Minding Your Business: Local artist selling works to help friend get kidney transplant

Good friends can enrich your life in so many ways.

They can also save your life.

That’s the hope and prayer of many people, including me, when looking at the case of Jonhnie Farms and his good friend artist Dewayne Kendrick, of Perry.

Farms told Kendrick he needed a kidney transplant, and Beauty and Power was born.

If art, hip-hop, and poetry appeal to you, don’t miss Beauty and Power. It could even prove to be a life-saving event for Farms.

That was Kendrick’s goal when he came up with the idea of a session featuring his visual art collection in collaboration with poets and rap artists.

Check out Roasted Café & Lounge, 442 Second St. in Macon, at 6 p.m. July 6, to help a friend try to save a friend’s life.

It’s a free event, but please remember to buy some art as you see Kendrick’s work displayed throughout Roasted. When you see him in front of that easel creating new works to the words of live rap artists and poets, remember why he’s there.

Speaking of Roasted

I met Kendrick at the café Tuesday to talk about the event, and as I paid for my blueberry muffin and date shake (best shake I’ve ever had), I noticed the cashier’s T-shirt, which read “Save the wall,” accompanied by a picture of the enclosure surrounding the restaurant’s sidewalk café.

She told me they’ve sold out of the T-shirts.

If you follow The Telegraph’s business section (and I hope you do), you’ve heard of Roasted Café and Lounge and its battle with city officials regarding “the wall.”

City leaders have lashed out at Roasted owner Nick Rizkalla and “the wall,” saying he didn’t receive proper approval for it and that it must come down.

Rizkalla and his attorney have filed suit in court contending that the wall is legal and should stay.

The wall has become something of a cause. Rizkalla and his attorney have dug in their heels to save it and patrons of the popular eatery have cried foul as city leaders try to maintain order, structure and compliance with city codes.

What’s happening at Roasted is an example of everything that’s right with downtown Macon these days.

A new, successful business with a strong following is adding vibrancy to downtown, and city leaders are trying to make sure everyone follows the rules. I’ve heard from several business owners that the city’s permitting process can be a series of hurdles that are not always clear.

That’s why I give credit to the Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority for using this Roasted issue to create clearer guidelines for sidewalk cafe permits.

That’s absolutely a good thing.

I was talking to authority Executive Director Alex Morrison Tuesday at a grand opening event of another new downtown business about the popularity of downtown Macon and how many proprietors are taking a strong interest in doing business here.

As interest grows and more businesses open downtown, firm, clear guidelines need to be in place to ensure that the aesthetics of this attractive town -- nearly two centuries old -- stay intact.

I hope every new downtown business takes off like Roasted -- minus the battles.

To contact business editor Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.