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Culture notes: Oops, Atlanta slides to second in art-business ranking; Oglethorpe Museum director Lloyd Nick to retire

Atlanta’s No. 2 in arts businesses
It struck some as odd when the news broke in April that Atlanta has the highest number of arts-related businesses per capita among the 100 largest cities in the United States. After all, the city is the capital of the state that’s dead last in the nation U.S. in terms of its legislative appropriation for the arts — not a precisely related number, but one that could be said to generally indicate the value placed on culture here.

It turns out that the report by Creative Industries, a national arts research project by Americans for the Arts, was wrong — but not by as much as you might suspect. Atlanta is actually second in the 2012 rankings, behind Seattle.

In an e-mail to the AJC, Americans for the Arts spokeswoman Catherine Brandt termed it “a first-of-its-kind data error that our researchers did not catch until after the rankings were released.”

Still, Atlanta’s ranking moved up two spots — from fourth place last year to second — in arts-related businesses per capita. It has 8.5 arts-related business per 1,000 city residents, according to the Creative Industries report, with Seattle leading the list at 9.4.

The report also ranks Atlanta as having the second-highest percentage of arts-related employees per capita in the country, a position that did not change. Atlanta boasts 3,573 arts-related businesses that employ 22,826 people, according to Creative Industries. HOWARD POUSNER

Oglethorpe Museum leader retiring
After serving 28 years and mounting 90 exhibitions at Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, director Lloyd Nick is retiring on June 30.

Nick organized or booked dozens of shows of international art whose ambitions outpaced the moderate budget for the museum that commands the Philip Weltner Library’s third floor. Exhibits such as the recently closed  “The Sacred Round: Mandalas by the Patients of Carl Jung” brought a global reach to the small private school.

“I aimed to complement the cultural scene in Atlanta,” Nick told the AJC, “and give a deeper, more traditional, yet cutting edge experience in the visual arts to the community and the university.”

A painter, Nick also launched and developed the OU art department, where he taught and which he chaired for 15 years. HOWARD POUSNER

One comment Add your comment


May 28th, 2012
1:27 pm

There’s nothing odd about the contrast between Atlanta’s relatively robust arts community (which includes arts nonprofits such as museums, theatres, the symphony, ballet, as well as creatve businesses such as Turner, advertising companies, design businesses) and the state’s dismal funding for georgia Council for the Arts. There has always been a distinct contrast between Atlanta and most of the rest of the state. That’s why the County Unit System existed for decades – to reduce Atlanta’s influence in statewide primary elections.

If the Atlanta representatives in the legislature were the only votes that counted, then GCA would be well funded. But the rest of the state’s representatives have generally voted otherwise (yes there are exceptions scattered around the state).