On Thursday, October 11th, 2018, Moving in the Spirit gathered their community to celebrate the beginning of construction of their new facility at the Edgewood/Candler Park MARTA station, the first transit oriented development partnership between MARTA and Columbia Ventures. The ceremony marked a major milestone in the organization’s historic capital campaign, A Space to Soar, as it exceeded the benchmark goal of securing $8.4 million to support the project.
The GroundSoaring Ceremony featured remarks from project partners, a performance of Soaring Nation by Moving in the Spirit students, teachers, and alumni, and a closing celebratory parade. Guests represented every facet of Moving in the Spirit’s journey – families, alumni, Edgewood neighbors, members of the philanthropic community, and artistic and community partners. Speakers at the ceremony included Moving in the Spirit Board Chair, Jaimie Hardin; Noel Khalil, Co-Founder and Partner of Columbia Ventures; Jeffrey Parker, General Manager and CEO of MARTA; Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta; and Natalyn Archibong, Atlanta City Council Member, District 5.
The amazing success of A Space to Soar is due largely in part to the dynamic and diverse team of Champions. This capital committee has driven the incredible success of the campaign and catapulted the project to soar. They have shown unyielding commitment and faith in this project allowing Moving in the Spirit to demonstrate the power of children to tell their own story. This committee includes Gayle Cummings, Derin Dickerson, Ralph Edwards, Jaimie Hardin, Atiba Mbiwan, J.D. Scott, Sallie Smith, Randi Williams, Syd Williams, and Pam Wuichet.
In September 2018, Invest Atlanta confirmed support of this project with an investment of $1.75 million in New Markets Tax Credits. “Connecting young people from across the city to access constructive extra curriculum activities is crucial to their development. The new Moving in the Spirit complex will provide a new space for community performances and arts events, will create new full-time jobs and will make a $12.3 million economic contribution to our city,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “As a former ballerina myself, I have a simple message for the hundreds of Atlanta children who will have the chance to learn here: have fun and keep those feet dancing!” During the GroundSoaring Ceremony, Moving in the Spirit also received gifts of financial support from the Georgia Power Foundation and Noel Khalil, Co-Founder and Partner of Columbia Ventures.
Atlanta City Council Member Natalyn Archibong spoke of the importance of the project to the Edgewood community, “The Groundbreaking today is fulfillment of a vision that was cast by the neighbors. They embraced this concept and they wanted a nonprofit. They wanted something that would make them a definite destination and a place. We celebrate [Moving in the Spirit] as neighbors in this community.”
November marks the beginning of the next phase of the capital campaign including selling commemorative pavers for exterior areas and chair markers for the new facility’s theater. The capital campaign continues to secure support for construction contingencies, and towards ensuring a seamless transition into the new facility. “We need an inspirational space for our students so they can grow and learn and create. We want to be a beacon for the community, here and beyond,” says Moving in the Spirit Board Chair Jaimie Hardin.