No question, Atlanta is hot. Created by native son Donald Glover, the FX show about two cousins making their way in the city’s rap scene won a Golden Globe award for best television series/musical or comedy. But Atlanta is only one example of the incredible creative moment that the city of Atlanta is now enjoying—one centered in its identity as a crucible of African American life. As the New York Times put it, “the Atlanta area is now home to such a critical mass of successful actors, rappers and entertainment executives that few would argue its position as the center of black culture.”
Thanks to tax credits and an affordable cost of living, Georgia has the nation’s third-largest film industry, behind LA and New York. In the 2015–2016 fiscal year, the industry generated some $7 billion in economic impact in the state. Institutions such as the Georgia Film Academy help provide skilled technicians, while production houses like Tyler Perry Studios, Eagle Rock and Pinewood have built facilities for film and television productions. TV shows filmed in Atlanta include The Walking Dead, 24: Legacy and Sleepy Hollow, while the feature films shot here in 2017 include Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther and Pitch Perfect 3.
Even as Atlanta—ATL, as it’s known—is earning fame in film, it’s always been a capital of music, especially hip-hop. Local artists include Ciara, Gucci Mane, India.Arie, Migos, Janelle Monáe, OutKast, 21 Savage, Usher and Young Jeezy. Atlanta is to hip-hop what Nashville is to roots music and New Orleans is to jazz. The reasons? A reputation for cultural inclusiveness, a supportive and diverse artistic community and affordability.
As if all that weren’t enough, there’s also a thriving food scene. Atlanta is home to amazing southern cooking, but also food inspired by immigrant communities, such as Latinos, Vietnamese, Koreans and others. Atlanta chefs have earned 56 James Beard Award nominations in the last five years.
All these trends further enhance Atlanta’s status as a remarkable place to visit, live, work and create.