The tremendous growth that Atlanta has experienced over the past decade has catapulted the city into a major metropolitan hub. Along with this growth, many issues have gained significance with regards to plans for the city's future direction of growth. One sector in particular that demands greater attention is the area of non-profit arts and art policy. The arts and culture have many perceived benefits for a community. The arts are commonly thought to improve a community's cultural life, revitalize urban areas, and while they also provide a base of support for artists and art organizations, may also ultimately stimulate economic growth. These benefits are thought to yield other desirable outcomes such as a safe and agreeable downtown, and an attractive site for business relocation.
Unfortunately, non-profit regional arts in Atlanta have faced challenges in the areas of funding and audience development and there is anecdotal evidence that arts support is being provided by a relatively small segment of society. The Atlanta Arts Think Tank perceived that one appropriate way to validate the importance of these problems was to analyze data on Atlanta's regional performance, relative to other metropolitan peers.
The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of the factors that might explain the condition of arts organizations in the region. The study compares Atlanta to nineteen of its peers in an attempt to determine where and if Atlanta is falling short, and what can be learned from other communities.