About the Arts Exchange

Mission

The Arts Exchange is the Southeast Community Cultural Center, a multicultural, multidisciplinary, intergenerational arts center committed to artists as agents for positive social change. The Arts Exchange is a unique venue that gives practicing, professional artists a chance to nurture their creativity and to share innovative arts experiences and educational opportunities with the public.

Board of Directors 

  • Alice Lovelace
    Board President
  • John Brandhorst
    Board Vice-President
  • Etienne Jackson
    Board Treasurer
  • Lisa Tuttle
    Board Secretary
  • Natasha Berry
    Board Member

Staff

  • Joseph Thomas
    Facility and Events manager
  • Bernice Brown
    Bookkeeper
  • Mosepelo Mokgoatsane
    Custodian

History

Founded in 1984 by a diverse group of artists, activists, and community supporters, The Arts Exchange has changed the paradigm for what an in-town community arts center can do to serve artists and the greater community.

The list of visual artists who have called The Arts Exchange home reads like a “Who’s Who” of the art world and includes Guggenheim Fellows Beverly Buchanan, Rocio Rodriquez, and Allen Loehle. Performance groups, too, have had studios here – The African Dance Ensemble, Terri Axam’s Total Dance Theatre, Freddie Hendricks’ Youth Ensemble of Atlanta, and Pan People Steel Band, to name a few – as have photographers, bookmakers, writers and poets, and musicians. The vibrancy of the center’s creative output caused Creative Loafing to name The Arts Exchange “the most important site for new music in the city” three years in a row.

The Arts Exchange has been a part of some iconic moments in Atlanta’s cultural history. It was the inaugural site of the ROOTS Festival for the National Black Arts Festival and the legendary “Re-Thinking the Sacred Image” conference. The Summer Arts Enrichment Program for Youth that was initiated in 1985 was so successful that it became a model program throughout the state of Georgia.

Features and Activities

The Arts Exchange remains a vibrant part of Atlanta’s cultural scene by bringing people, ideas and the arts together. The center’s year-round schedule includes performances in the Paul Robeson Theater, exhibitions in the Xchange Gallery, community meetings in the Ebon Dooley Board Room, student exhibitions in the Mama Nanji Youth Xchange Gallery, our annual Open House, and workshops for children and youth. The Arts Exchange supports working artists by maintaining art studios on three floors, and continues to be a place where artistic expression is affordable and accessible to all.