A long-planned project that would have brought a unique stage next to the Beltline’s Eastside Trail seems to be in jeopardy, and some Reynoldstown residents are up in arms about it.
For years, Beltline officials have been teasing plans for an outdoor performance venue—working title: Bifurcations—that would have been created next to the newly paved path, on a hill just north of Memorial Drive.
In 2014, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs secured a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts that would have helped fund the project’s design. It was being developed in partnership with Georgia Tech.
But on Friday, word that the project had seemingly been nixed spread on a private neighborhood Facebook page, frustrating Reynoldstown residents.
“There will be no stage, but there will be a hook-up for power, sound, and lights for performances,” wrote one resident who claimed to have spoken with project leaders.
Another commented: “That sucks. Always looking for music outlets.”
Beltline spokeswoman Jenny Odom told Curbed Atlanta that project leaders “will be turning to the community for designs and input on an inclusive performance and art space on the Eastside Trail in Reynoldstown,” noting that earlier designs were “just an exercise in what is possible at that location.”
This fall, she said, a request for proposals (RFP) will be issued for the project and a series of community meetings on the matter will be announced soon.
Whether there would be a stage component in whatever design should result from the renewed efforts remains to be seen.
An Atlanta Beltline blog post from May 2017 described the project as follows:
The stage, whose design is being led by Tristan al-Haddad with funding from the National Endowment of the Arts, will function as a permanent space for performances and events on the Eastside Trail.
The design firm, now called Formations Studio, still says the Bifurcations project is “nearing the end of design and is slated to begin construction in 2018” on its website.
Representatives from the firm did not immediately respond to Curbed’s request for comment.