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Groundbreakers 2016

Bluehair Technology

The nonprofit offers four- to eight-week classes on “getting started” with devices. They are all taught at places where older adults are located—senior living communities, rec centers, country clubs, and churches—throughout metro Atlanta. So far Bluehair has helped nearly 3,000 seniors learn to use smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
Clark Howard and Habitat for Humanity

Clark Howard and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity

Howard’s initial involvement in Habitat in 1996 was born out of remembrance for his father, who grew up during the Great Depression and whose parents were evicted twice. And the famous penny-pincher’s mission intersects nicely with that of the organization.

The City of Decatur

The City of Decatur has garnered plenty of awards for its environmental work. Last year it became the first local government to reach platinum status in the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Green Communities program, a designation that recognizes an all-encompassing effort.
The Imperial Hotel

The Imperial Hotel

On a Monday in June, 25 years ago, activists broke into the vacant Imperial Hotel, made their way to the highest floor, and lowered a massive sign emblazoned with the directive: “House the Homeless Here.” Soon the encampment inside the historic hotel numbered 100 protesters.


In Atlanta’s civic circles, “public art” is a popular buzzword. But too often the projects are created by outsiders with little connection to the communities where the art is installed. Arts nonprofit WonderRoot has a different vision.


Like the Atlanta BeltLine, Buckhead’s PATH400 is converting otherwise unused stretches of land into publicly accessible greenspace—but that’s where the similarities end.
Chantelle Rytter

Chantelle Rytter

Five hundred people showed up for the first Art on the Atlanta BeltLine lantern parade in 2010. Carrying homemade lights, they tromped up the dirt path between the dumpsters and hills of kudzu that, not long ago, dotted the Eastside Trail.
Jeremy Dahl

Jeremy Dahl, AKA Machete Man

Remnants of English ivy cling to the tree trunks. Hacked off about seven feet above the ground, their leaves withered, the vines now resemble twisted ropes. They were felled by the blade of Jeremy Dahl, aka Machete Man, who is saving metro Atlanta’s forests by removing the invasive species slowly strangling them.


Can you live—and live well—in a home the size of a parking space? That question was posed to faculty, staff, and students at the Savannah College of Art and Design, not as an intellectual thought experiment but as a living laboratory known as SCADpad.

Micro urban farming

Turning vacant lots into urban farms is nothing new, but a few innovators are taking intown agriculture to another level. Micro­enterprises such as Widdernshins Urban Farmstead in East Point operate on just a fifth of an acre.

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