As part of its 25th-anniversary celebration, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Atlanta honored the John H. Harland Boys & Girls Club: The Innovation & Expression Studio with its Excellence in Civic/Institutional Development Award. Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. (AEMI) supported the project, a two-story 25,143-square-foot art- and innovation-focused Boys & Girls Club, with a New Markets Tax Credit allocation.
The ULI Atlanta Awards recognize outstanding Atlanta area projects that exemplify the ULI’s mission to provide “leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities.”
The John H. Harland Boys & Girls Club: The Innovation & Expression Studio replaced an underutilized and outdated Boys & Girls Club on the same land. The Harland T.I.E.S Club includes an art studio, maker space, teen loft, and spoken word café, teaching kitchen and gym. The project is located in the West End, and serves the Washington cluster of Atlanta Public Schools, along with multiple public charter schools, with after-school programming.
Construction began in 2018 on the first-ever Boys & Girls Club focused on the arts in the nation. This club is part of a national study supported by the Wallace Foundation focused on exploring how high-quality arts programs can drive positive developmental outcomes for youth.
The children and teens at TIES will have access to programming in the visual, performing, and culinary arts. Stephanie Blank, the outgoing Corporate Board chair for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta announced that they had established partnerships with creative arts groups to provide training and educational support. The organizations include the Woodruff Arts Center, the High Museum of Art, Alliance Theater, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Georgia State University, Moving in the Spirit, Museum of Design Atlanta, the Center for Puppetry Arts, and re:imagine/ATL.
Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. (AEMI) supported the new center through a $7 million New Markets Tax Credit allocation. AEMI is a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Entity (CDE) created by Invest Atlanta in 2006 that specializes in providing gap financing for projects that create jobs and revitalize Atlanta’s distressed neighborhoods.
Other funding partners included The Harland Foundation, Chick-fil-A Foundation, Georgia-Pacific Foundation, LUBO Fund, Piedmont Charitable Foundation, SunTrust Bank Foundation, Toll Charitable Foundation, Wish Foundation, Fidelity Foundation, and the Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA)