With a reinvigorated push around the arts, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) launched a new program aimed at aesthetically enhancing and integrating art throughout the rail system. The authority kicked off the newly established “Artbound” program with an inaugural launch event featuring dancers and musicians at Five Points MARTA Station this week.
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.
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% of MARTA’s annual budget is now allocated for art-related programs, art-focused community activities, and systemwide 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 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 December 2016, MARTA 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.