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Moving in the Spirit is embarking on an $8.4 M capital campaign to support a new state-of-the-art facility at MARTA’s transit-oriented development at the Egdewood/Candler Park rail station in Southeast Atlanta. To contribute as a donor or adviser, contact Director of Strategy & Expansion, Heather Infantry, at heather[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

Tenesia Benson, Moving in the Spirit alumna, graduate of the University of Georgia, and proud teacher in Dekalb County Schools.

Tenesia Benson, Moving in the Spirit alumna and proud teacher in Dekalb County Schools.

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, integrating the arts with youth development principles to help young people transition successfully into adulthood as confident, resilient, contributing members of their communities.

We are proud that 100% of our seniors avoid teen pregnancy, graduate from high school, and gain college admission.

The Opportunity

In 2013, Moving in the Spirit’s faculty, board and stakeholders recognized that our beloved home of 25 years, GlenCastle, could no longer meet the needs of our organization. Our programs had grown in depth and capacity, and our building had fallen into expensive disrepair. The physical limitations of the historic building and inaccessibility to public transportation meant we couldn’t accommodate demand for classes.

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 will 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 Project

After an extensive two-year search of properties and land, Moving in the Spirit was offered an exciting opportunity: MARTA (Atlanta’s pubic transit system) and Columbia Ventures (developer) invited Moving in the Spirit to become a premiere partner for their new transit-oriented development (TOD) project at the Edgewood/Candler Park station in Southeast Atlanta. Moving in the Spirit’s new home will anchor the TOD, which will transform an underutilized 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 Transit Oriented Development with creative placemaking. Positioned directly on the MARTA rail line, the facility will meet our families’ urgent need for transit-accessibility.

Every aspect of the building is custom-designed to support Moving in the Spirit’s mission of youth development and dance.

Project features include:
* 99-year capitalized land lease
* Eligibility for New Markets Tax Credits (will fund $1.75M – $2M of the project cost)
* Appropriately-sized classrooms to improve instruction and creative youth development outcomes (upgrade from 7,000 to 21,500 sq. feet). Large, AV-equipped classrooms will give our students the learning spaces they need and will also serve as performance spaces, lecture halls, or temporary meeting spaces for special events.
* Additional classrooms to serve more students. Once we open our doors, we will 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 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.

Every aspect of our new facility has been carefully considered to provide maximum program impact and community benefit, and now we are moving forward to turn vision into reality.

Budget & Timeline

Capital Gifts Raised + New Markets Tax Credits   $ 5,593,768
REMAINING TO RAISE                                         $ 2,814,030

PROJECT TOTAL                                                  $ 8,407,798

Moving in the Spirit will break ground in 2018.

_PRES_LOBBY_2b_cropped_resizedNaming Opportunities

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

Tier 2**
Atrium/Lobby  $350,000
Elevator  $125,000
VIP Room  $100,000
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

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 safe, comfortable and beautiful new home in the heart of our city. 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 greater ambitions than anyone ever thought possible…all because someone like you invested in their dreams.

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 campaign gift options and opportunities to serve on our steering committee, contact Heather Infantry at heather[at]movinginthespirit.org. To make a gift directly, visit our donation page and designate your gift as “Capital Giving.”