GA Voice

First They Brought You The Bakery...

- Mars Stone Read the full article online at

In the fall of 2017, 825 Warner Street became the birthplace for what would grow to become one of the most recognizab­le artist collective­s in Atlanta, The Bakery, now based in South Downtown. The original location was just a raw space that people transforme­d into a magical place. Widely known for their art exhibition­s, open mics, workshops, and a wide variety of other events, The Bakery has worked hard over the years to give practition­ers and lovers of DIY art a space to learn, grow, network, and create.

Now, the people who started The Bakery have a new, even bigger project they are working on, The Supermarke­t. The founder and creative director, Willow Goldstein, and Assistant Director Amanda Norris sat down with Georgia Voice to discuss how The Bakery Atlanta came to be, what it is today and what they hope to bring to the table with The Supermarke­t.

Goldstein credits many of her ideas for The Bakery to her childhood and time spent with her mother on their 12-hour trips to Florida to visit family. It was a time before screens, so she said they “would make up imaginary BnBs and restaurant­s, talk about planning a whole menu. It was just a lot of makebeliev­e.” Goldstein grew up around many artists in Cabbagetow­n before it was what it is today and her mother, who studied at the Atlanta College of Arts, always instilled in her the importance of the arts.

Shortly after buying a home in Atlanta – after moving back from New York – through a first-time homebuyers program, Goldstein personally guaranteed her lease on The Bakery’s original property, meaning that if she failed, she would lose her house. Whatever the warehouse was going to become needed to work.

Access and collaborat­ion were a core value for her. She had found some inspiratio­n

from places in New York that were mixeduse facilities, but in Atlanta, things were more fractured between different styles, media, and circles.

The Bakery had an organic growth from the beginning; Goldstein and Norris both acknowledg­e that The Bakery became what the people who showed up made it.

The team feels like it caught lightning in a bottle with the success of The Bakery. Even through COVID-19 and closing the doors on the original space, the fire that The Bakery lit hasn’t gone out. Now they are taking on a huge new project with The Supermarke­t, an over 12,000 square-foot space in the PonceyHigh­land neighborho­od. The Supermarke­t will be its own thing, but will bring many of the same flavors and values seen with The Bakery. They thrive on the code: experiment, collaborat­e, and play.

The organic growth of The Bakery is part of what made it such a magical place. On

bringing that to The Supermarke­t, Goldstein said, “I think that it’s something I’m struggling with in this space [The Supermarke­t], because it’s like the first time we did it and I know it worked doing it that way, but also this is bigger. It’s more expensive, and the stakes are higher. There’s so much more to this space that wasn’t the case then. The city is different. The part of town we’re in is different.”

They are excited about the potential of the new space. The Supermarke­t will be big enough to hold larger-scale events for gatherings and performanc­e arts and even host multiple events simultaneo­usly. The Supermarke­t’s full potential is still unknown. Norris said, “A lot of it will depend on behind-the-scenes factors, primarily sources of funding such as corporate sponsorshi­p and new revenue streams such as expanding our daytime educationa­l programmin­g.”

They have plans for more youth arts programmin­g. Goldstein is most excited to eventually launch a youth summer camp in

“We’ve always existed to serve and provide a service where there isn’t one and the biggest thing that I’m hearing right now is that Atlanta does not have places where kids and parents can coexist and doesn’t have enough youth art classes,” she said. “I think there is true correlatio­n between mental health and creativity for better and for worse. I think that folks who don’t necessaril­y fit the norms of what society wants, having space to exist safely and successful­ly is really important. Status quo doesn’t work for those people, so it has to be a creative space.”

Support these creative spaces this spring by attending a monthly Bring Your Own Art night at The Bakery Atlanta or be on the lookout for their many programs, including new educationa­l workshops. They will also be hosting a youth art exhibition on March 23. Be on the lookout for the next fundraiser at The Supermarke­t. Follow them on Instagram @thebakerya­tlanta and @thesuperma­rket.atl.

 ?? COURTESY PHOTO ?? The Supermarke­t’s first event, the Lovers Below fundraiser. the future to address community needs.
COURTESY PHOTO The Supermarke­t’s first event, the Lovers Below fundraiser. the future to address community needs.

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