About the Arts Exchange

Update

IT’S A DONE DEAL!!! We have completed the sale of the Kalb Street property. There is a lot of history in this building. Do you remember the first ROOTS Festival? The Summer Youth Enrichment Camp? The Annual Kwanzaa Celebrations? Did you know there was a recording studio in the building run by Joe Jennings? Or that Terri Axam housed Total Dance at The Arts Exchange for years? And who could forget Sheria Enahora and Tabala Martial Arts. Eddie Billups followed me as Executive Director and brought in Freddie Hendrix and in the Robeson Theatre they founded Youth Ensemble of Atlanta. We have lots of memories and many reasons to celebrate.

Join us on Sunday, September 10th, 7pm-10pm at 750 Kalb Street SE. PLEASE, come celebrate with us as we prepare to leave our home of 33 years and embrace our new home in East Point.

Board of Directors 

  • Alice Lovelace
    Board President
  • John Brandhorst
    Board Vice-President
  • Mario Augustine
    Board Treasurer
  • Tia L. Fowler-Davis                                                                                            Board Secretary
  • Hasan A. Davis, JD
    Board Member

Staff

  • Priscilla Smith
    Office Manager
  • Alicia Hicks
    Bookkeeper
  • Alabaster
    Custodian
  • Charmaine Minniefield                                                                           Program Consultant

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.