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June 26, 2023 44 mins

David Manuel is a celebrated who’s who in Georgia and for good reason. A graduate of the Atlanta College of Arts with a BFA in Advertising and Design. David has masterfully used his talent, network and expertise to bridge different cultures together using art as a vehicle. Manuel is a champion of the arts, a compassionate community activist and self-published author of I Am a Father and I Am a Mother books. Formerly the Director of Community Relations at the Woodruff Arts Center and Deputy Director of Parks, Recreation &Cultural Affairs for Dekalb County; David now serves as the Fulton County Arts & Culture Director. Manuel brings a diverse range of programming and creative ideas to the region. His vision for the county is that it will lead the nations as a place for creatives to continue to explore endless possibilities. Manuel oversees 2 Art Centers, Public Art Division, Fulton Government TV, Film Division and the Contract for Service Division which awarded $3 million in arts funding to 190 artists and arts organizations in 2023. He sits on many boards and has partnered with companies such as Turner Broadcasting and HBO just to name a few.

Manuel is the founder of the I Am a Father Initiative, Promoting Strengthening families and Organ Donor Awareness. In 2015 he created the first of its kind, the I Am a Father 5k Run/Walk. In its 8th year, David has successfully galvanized communities to focus on strengthening families one mile at a time.

In 2013 David won the Non-Profit Executive of the Year from Regions Financial Corporation; was selected as the 2014 Voice of Influence from CBS Radio, named Positively Georgia by CBS46 News in 2015, received the Community Service Award from the NAACP, LUMM (Let Us Make Man) and Arby’s corporation. In 2017 David was recognized by Life Link of America in the 2017 Organ Transplant Calendar.

Personally speaking, while he spends most of his time working in the community, David is a certified mentor for the Georgia Transplant Foundation. As a liver transplant recipient, he believes the way to show gratitude for having a second chance is by educating and registering others to become an organ donor, thereby giving the most precious gift ever, “the gift of life.” David resides in the DeKalb area with his wife Karren and is the proud father of three, Branden, Blake and Kaitlyn.

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