The National League of Cities (NLC) has selected Atlanta as a recipient of its 2021 Cultural Diversity Awards in recognition of the City’s Strength in Beauty Grant Fund and creATL Relief Fund COVID-19 programs. The NLC awards, which celebrate programs that support the arts, community building and Black history, were presented at the organization’s virtual Congressional City Conference in March.
Working with City leadership in the early phases of the pandemic, Invest Atlanta quickly implemented and administered several pandemic relief programs to support Atlanta businesses. The Strength in Beauty Grant Fund provided cosmetology professionals with $1,000 grants to help offset lost income due to business closures. And, the creATL Relief Fund provided financial relief to independent creatives through $1,000 grants.
According to Dr. Eloisa Klementich, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta, the economic challenges of COVID-19 have impacted women and minority communities harder than other groups. “These programs represent our commitment to equity, supporting businesses and professionals with strong minority representation through the pandemic and beyond,” said Klementich.
In total, the Strength in Beauty Grant Fund supported 74 cosmetology professionals with 87% of awardees being minorities while the creATL Relief Fund was awarded to 94 creatives with 76% of recipients being minorities.
The City of Atlanta was one of only four communities selected for the 2021 awards. Submissions for the awards were grouped by size and evaluated for creativity, community impact and program scope. The City of Atlanta was awarded the top prize in the “Population of 500,0001 and Above” category.
To learn more about NLC Cultural Diversity Award winners, visit www.nlc.org.