A glance at the calendar is sufficient for us to recall the abundant opportunities Macon offers to enrich our lives, for coming up Oct. 24 is the Macon Arts Alliance’s Cultural Awards, an annual event that reminds us that it is hundreds — nay, thousands — of impassioned folks who create the quality of life we so enjoy.
Macon Arts Alliance has recognized dozens of these committed people over the years, and most of them are not professionals but rather dedicated volunteers. The ones that reach out to nourish our youth are especially important to Macon’s future.
Coming up in a matter of days is a youth-oriented series new to Macon. Stars of Carnegie is the work of Louise Barfield, founder of Little Carnegie of the South. The opening event is slated for Oct. 8 and will feature pianists Woori Kim and Curtis Smith, performing for children and teens only. The day prior the pair will present a performance open to the public. Barfield’s announcement reminds us that exposure to the arts “increases a child’s concentration, sensitivity to beauty, emotional fulfillment and expectations for a higher quality of life.”
As I read those words, I thought of the sentiments recently voiced by Bibb County Sheriff David Davis when commenting on the violence that we read about so frequently. He said, “It’s almost like there’s this pervasive blanket of hopelessness or despair that’s cast amongst a lot of these individuals, and then when they get in contact with each another it doesn’t take much to ignite violence.”
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A major warrior in the battle against youthful hopelessness is the Mercer University Opera. Every year Martha Malone and Rich Kosowski present a series of free performances of a fun show for kids. This year’s “The Trial of Goldilocks” will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday. These events always stir my heart as I watch the kids, awed by a college campus, deriving pleasure from watching college students perform and dreaming they too will attend college.
Another inspiring event this weekend is “The Lion King Jr.,” presented at Theatre Macon by the Youth Actors Company. Down the street at the Tubman Museum, designed to entertain kids during Bibb schools’ fall break, is the “2017 Heritage Camp,” running Oct. 9-13.
Much, much more
Speaking of Theatre Macon and the Youth Actors Company, on Saturday night some talented actors who got their start in Macon (and some friends) will be in town for a benefit reading for Theatre Macon’s endowment campaign. Tickets start at $50 and include actors Michael Emerson (“Lost”) and Carrie Preston (“True Blood”).
This event reminds me of the Beatles tune, “A Little Help from My Friends.” There’s a powerful message here for the Macon Symphony Orchestra, a group that refuses to call upon its friends. The orchestra’s last concert is Oct. 14.
In other theater activity, this is the final weekend for “Reserve Two for Murder” at the Backlot Players in Forsyth and also for “Of Mice and Men” at the Perry Players. This latter show, based on John Steinbeck’s great novel, is a classic almost beyond measure.
Looking further ahead, the Metropolitan Opera’s “Live in HD” series begins Oct. 7 with Bellini’s “Norma” at the Douglass Theatre.
Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.