Our Executive Director chats with Metromix... below is the complete article...
Freelance photographer develops a program to support Atlanta artists
Special to Metromix
What started as a personal portrait project intended to capture images of creative people in Neda Abghari's hometown, developed into a full-fledged nonprofit organization called The Creatives Project that supports Atlanta's artist community. The organization helps artists, while providing them with channels to give back to the community. Through Abghari's program those who give receive,-keeping the generosity and goodwill flowing.
Abghari shares the story behind The Creatives Project, highlights some of her favorite artists and shares how you can give back through her organization.
What made you start The Creatives Project? I love Atlanta. I always wanted to play my part in building awareness about the creative individuals living here. The "Atlanta" Creatives Project began in 2007 as a personal photo documentary project allowing me to shed light on these talents within my hometown. As more and more creatives were documented for the project and new friendships were made and nurtured, I realized I had the support of a strong community to create something even greater.
I wanted to fill certain gaps through this spirit of collaboration, bringing various aspects of the city together through the arts, education, community and commerce. With Atlanta's support, my love for the arts and the years of teaching experience from my previous career as a visual arts instructor, I was able to begin building the foundation for The Creatives Project. Now a 501c3 arts organization, The Creatives Project provides much needed resources to local artists and the community through arts education outreach and an artist-in-residency program. Sometimes I can't believe it all started with the desire to make a photograph for a greater cause.
What are some specific programs you have developed? The Creative Project's mission is to enrich and strengthen the local community through quality arts-based education and outreach, while celebrating and elevating the city's visual and performing artists. Through the Creative Community Housing Project-our Artist-In-Residency program-we support the day-to-day lives of creative individuals, offering financial and promotional aid while nurturing the arts eco-system through arts education service.
Residencies range from studio space to exhibition space and housing. In exchange, each CCHP resident gives back to their local community through our Community Arts Program. Through CAP, The Creatives Project provides students, teachers, and communities direct hands-on arts experiences and personal interaction with artists.
What can people do to help your cause? Being a newly established nonprofit organization, we need support on all levels. Whether it's volunteering time or special skills, donating used art supplies, helping to introduce our artists to new clients or donating space where The Creatives Project can place local artists, we need all kinds of help with our efforts to building a stronger arts ecosystem here in Atlanta. To get involved please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is this cause personal to you? I love art as much as I love food, I need art as much as I need food and I can't imagine the thought of starving. It's important to keep our cooks happy and healthy unless we all want to starve. The Creatives Project feeds the cooks.
Who are some of your favorite local artists and places to view art? My new favorite places to view art are the Goat Farm Arts Center Galleries. My personal collaborations/projects are actually with local artists whose works inspire me the most. Shana Robbins, Karen Tauches, Bethany Marchman, TindelMichi, Fahamu Pecou, and Sam Parker are a few from the list. Jason Kofke is my current favorite. Dear Jason, can we make a picture?
When you're not running your organization where can you be spotted? The best corner in ATL. Edgewood Avenue and Boulevard Ave is where you will find me at Sister Louisa's Church and Sound Table.
What advice would you give people your age who want to give back to the community? The advice I would give anyone at any age is to always do what you love, and love what you do...tomorrow is never forever. Get involved wherever and whenever you can, as every lil' bit counts. For the DIY's: find your passion, create a plan and stay focused, yet flexible.