We had the good fortune of connecting with Carla Moore and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carla, how do you think about risk?
A couple of years ago, I quit my job as an assistant professor at a university without knowing what was next or what I ultimately wanted to do in my career. I just knew I was burned out and didn’t feel like the work I was doing was making a difference or aligning with my purpose.
Since that time, I’ve been working to create a lifestyle and career that combine my academic training with my creativity and love of the arts to ultimately fill some need in the world. My work with ATL CHEAP DATE gives me a creative outlet and a platform that I can use to connect with other creatives as the pieces come together in the bigger picture.
When it comes to taking unnecessary risks, just for a thrill, I’m typically going to pass. However, when it comes to risking something stable but unfulfilling for a chance to live more authentically and possibly do something meaningful, I am obviously all in.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
ATL CHEAP DATE is a website and persona that I created to share information about free and cheap entertainment options in and around Atlanta. I incorporate a lot of cheeky wordplay to promote the schtick that I am dating Atlanta, and the city itself is showing me a good time without costing a lot of money. For example, I share weekly events on my website and through my mailing list with the “Weekly Hook-up,” and I share seasonal and year-round attractions in the “Passing Flings” and “Going Steady” sections of my website.
I also use social media and the “Blog” section of my website to create a sense of community by collaborating with and promoting other creatives and businesses. One of my favorite projects to date involved pairing Halloween costumes with Atlanta street art and then tying each costume theme to a “cheap date” option in the city. Also, this past summer when travel was restricted, I staged “FAKEcations” to London, Paris, and Washington, D.C. without leaving Atlanta, and I used the posts to promote local attractions and businesses that were still functioning during the pandemic.
Beyond ATL CHEAP DATE, some of my dream projects involve creatively merging the worlds of art and science through filmmaking, curating museum exhibitions, and creating pop-up educational experiences. My hope is that by continuing to create content and function in a creative space, I will ultimately make the connections and gain the additional skills I need to turn these bigger dreams into reality.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, first, I would tell my friend to check out the “Weekly Hook-up” and “Passing Flings” sections of my website to see what weekly and seasonal events looked interesting. We’d likely hit up a few places on Buford Highway for food and maybe catch a show at Lips. Since Atlanta is the “City in a Forest,” we would definitely spend some time in nature. I enjoy the Bamboo Forest and Doll’s Head Trail for day hikes, and I like to take out-of-towners to see the sunset from the top of Stone Mountain. We’d probably go on a quick craft brewery tour around Avondale Estates, and we would definitely check out some of the free concerts, comedy, and movies at Colony Square, Atlantic Station, and Uptown Atlanta.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a shoutout to all of the amazing visual artists who share their talents with the community through publicly accessible art. I also especially want to thank the Atlanta creatives who have connected with me for in-person collaborations. I’ve had the opportunity to work with the folks at Atlanta Coffee Shops and Thrift.1995 on two really cool projects, and Chris Skeene, the artist known as Blockhead, invited me to work with him on an awesome public art drop when I was first reviving my website and social media platforms.
I also have to thank my parents for supporting all of my creative undertakings with ATL CHEAP DATE. My dad has driven over three hours to assist with photography on more than one occasion, and my mom happens to be a really talented seamstress who helps me make and remake clothes and costumes for whatever project I’m working on at the moment.
Personal photo and swing mural – Megan Kuhn