The Knight Foundation, with its deep ties to Middle Georgia, is donating more than half a million dollars to bolster nine Macon arts-and-culture groups.
In a statement about the $537,000 in grants on Wednesday, the foundation noted that its investments will “strengthen the arts ecosystem, offering opportunities for local artists, while supporting arts organizations in their efforts to provide accessible and engaging programming.”
In a release announcing the gifts, Victoria Rogers, vice president for arts at the Knight Foundation, said, “The arts bring us together like little else, helping to form those shared experiences that build community. To create vibrancy, cities need a healthy cultural system with organizations that provide a high-level of programming that is accessible, and spaces for individual artists — potters, jazz musicians, painters and writers — to grow and experiment.”
Funding recipients include:
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* The Tubman Museum, which receives $75,000 to expand African Diaspora arts programming in Macon by helping the 2018 Pan African Festival grow into a new, larger location in Central City Park, joining with another signature Macon event known as PraiseFest;
* Macon Arts Alliance, which receives $75,000 to help artists develop their skills in a space providing access to an array of tools, from saws to software;
* 567 Center for Renewal, which receives $20,000 to develop the careers of Macon artists by building a ceramics and pottery studio where professional artists can rent fully equipped studio space, take workshops and exhibit their work;
* Jazz Association of Macon, which gets $10,000 to increase community access to live jazz performances by bringing in an artist-in-residence and having him or her perform at the association’s Riverdale Festival and at local schools;
* Mercer University, which will receive $7,000 to help the Nutcracker of Middle Georgia with marketing and administration.
Meanwhile, four groups are getting “multiple-year funding”:
* Museum of Art and Sciences, which gets $150,000 for more professional development opportunities for emerging Southern artists by providing funding for exhibitions and for acquiring their work;
* Bragg Jam, which receives $75,000 to bolster access to year-round musical performances by local and national acts by helping expand its programming and grow from a volunteer-led organization to one run by a professional staff;
* Otis Redding Foundation, which gets $75,000 to expand access to music education for Macon’s young people;
* Ampersand Guild, which receives $50,000 to support the work of artists in Macon at the downtown guild, which provides studio, performance space and professional development.