The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
On Thursday, June 13, Macon Arts Alliance (a Knight Arts grantee) held the first Macon-Bibb County Arts Advocacy Breakfast at The Grand Opera House in downtown Macon. The purpose of the event was to showcase the rich arts and cultural resources of the community. A kaleidoscope of performances by local performing arts organizations was a highlight of the event.
After a welcome address by Betsy Fitzgerald, chair of the arts advocacy breakfast event committee and a Macon Arts Alliance board member, the Douglass Jazz Ensemble took the stage. As the ensemble ended its performance, attention moved to the box seats, where Macon Symphony Orchestra's Youth Orchestra Woodwind Quintet played “Habanera” from Carmen.
Attention then moved back to the stage for the Middle Georgia Youth Ballet, which performed to traditional and bluegrass-inspired music. When the dancing ended, actors performed short monologues as historical figures from Historic Riverside Cemetery's ongoing Spirits performance series.
The tempo of the event increased when a dance trio from Phillips Performing Arts Foundation took the stage. They were followed by a preview of Theatre Macon's upcoming production of Spamalot, featuring Bryson Holloway and J.J. Hobbs. The kaleidoscope ended with style with dancers and drummers from Hayiya Dance Theatre performing.
Wayne Jones, director of Abraham Baldwin Arts Connection in Tifton, Ga. and advocacy chair of the Georgia Arts Network, was the keynote speaker for the event. He discussed the rich arts and cultural resources highlighted at the breakfast and urged the community to utilize these resources to increase tourism, enrich lives and foster economic growth.
Jones explained that the process of consolidating Macon and Bibb County's governments is a challenging task. He said that decisions made today will affect Macon-Bibb County for generation.
"Now is the time that you, the leaders of this community, will define the story of Macon and Bibb County for generations to come," he declared to the audience of approximately 200 arts and community leaders.