ATLANTA’S CREATIVE SCENE is explosive. Between the groundbreaking street art, dive-bar music venues, independent bookstores with a commitment to staying small, and the city’s own arts-focused hashtag bringing it all together, there’s a tangible creative energy here. But unlike other artsy hubs around the country, Atlanta also operates as a support system, encouraging anyone and everyone to embrace their creative side. Here’s how it all fits together.
1. There’s plenty of space to let your creative mind go wild.
Brick walls and a history of cotton-gin production set the scene for the
With all this artistic space to explore and utilize, it’s no wonder the creative scene here is erupting.
2. The walls are alive.
But the growing scene in Atlanta wouldn’t be what it is today without the Krog Street Tunnel. This well-known — and sometimes controversial — tunnel is often filled with the fumes of freshly sprayed artwork in a free art exhibition of graffiti, event announcements, and festival dates. Definitely one of Atlanta’s most original spaces, it’s proposed that the Krog Street Tunnel will eventually become part of the
Though not literally on walls, the annual
3. There’s no shortage of literature here.
Atlanta has a tremendous selection of kickass independent bookstores. There’s the 27-year-old
Then there’s the nonprofit
But the literary scene here is about more than just books that have already been written. For writers, there’s the Creative Loafing Fiction Contest, which offers cash prizes and a published spot in Creative Loafing, and
4. The music scene is on fire.
Not only is Atlanta home to some of the most influential rappers and hip-hop artists in the mainstream industry, there’s also an abundance of local musicians and artists with not-quite-national name recognition. Check out
Best venues to see these artists and other live performers?
The music scene moves fast;
And even if you’re not looking to rub shoulders with the bigwigs or record your own billboard hit, you can still spend endless hours exploring stacks of vinyl at
5. We have Dragon Con. Enough said.
A bit like Comic-Con in San Diego,
65,000 nerds decked out in badass costumes? You’ve never experienced anything like Dragon Con.
6. Hollywood wishes it could be Atlanta.
What do Anchorman 2, The Hunger Games, The Walking Dead, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, and some 140 other movies and television shows filmed since 2008 have in common? They’ve all been either partially or entirely shot in Atlanta.
Yes, there are enticing tax credits on offer, but one of the real deal-makers in the entertainment industry is the Atlanta Media Campus & Studios, which calls itself “the largest film and television media complex outside of California.” And while Georgia is still third in the nation in film production, it’s one of the top in growth, quickly bringing a reputation and name to Atlanta as the next — and cheaper — Hollywood.
7. One of the world’s best art schools is here.
8. We have our own Atlanta-loving hashtag.
But Atlanta’s hashtag is different from those of other cities — it also exists offline. There’s a bread-truck-turned-mobile-gallery that pops up around the city, displaying Atlantans’ photos at festivals and community events; and the CNN Center — CNN’s global headquarters — broadcasts #weloveatl photos to their 3 million annual visitors in a video installation in their atrium. What’s more, the hashtag has morphed into its own nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization with the mission of helping locals tell the story of their city.
On Instagram, the #weloveatl movement has grown to include more than 450,000 tagged images — and more than 50,000 followers — who all have one thing in common: an intense love and celebration of Atlanta and its ever-growing creative scene.