The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Macon Arts Alliance (a Knight Arts grantee) will present a Macon-Bibb County Arts Advocacy Breakfast at the Grand Opera House in downtown Macon on June 13. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m. and the program will begin at 8 a.m. The breakfast is free and open to the public.
In 2012, Macon and Bibb County voters elected to consolidate city and county governments. Since that time, a consolidation task force has guided the process of combining the two entities. Though the work can be daunting at times, in January 2014, Macon-Bibb County will exist under a single, united government.
The Macon-Bibb County Arts Advocacy Breakfast is result of several meetings of the more than 60 arts and cultural organizations represented by Macon Arts Alliance, collectively known as the Arts Roundtable. Representatives from these organizations repeatedly identified the need for awareness and advocacy in this time of government transition.
"With so much happening and so much changing, it's important that the contributions of the many arts and cultural organizations in Macon and Bibb County be recognized," explained Jan Beeland, executive director of Macon Arts Alliance. "The cultural industries of Macon-Bibb County have a huge economic impact on this community."
An event committee was formed with representatives from various member organizations including the Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Tubman African American Museum, Macon Symphony Orchestra (a Knight Arts grantee), Middle Georgia Art Association, the Douglass Theatre, The Grand Opera House, The 567 Center for Renewal (a Knight Arts grantee), Creative Alternative, Macon Arts Alliance and others. MAA board member Betsy Fitzgerald chaired the committee.
Keynote speaker at the advocacy breakfast will be Wayne Jones, director of the Abraham Baldwin Arts Connection in Tifton, Georgia and the immediate past president of the Georgia Arts Network, the official advocacy and service organization for the arts throughout Georgia. Jones helped found the statewide consortium, Georgia Presenters, and served as chair of the College Division of the Georgia Music Educators Association. He has been a member of the Georgia Council of the Arts Community Arts Programs Advisory Panel and its Music Advisory Panel. Trained as a professional singer and conductor, Jones began his career as the Director of Choral and Vocal Music at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. He continues to actively perform throughout the region.
“As Macon and Bibb County move to a consolidated government, its more important than ever to recognize the impact of arts and culture in the local community, including the tremendous economic impact both locally and across the state and nation,” said Jones. “Macon-Bibb County's story is told to the rest of the world through the arts and culture created here.”
The Macon-Bibb County Arts Advocacy Breakfast was made possible through funding by the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. Additional support was provided by the Georgia Arts Network, Arts Georgia, Americans for the Arts, and Bright Ideas Group.