With a reinvigorated push around the arts, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, this week, launched a new program aimed at aesthetically enhancing and integrating art throughout the rail system. The Authority officially kicked off the newly branded arts program with an inaugural launch event at Five Points MARTA Station on Monday with performances from Moving in the Spirit dance company and cellist Jenn Cornell accompanied by Emrah Kotan.
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, 1 percent of the agency’s annual budget is now allocated for art-related programs, art-focused community activities and system-wide art restoration projects.
“From mosaics to murals, we are redefining the ridership experience here at MARTA by intentionally integrating art throughout the entire system,” said General Manager and 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 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
“We are literally watching art come to life as we restore a number of existing transit station art pieces throughout the system,” 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.”