Boys & Girls Club Breaks Ground on The Innovation & Expression Studio

Thursday, October 12, 2017

On Tuesday, October 10, the John H. Harland Boys & Girls Club in the West End of Atlanta broke ground on their new creative arts hub: The Innovation and Expression Studio (TIES).

The new 27,000 square-foot space will provide arts and innovation programming to more than 200 children and teens per day. Both current members of the Harland Club, as well as youth from the surrounding area, will have access to TIES.

“The focus is going to remain the same, helping kids reach their full potential,” said SunTrust CEO Bill Rogers during the speaking portion of the program. “But we’ll use creative youth development approach driven by arts, innovation, and expression.”

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. 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).

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.