The future Atlanta Symphony Center, to be completed in 2010 and estimated to bring $2 billion in economic growth to Atlanta in its first 10 years, is bound to increase the city’s international business development appeal, according to the symphony’s president and managing director, Allison Vulgamore.
A recent Deloitte Consulting LLP economic impact study of the new center reveals the importance of the symphony to Atlanta’s development as an international city, Ms. Vulgamore told GlobalAtlanta in a recent interview.
“Attracting new companies to Atlanta depends on providing what they are looking for. International companies are looking for a symphony, an institution that is historically grounded in the infrastructure of international cities,” she said.
“The symphony is really a visionary ambassador that can make connections and represent the interests of the state. Our presence feeds discussions with the state on companies’ decisions to come to Georgia,” she added.
The new symphony center, to be located in Midtown on the site of the current Woodruff Arts Center on Peachtree Street, is expected to create 2,100 new jobs in its first 10 years.
The Deloitte study also predicts that the new center will enhance Georgia’s appeal for knowledge-based industries because “creative class” employees will want to live in a cosmopolitan city that provides opportunities to enjoy the arts.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, a $30 million annual business, already attracts artists from all over the world and contributes to Atlanta’s draw as an international urban center, but the new symphony center, to be designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, will have even higher visability internationally, Ms. Vulgamore said.
A famed architect, Mr. Calatrava is also designing the future World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York and renovated the Olympic Sports Complex in Athens, Greece, for the 2004 Olympic Games. Having his “monumental architecture” in Atlanta will brand Atlanta and Georgia with a “vision of internationalism, progressiveness and as a haven of learning,” Ms. Vulgamore added.
She said that the city of Atlanta’s new branding campaign, focused on opportunity, optimism and openness, mirrors the symphony’s goals of helping to make Atlanta a welcoming home for international residents and businesses.
Ms. Vulgamore added that the symphony’s recent collaboration with Atlanta’s Latino community has helped to draw attention to the symphony as a force for promoting the music of other countries. For the past two years, the symphony has focused on Latin composers and music, with local organizations including the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce participating in promotional activities.
Ms. Vulgamore said the Latin theme will continue through this year and next, with the symphony’s “Golijov Project.” Debuting Wednesday, Nov. 9, the Atlanta symphony, conducted by Robert Spano, is performing the works of Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov. The classical music recording company Deutsche Grammaphon of Germany is recording the performances, including two Golijov compositions performed by the symphony last year, for global distribution in 2006.
The Latin theme fits with Atlanta’s efforts to attract Latin American business and the secretariat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, Ms. Vulgamore added.
International companies will be attracted to these symphony activities because in other cities around the world, people think of the symphony as a sign of “renaissance living” that serves a leadership role in communities, Ms. Vulgamore said. “We are community, a vibrant part of the culture of a city, where people gather. We’re the promotion of heart and business intertwined.”
Visit www.atlantasymphonycenter.org for information about the new symphony center or www.atlantasymphony.org for more information about the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Contact Ms. Vulgamore at (404) 733-4900 or email@example.com.