Tag: Jessyca Holland

Hatch Session #4 Recap – Planning + Art(ists)

Heather Alhadeff, President of Center Forward, shows our Hatch artists how desparate Atlanta is for FUN!!
Heather Alhadeff, President of Center Forward, shows our Hatch artists how desperate Atlanta is for FUN!!

Our last Hatch session provided perhaps the most insight into areas in which our artists had not previously worked, but could potentially be a great asset. We were joined by planners Heather Alhadeff and Allison Bustin of Center Forward who had a lot of great thoughts and information about how artists could be valuable in the city planning process.

Why do we even need to plan cities and public spaces in the first place? Firstly, planning provides us with a neutrally informed set of data that we can then use to make long term plans, prepared for the future and adjust for changing needs. It is, in essence, a way of thinking about the interrelatedness of different causes from a micro/macro context (how does one small decision affect the larger whole?). Communities can use and often need different types of plans when looking at overall sustainability and building quality of life within their jurisdiction. Planners often also interact with other disciplines including architects, engineers, city officials, developers, urban designers and public health officials.

Hatch artists digesting the history of city planning.
Hatch artists digesting the history of city planning.

A catalyst of city planning originated out of a need to plan cities because of public health. By planning how and where resources and housing was located, cities could hope to avoid large outbreaks of illness and plague. Through planning, we can anticipate and mitigate issues before they even arise. We can also protect private property rights as well as public expectations with a shared vision for the entire community.

There are six steps in the planning process – Visioning, Community Engagement, Assessment of Conditions, Recommendations, Client and Public Approval, and Implementation. Each step requires a collaborative effort among the planning team along with the community in order to achieve a shared vision. Proper due diligence and communication is imperative to creating a shared, sustainable vision for the community.

Artists can be a boon to planners and city developers in that their skill set helps to unite people and break down barriers. Artists can also use their skills to activate spaces that are vacant or might otherwise go unused. Heather stressed that artists can be an important part of any step in the planning process in a variety of different ways because of the creative problem solving skill set that is essential to their work. In Heather’s opinion, traditional city planning did a poor job of activating and engaging people in public spaces. This is largely as a result of trends in planning and space that led to lots of large unused public spaces and elaborate indoor environments. Because of this, we discussed several case studies where artists had been utilized during the planning process with very successful results. In particular, the creative skills that are artists have in spades are highly sought after already by the business community because of their problem-solving applicability. The economic impact of artists on the business community combined with recent cultural changes and qualities people associate with place make artists an ideal addition at any point in the planning process. Most interestingly, Heather had the artists brainstorm projects in the public realm that related to the specific skill sets they had to offer. Jessyca Holland has written a blog pertaining to this brainstorm activity. Her description of the artists’ contributions is available here.

Working with planners = working with people who think of everything! Our notes and handouts were incredibly thorough!
Working with planners = working with people who think of everything! Our notes and handouts were incredibly thorough!

Lastly, Heather and Allison gave the Hatch artists a crash course in best practices for RFPs and RFQs. We looked through all of the components that make up a good RFP/RFQ and how to derive as much information as possible from the posting. In general it seems as if the best projects generally have the most detailed RFPs, because the organization involved has a very clear idea of the project scope and what they are envisioning. The less detailed posting can sometimes indicate that the organization does not have a good grasp on what they need/want. Above all, it was emphasized that in each stage of the RFP proposal process, following all instructions and guidelines down to the letter was paramount. Typos, sloppiness in appearance, being even one minute late with your proposal, and not following directions are all very easy ways to self select yourself out of the process because of carelessness and lack of attention to details. Proposals often come from groups of people with a variety of backgrounds. Although projects may not be specifically art based, the skills of artists can still often be utilized. Therefore, artists should consider not just proposals related to the creation of a specific work but also those that deal all aspects of the public realm. Best practices for the interview process were also considered. Who presents is important as that person(s) should present clear messaging and possess sharp public speaking skills. We closed out the end of the day by thumbing through several sample proposals that were both good and bad to look at examples of the process.

C4 Atlanta would like to see artists engaged at every phase of planning in the city of Atlanta.


Acknowledgements for 2010

Starting a nonprofit is not an easy task. Starting an arts nonprofit is an even more difficult feat. We would be remiss if we did not take a moment to thank the dozens of individuals who gave us advice, encouragement and love (thanks, parents of C4 staff!) in 2010.

The C4 Action Team would like to thank our board of directors, donors, family members, friends, and the following community members for their time and talents in 2010 (Please forgive us if we left out your name… We talked to a lot of people!):

Jon Abercrombie, Common Focus
Alex Adan
Chris Appleton, WonderRoot
Ivan Betts, Turner Broadcasting
Jessica Booth, Fulton County Schools
Rabbi Rachael Bregman, The Temple
Joanna Brooks, Brooks and Company Dance
Stephen Brown, MSL Group
Kim Campbell, Hub Atlanta
Dave Charest, Astoria Performing Arts Center
Claire Christie, PushPush Theater
Tripp Cook
Sally Corbett, Arts Professional
Lisa Cremin, Metro Atlanta Arts Fund
Mickey Desai, Non-Profit Snapshot
Amy Ellis, MailChimp
Lazarus Epicurus, Culinary Artist
Ron Evans, Group of Minds
Amir Farokhi, GeorgiaForward
Sally Flocks, PEDS
Liz Frazier, Just Voices
Peggy Freedman, Independent Bookkeeper
Flora Maria Garcia, MAACC
Jill George, Kaiser Permanente
Joe Gfaller, Alliance Theatre
Bill Gignilliat, ArtsGeorgia
Gwyn Grafe, Global Crossing
Virginia Hepner, Young Audiences
Sherry Heyl, Concept Hub
Shelby Hofer, PushPush Theater
Claire Horn, Core Performance Company
Maigh Houlihan, Atlanta Photography Exhibit
Mark Hubbard, Renew Social Ventures
Adam Huttler, Fractured Atlas
Erica Jameson, MINT Gallery
Chris Johnson, ifPeople
Nicole Jones, Public Broadcasting Atlanta
Margaret Kargbo, National Black Arts Festival
Justin Karr, Fractured Atlas
John Kloecker, Raymond James Financial Services
Kathleen Kurre, Techbridge
Matt Lehrman, Alliance for Audience
Will Lester, TRG Arts
Tina Lilly, Georgia Council for the Arts
Clayton Lord, Theatre Bay Area
Stacey Colosa Lucas, Georgia Shakespeare
Chris Mackie, Open Health Tools
Rachel May, Synchronicity Theatre
Dorian McDuffie, Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs
Terence McFarland, LA Stage Alliance
Jay Morris
Lisa Mount, Artistic Logistics
Adam Natale, Fractured Atlas
Adisa Nickerson, Georgia Boy Choir
Josh Phillipson, Metro Atlanta Arts Fund
Val Porter, The Foundation Center
Barbara Pyle, Captain Planet Foundation
Aileen Reed
Keif Schleifer, K S Arch Design
Douglas Scott, Full Radius Dance
Kamal Sinclair, Strategic Arts
Priscilla Smith, Eyedrum
Lara Smith, Actors Express
Douglas Smith, Theatre Development Fund
Bryan Spinsby, Inworks
Nikki Strickland, North Fulton Drama Club
Daniel Summers, Center for Puppetry Arts
Matt Tanner
Melonie Tharpe, Bolster Consulting
Lance Weatherby, ATDC
Otis White, Civic Strategies
Lisa Wilson
Susan Winter
Dan Wykoff, Veritas Financial Services
Joe Zacherman, Lifeline Center for Child Development


Just a brief update from your neighborhood arts service organization:

Tonight we will be participating in Gather Atlanta. Come see us, and visit all the other cool groups there as well. In preparation for Gather, we have put together a rocking one-sheet. We will have this up on our site next week for you to download. We also created an email sign-up page on our website. Our email solutions provider is Atlanta’s very own MailChimp.  We love MailChimp (and no we did not receive money for writing that). Join our list!

Over the next three weeks we will:

  • File  for our 501 (c) 3 – we have an attorney thanks to Georgia Lawyers for the Arts
  • Create a Board Development Plan
  • Develop our first Fundraising plan
  • Develop a plan to launch our professional development seminars in late fall
  • Spec out our website – and put out an RFP for programmers (later we will move to designers)
  • Work on our branding & Media

We also have two potential strategic partnerships that we hope to implement. We want to gather more details about both before we announce our plans, but as soon as we know, you will know.

Did I mention you should join our email list? Yeah. You should. Our list will give you the opportunity to learn more about C4 Atlanta AND about other organizations as well. We plan to make our general email only go out once per month (with the exception of advocacy alerts and items that need immediate attention).

We hope to see you at Gather Atlanta!


P.S. – Join our email group!