The City of Atlanta became an Arts & Sciences City of Distinction on April 6, 2017. This award showcases metropolitan areas with exceptional artistic vitality, cultural vibrancy and scientific engagement.  


(En)Lightning Talks Atlanta - a series of electrifying five-minute public talks by local experts in the arts and sciences was hosted  Holly Frey and Tracy Wilson from the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast.   

Natasha Trethewey is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University. A former U.S. Poet Laureate, Trethewey is the author of four collections of poety, including Native Guard, for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize. 

 "The Man Who Knew Infinity" 
Ken Ono is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics at Emory University. An expert in number theory, Ono has contributed to numerous publications and is an Associate Producer of the Hollywood film “The Man Who Knew Infinity” about the life of mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. 

 “The Breakup?: EU-US Relations in a Populist World”
Eleanor Morris is the Associate Professor of Political Science and Program Director of International Relations at Agnes Scott College. Her interests include theoretical approaches to international relations, the politics of the EU, and world politics. 

 “The Rise of Multicellular Life: What Yeast Tells us About Evolution”
Will Ratcliff is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Science & Technology at Georgia Tech. One of Popular Science magazine's 2016 “Brilliant 10”, he explores how single cells came together to form multi-cellular organisms and connects audiences to the evolution of biological complexity through his Snowflake Yeast Lab. 

 “Promis(ed) Land- Migration through the lens of Contemporary Art”
Cosmo Whyte is a trans-disciplinary contemporary artist and lecturer of visual arts at Morehouse College. Featured in the 2016 Atlanta Biennial, his award-winning work employs drawing, performance, and sculpture to explore how notions of identity are disrupted by migration.   
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Phi Beta Kappa hosted an awards reception recognizing the innovative efforts of the City of Atlanta's Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs, led by Camille Russell Love, and four exemplary local organizations that build creative exchanges with new and diverse audiences in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences or mathematics. These organizations include: 

ELEVATE  aims to promote city-wide cultural and economic growth among residents by exhibiting large-scale public art installations, visual performances, and educational opportunities. Their 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. 

The Atlanta Science Festival is an annual public celebration of local science and technology. Founded in 2014, the festival explores the science and technology of the region, expands the local community of science enthusiasts, and inspires 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 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'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 by promoting King’s teachings and nonviolent philosophy as a critical resource for civic engagement.

The Center for Collaborative & International Arts (CENCIA) 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.

 Learn more about the Cities of Distinction Award Series at


Love of learning is the guide of life.