In 2010, I posted a version of the map below. Unfortunately, that image and the accompanying post have both been lost to the unknown of the intertubes. Regardless, connecting Atlanta's core colleges and universities creates a visual that's as vivid now, as it was in 2010. A major point I wanted to drive home four years ago was that these schools comprise our city's creative beating heart. While we collectively knew this, the policies and initiatives that would make that knowledge actionable were lacking. The future of our city would be in part defined by how successful we are in assisting students from transitioning from an academic environment into a business one, and how much of that transition was into companies of their own. Companies that would thrive in our city's center and would draw from the talent pool that was integral to their own beginnings.
In that time, much has changed. Non-profits Hypepotamus and C4 Atlanta have arisen to provide education and spaces to empower and support creatives and startups. More schools have been exploring and implementing incubation strategies. There's of course the continued growth of Georgia's film industry, which recently hit $3.3 billion in economic impact.
What's truly exciting is learning about ideas such as Southern Fried Supernova, which is being spearheaded by Hypepotamus.
In five years, Southern Fried Supernova will be Atlanta’s global signature event, featuring the best of the arts, technology, and startups. This vision shouldn’t surprise anyone. We’re just building on Atlanta’s strengths and a long history of being bold. When you consider this history and the five-year vision, our 2013 goals are quite humble: 1) Connect the Awesomeness and 2) Galvanize a Commitment for the Future.
A few weeks ago I was able to meet with Scott Henderson from Hypepotamus. Since then, my eyes have opened to now see how much is currently going on in this city. There's a drive to grow Atlanta from the bottom-up. Community collaboration, innovation and play are not only topics of discussion, they are best practices being applied to events, organizations, and the discussions themselves, around the city.
I'm very much looking forward to 2014. Wearing my Atlanta Film Festival and CinemATL hats, I'm eager to participate in what I'm hoping will be a movement that will have impact for decades to come.
You may have noticed I used Creative Community in the title of this post. Shifting from using film to creative is something I've done off and on for a few years. I'm now attempting to make that shift permanent. Most filmmakers I know are also visual artists, writers, musicians, programmers and more. They are creatives in the best definition of that word.