Maconites get $5,000 grants to make city ‘more vibrant’

Two people from Macon were named recipients of $5,000 grants this week for projects designed to “make their cities more vibrant and livable.”

The grants originated through a non-profit known as 8 80 Cities, which according to its website is “dedicated to transforming cities.”

The projects are part of the Emerging City Champions fellowship program that recognizes 25 young community leaders from select cities and is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Macon winners announced Thursday were Rachel Hollar and David Moore.

Hollar’s project is designed to help make four Macon neighborhoods “more livable with Bike Macon, a group that will meet monthly to coordinate and organize quarterly activities and interventions to engage and connect residents,” a news release stated.

Moore’s project, dubbed the Macon QR Project, aspires to “better inform visitors and residents of the history of downtown Macon in an interactive way.”

Hollar, 25, said her year-long project will focus on neighborhoods in the Second Street corridor from Beall’s Hill to east Macon.

“Just the connectivity of it is the reason I chose those four,” she said.

The Bike Macon group will invite neighbors to help plan events or “some creative type of intervention that encourages biking or walking,” Hollar said Friday. “Different ideas for things (such as) activating alleyways or popup parks ... or a bike parade.”

The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation is at work in 26 communities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight owned newspapers, including Macon.