Home > A Space to Soar: Moving in the Spirit Leads $8.4M Capital Campaign to Build New Home at Edgewood/Candler Park MARTA Station

Moving in the Spirit is embarking on an $8.4M capital campaign to support a new state-of-the-art performing arts center at MARTA’s transit-oriented development at the Egdewood/Candler Park rail station in Southeast Atlanta. To contribute as a donor or adviser, contact CEO, Dana Lupton, at dana[at]movinginthespirit.org. Read the full case here.

Our Mission

Moving in the Spirit is an award-winning creative youth development program. For over 30 years, we have used the discipline of dance to help Atlanta’s young people develop the critical social, emotional and cognitive skills they need to thrive.

The Need

Atlanta ranks third in the nation for the number of Fortune 500 companies but consistently ranks last for income mobility; a child born in the bottom fifth of incomes has only a 4% chance of reaching the top fifth. Overall, Georgia ranks 42nd in the nation for child well-being.

Moving in the Spirit addresses this opportunity gap by working with children and teens ages 3-18, primarily in Fulton and DeKalb counties, where over 100,000 young people live in households with incomes below the federal poverty level and lack access to after-school enrichment programs.

Many of our students reside in unsafe neighborhoods and attend failing schools where they are routinely surrounded by more bad choices than good ones. Without strong support systems to help them cope, these youth often feel hopeless about their futures and are more susceptible to engage in risky activities.

Moving in the Spirit intervenes by integrating the arts with youth development principles that help young people flourish into adulthood as confident, resilient, contributing members of their communities. 100% of our seniors avoid teen pregnancy, graduate from high school, and gain college admission.

The Vision

In 2013, Moving in the Spirit’s board adopted a strategic vision for a modernized facility, near transit, that would support program replication and distinguish us as a national model for creative youth development. This facility would allow Moving in the Spirit to double the number of young people we serve each year and reach thousands more through performances and workshops.

The Opportunity

After an extensive two-year search of properties and land, Moving in the Spirit was offered an exciting opportunity: MARTA (Atlanta’s public transit system) and Columbia Ventures (developer) invited Moving in the Spirit to become a community arts anchor for their new transit-oriented development (TOD) at the Edgewood/Candler Park rail station in Southeast Atlanta. The TOD transforming the former 6-acre parking lot into multi-income housing, green space and retail.


Exterior view of Moving in the Spirit’s new home, designed by Stephen Trimble of Perkins+Will.

A Space to Soar

Led by international firm Perkins+Will, the architectural design of Moving in the Spirit’s stunning new facility involved 64 stakeholders—from students, alumni, and parents to board members, staff, artistic directors and community partners. Together we have envisioned A Space to Soar that embodies the unique mission of Moving in the Spirit and activates the Edgewood/Candler Park TOD with creative placemaking. Positioned directly on the MARTA rail line, the facility will meet our families’ urgent need for transit-accessibility. The deal grants us a 99-year land lease, and the project is eligible for New Market Tax Credits.

Project features include:
* Enlarged AV-equipped classrooms to improve instruction and creative youth development outcomes (upgrade from 7,000 to 21,500 sq. feet), which can double as performance spaces, lecture halls, or meeting spaces for special events.
* Additional classroom to expand the number of students we serve from 250 to 500 annually. We look forward to welcoming new families and engaging schools within walking distance of our home, as well as those from across the region who can more easily join us, thanks to our transit accessibility.
* Opportunity to become community centerpiece and model for other arts and educational organizations. Our A Space to Soar will attract artists-in-residence, community leaders, guest mentors, choreographers, and other noteworthy professionals to serve our community and the future of our young people.

Elizabeth O’Neill (Interim CEO, MARTA), Jaimie Hardin (Board Chair, Moving in the Spirit), Dillon Baynes (Managing Partner, Columbia Ventures), and Genene Stewart (CFO, Moving in the Spirit) sign the lease on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Elizabeth O’Neill (Interim CEO, MARTA), Jaimie Hardin (Board Chair, Moving in the Spirit), Dillon Baynes (Managing Partner, Columbia Ventures), and Genene Stewart (CFO, Moving in the Spirit) sign the lease on  February 28, 2018

Budget & Timeline

PROJECT TOTAL                                                  $ 8,407,798

Capital Gifts Raised                                                     $ 6,540,724
New Market Tax Credits (net proceeds)                 $ 1,750,000
REMAINING TO RAISE                                            $   117,074

Moving in the Spirit will break ground in Fall 2018.

Naming Opportunities

Tier 1*
Theater  $650,000 (PLEDGED)
Building Cornerstone  $500,000 (PLEDGED)

Tier 2**
Atrium/Lobby  $150,000 (PLEDGED)
Reception $150,000
Elevator  $125,000 (PLEDGED)
VIP Room  $100,000 (PLEDGED)
Classroom 1  $75,000 (PLEDGED)
Classroom 2  $75,000

Tier 3**
Conference Room  $50,000 (PLEDGED)
Student Lounge  $50,000 (PLEDGED)
Student Ready Room 1  $35,000 (PLEDGED)
Student Ready Room 1  $35,000 (PLEDGED)

Tier 4***
Stair steps $25,000+ (PLEDGED)

*     Spaces designated as the donor’s name
**   Spaces designated as “supported by [donor’s name]”
*** Set number of characters for donor’s name

Read the full case for support here.

Together We Soar

When we think of the many ways that we can accomplish extraordinary things in the years to come, we know that this campaign is so much larger than one organization finding a new home. What really matters are the children, teens, and families whose lives will be forever changed. What counts are the young people who will find a new path, an upward trajectory, the ability to climb higher and realize dreams greater than anyone ever thought possible…all because someone like you invested in them.

We now have the power to inspire this generation and countless others. We have an incredible opportunity, to honor our young people for the leaders that they are and for the future they will build. Together we can create a space for them to soar.

Get Involved

To learn more about the campaign gift and gift options, contact CEO, Dana Lupton, at dana[at]movinginthespirit.org. To make a gift now, visit our donation page and designate your gift as “Capital Giving.”