On March, 28 2018, Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. (AEMI) closed on a $10 million New Markets Tax Credits transaction to support the construction of the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta’s new 25,000-square-foot facility in southwest Atlanta.
The building is scheduled to be completed later this year, and once it opens, the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta (BGCMA) will be able to bring innovative, arts-focused youth development programming to Atlanta’s Westside neighborhoods.
The facility, located at 434 Peeples St. SW, will have an emphasis on engaging teens through the arts to achieve positive youth development outcomes. It replaces the currently outdated and underutilized John Harland facility and will be the first Club of its kind for emphasis on arts programming. The dedicated arts spaces will include music and film studios, visual arts studio and gallery, dance studio, maker space, graphic design and tech lab, and a spoken word café.
All this will be open and accessible to all BGCMA members. The organization was founded in 1938 and currently operates 25 locations across metro Atlanta. They serve 9,000 unique members annually and see 3,500 individuals daily. Programming revolves around three core areas: academic success, healthy lifestyles, and character/leadership. Eighty-four of their funds are spent on programming, and member fees are only $50 per school year, which can be waived for financial need. The Club has seen strong results, as at the close of the 2015-2016 school year 95% of 6th-12th grade members were on track to graduate high school on time.
The Boys and Girls club projects that 225 individuals will be served at this facility daily, up from the current total of 131 daily, and 1,100 individuals will be served annually. They will also look to partner on additional programming with Atlanta Public Schools, Woodruff Arts Center, SCAD, and Moving in the Spirit.
Photo Credit: Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta