of Hamilton Holmes as one of the first students to integrate the University of Georgia.
For more information on Artbound, contact Katherine Dirga at firstname.lastname@example.org.