For immediate release March 13, 2017

The Phi Beta Kappa Society Celebrates City of Atlanta as an Arts & Sciences City of Distinction

Local Organizations Lauded for Cultural Vibrancy and Accessibility

WASHINGTON, DC – The Phi Beta Kappa Society—which inducts outstanding undergraduate students—will celebrate the City of Atlanta as an Arts & Sciences City of Distinction. The award is designed to showcase metropolitan areas with exceptional artistic vitality, cultural vibrancy and scientific engagement.

To celebrate Atlanta’s arts and sciences community, the Society will host an invitation-only reception on April 6, 2017 at the Woodruff Arts Center from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by a round of "lightning" talks from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The lightning talks are free and open to the public at the Woodruff’s Rich Theatre. 

At the award reception, Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, will accept the Phi Beta Kappa Arts & Sciences Cities of Distinction Award on behalf of the city.

Phi Beta Kappa will give $5,000 prizes to four exemplary organizations that build creative exchanges with new and diverse audiences in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences or mathematics. 

ELEVATE aims to promote city-wide cultural and economic growth among residents by exhibiting large-scale public art installations, visual performances, and educational opportunities. As a program of the Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs, its goal is to ensure Atlanta residents feel a strong sense of pride in their city, and the cultural resources and experiences it offers to the world. 

Atlanta Science Festival is an annual public celebration of local science exploring the science and technology of the region, expanding the local community of science enthusiasts, and inspiring a new generation of curious thinkers. Collaborations with 100-plus community partners, including school districts, post-secondary institutions, museums, businesses, civic and community groups facilitate the festival’s success.

The Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection contains an unparalleled gathering of more than 13,000 primary documents representing the global leader’s life and work. The Office of the King Collection dedicates itself to engaging students on all levels, as well as educators and community leaders. Through community presentations, workshops, professional development opportunities, and student-centered initiatives, the office seeks to promote King’s teachings and nonviolent philosophy as a critical resource for civic engagement.

The Center for Collaborative & International Arts (CENCIA) at Georgia State University provides meaningful opportunities for artists of diverse disciplines to collaborate and connect with local, national, and international communities through accessible arts programming. Through its energetic promotion of the Arts, CENCIA connects Atlanta to global communities and helps to position the city as an international center for artistic expression.

 Following the award reception, the evening continues with a series of electrifying talks, free and open to the public, “(En)Lightning Talks Atlanta,” from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Woodruff’s Theatre emceed by Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast hosts Tracy Wilson and Holly Frey. 

This event features five experts in the arts and sciences who get just five minutes each to spark audience interest. Presenters are: former U.S. poet laureate Natasha Trethewey, evolutionary biologist Will Ratcliff, political scientist Eleanor Morris, contemporary artist Cosmo Whyte, and number theorist Ken Ono. Seating is limited and reservations are required. 


About The City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs

The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs vision is to enhance the quality of life through arts and culture, and to contribute positively to the social and economic health of Atlanta and the region. Their mission is to promote rich, diverse and educational cultural experiences; nurture artists and arts organizations; unify Atlanta’s cultural community; preserve and protect the city’s cultural heritage; and expand Atlanta’s international reputation as a cultural destination. For more information, visit

About The Phi Beta Kappa Society

Founded on Dec. 5, 1776, The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation's most prestigious academic honor society. It has chapters at 286 colleges and universities in the United States, almost 50 alumni associations, and more than half a million members worldwide. Noteworthy members include 17 U.S. Presidents, 39 U.S. Supreme Court Justices and more than 130 Nobel Laureates. The mission of The Phi Beta Kappa Society is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, foster freedom of thought, and recognize academic excellence. For more information, visit