June 21 2017


Transit Initiative Focuses on ART RESTORATION, Performances

ATLANTA— With a reinvigorated push around the arts, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) launched a new program aimed at aesthetically enhancing and integrating art throughout the rail system. The Authority kicked off the newly established “Artbound” program with an inaugural launch event featuring dancers and musicians at Five Points MARTA Station on Monday, June 19. 

Performances by Moving in the Spirit Dance Company and cellist Jenn Cornell accompanied by Emrah Kotan highlighted some artistic elements MARTA’s Artbound initiative will bring to customers beginning this year. In addition to the performing arts, officials announced upcoming restorations project at the Decatur MARTA station and a new art installation piece slated for H.E. Holmes MARTA station.  

In 2016, MARTA’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the investment in transit-center art with a goal of improving the overall customer experience throughout the system. Beginning with FY17, 1% of MARTA’s annual budget is now allocated for art-related programs, art-focused community activities and system-wide art restoration projects.

“From mosaics to murals, we are redefining the ridership experience here at MARTA by intentionally integrating art throughout the entire system,” said GM/CEO Keith Parker. “This new commitment to the arts allows us to engage our customers in a bold, exciting and often entertaining new way.” 

In December 2016, the Authority hired Arts Administrator Katherine Dirga to curate and oversee the transit systems arts program. Since that time, MARTA has developed a comprehensive approach to engaging the region’s diverse artistic community inclusive of commissioned art pieces as well as the performing arts. 

“Whether people are traveling northbound to southbound or eastbound to westbound, we want all of our customers to experience what Artbound is about,” said Dirga, who previously served as manager of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’s arts program. “Our approach is to install high-quality, captivating pieces that transcend various artistic genres and reflect, in some way, the vibrancy and history of the communities we serve.”  

For more information on MARTA’s Artbound program, contact Katherine Dirga by email at kdirga@itsmarta.com


(L-R) MARTA GM/CEO Keith T. Parker, AICP, MARTA Arts Administrator Katherine Dirga and MARTA Chief of Staff, Rukiya S. Thomas


Cellist Jenn Cornell and Moving in the Spirit Dancers perform at the Artbound launch event. 

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Photo Credit: Adam Shumaker 

Contact: Erik Burton

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