Out & About

Urban programming on the upswing in Macon

Yolanda Latimore
Yolanda Latimore

None of us means any harm by segregating when it comes to church attendance or partying. Now, though, we’re seeing a few religious organizations and entertainment venues attract diverse crowds. Mainly, the people in the mix in any of these places will be predominantly black or white in Macon, with few exceptions. I’m not making this up. It’s just the way it is.

On a large scale, kudos to Macon-Bibb County and Spectra for providing more diverse concerts in Macon for the Middle Georgia area. Several of the urban shows drew huge turnouts. This proves that the right programming will bring the people out. A large percentage of central Georgia residents look forward to enjoying the night out and some quality productions.

Simultaneously, there are smaller, emerging entities such as Encore 365, which coins its establishment as an events and lifestyle entertainment company. About a week ago, their show, Encore Live: A Tribute to Soul, Funk and R&B at the Cox Capitol Theatre, was a smash. It was a night with a large number of millennials and baby boomers dancing and grooving among each other.

Somehow, in the world of media demographics, urban is defined as a black audience. Location is the first thought that comes to mind when I think of the word urban. You know how we learned that urban meant city, suburban was right outside the city and rural was beyond the suburban and the next city? Anyway, with Macon-Bibb County being a predominantly black town, the demand for urban programming is finally being supplied — a little bit.

Now’s the time to fill in the voids of other areas outside of entertainment. As a people, we all need to improve our ways of living. So, we need to think of programming that will enhance the culture in the areas of economics and education.

The call to action for these types of events lies on the shoulders of community organizers and individuals. Once a plan and the bulk of the funding is in place, it’s easier to attract partners — and sponsors.

I’m proud of my city’s growth. Let’s make it greater!

Yolanda "Y-O" Latimore is founder of Poetic Peace Arts and director of Like Water Publicity, a media and booking agency. She is also a Macon Arts Alliance board member and president of the Macon Cemetery Preservation Corp. Contact Y-O at ylatimore@gmail.com.