Art Matters announces symposium series

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 11, 2013
Media Contact: Jonathan Dye, jonathan@maconarts.org, (478) 308-1660

Art Matters announces symposium series
First symposium to be held at Museum of Arts and Sciences

MACON, Ga. — Art Matters: Engaging the Community through Embedded Arts Journalists is pleased to announce the first in a series of six public symposia on the role of arts criticism and arts journalism in fostering an engaged and informed community. The first symposium will be held at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, Ga. on October 22. A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. and the symposium will begin in the auditorium at Noon. Admission is free and open to the public.

The discussion at this first symposium will focus on the role of visual art and art criticism in society, current trends, and how the changing media landscape is affecting the fields of art criticism and arts journalism.  Featured guest speakers will be Susannah Darrow, Shara Hughes, and Rachel Reese. Art Matters Critic-in-Residence Steve Murray will moderate the discussion.

Susannah Darrow is the executive director and co-founder of BURNAWAY, an
Atlanta-based nonprofit arts organization dedicated to providing critical coverage and dialogue about arts in Atlanta and the Southeast through an online publication, public programs, and annual print edition. She serves on the Board of Directors of ART PAPERS magazine. Darrow received a BA in Art History from the University of Georgia (2007) and a MA in Art History from Georgia State University (2013).

Shara Hughes is an Atlanta-based artist represented by American Contemporary in New York City, Michael Andersen Gallery in Copenhagen and Berlin, and Metroquadro in Turin.  She had her first solo show in Atlanta at the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center in April of 2013 and was reviewed in the July/August edition of Modern Painters. Hughes is one of the 2011-2012 recipients of the Working Artist Project at the Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia and will have a solo show at the end of her award grant in April 2014. She holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Rachel Reese is currently the communications manager of the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center. She is an independent curator and arts writer, and former editor of BURNAWAY. She is a native Atlantan recently relocated back to her hometown after several years in Philadelphia and New York. She produces Possible Press, a free, curated publication of artists’ writings. Reese writes for Bomb Magazine online, BOMBlog, and her writing has also appeared in Temporary Art Review, ArtSlant, ART PAPERS, and TWELV Magazine. She currently teaches a critical writing course at Georgia State University.

Steve Murray is the critic-in-residence at Macon Arts Alliance as part of the Art Matters project. He is an award-winning writer, reporter, critic and playwright with years of experience as both a theater and film critic. He began his career at the weekly newspaper Southline in Atlanta as a staff writer and theater critic. He went on to be a staff writer at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Over his years at the paper, he was an arts writer, a film and television critic, and an adjunct editor for its weekly film section, Movies & More. Since 2009, Murray has worked as a columnist and film critic for ArtsATL.com, one of Atlanta’s leading arts blogs, covering all forms of art in the Atlanta metro area.

“The Art Matters Symposium Series is an important part of the Art Matters project because it allows us to engage the community in discussions about arts journalism and criticism,” said Murray. “We have three guest speakers for our first symposium focused on visual art and art criticism, and we invite everyone to attend.  The conversation will be of interest to everyone, especially the large community of artists in the area.”

Art Matters: Engaging the Community through Embedded Arts Journalists is a one-year initiative designed to engage the community through high-quality arts journalism.  The $80,000 project is funded by a $40,000 National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant and a matching $40,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  This award was among only four national arts journalism grants funded by the NEA in 2013 and is the first time in seven years that Macon Arts Alliance has been awarded an NEA grant.

The Macon Arts Alliance (MAA), in collaboration with Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism, will embed paid journalism interns in various arts organizations served by Macon Arts Alliance. These journalists will create news articles, blogs, video reports and more for local news outlets, the CCJ’s newsroom, and Macon Arts Alliance’s Ovations365.com and other publications. The program provides for a critic-in-residence at the CCJ and a series of public symposia that will pair different artists and critics to discuss the state of various art forms and criticism.

About Art Matters
Art Matters is an arts journalism partnership of Macon Arts Alliance and Mercer’s Center for Collaborative Journalism that seeks to engage the community through embedded arts journalists. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works. Matching funding provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

About Macon Arts Alliance
The mission of the Macon Arts Alliance is to foster and support the advancement of arts and culture in Central Georgia. Macon Arts Alliance works to create an environment where arts and culture thrive and Central Georgia is recognized as an unparalleled cultural destination.

About the Center for Collaborative Journalism
The Center for Collaborative Journalism (CCJ) is a unique partnership between Mercer University, The Telegraph and Georgia Public Broadcasting, with generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Peyton Anderson Foundation. The Center’s groundbreaking collaboration has students, faculty and veteran journalists working together in a joint newsroom. Learning in a “teaching hospital” model, students engage the community.

###

 

Print

Print

website-logos

 

 

 

 

Macon Arts Alliance to present 2013 Cultural Awards at the Douglass Theatre

MACON, Ga. – Each year, Macon Arts Alliance celebrates National Arts and Humanities month by recognizing outstanding people and organizations that have made significant contributions to arts and culture in Central Georgia.

“Every year we are impressed by the quality of nominees who have invested so much time and talent into the arts and cultural community in Central Georgia,” said Jan Beeland, executive director of Macon Arts Alliance. “We’re proud to honor seven Cultural Award winners this year, including one who has been selected to receive the Rosalyn Elkan Lifetime Achievement Award. That doesn’t happen every year, and we’re honored to be able to make that distinction this year.”

The 2013 Cultural Awards will be held at the Historic Douglass Theatre in Downtown Macon on October 15 beginning at 6 p.m. A reception will immediately follow the awards ceremony and annual meeting of the Macon Arts Alliance.

Admission is free of charge, but reservations are required. Please call (478) 743-6940 to RSVP today.

The 2013 Honorees are:

Marianna Gebara – Rosalyn Elkan Lifetime Achievement Award

The 2013 Rosalyn Elkan Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree for 2013 is Marianna Gebara, managing director of Nutcracker of Middle Georgia. Gebara exemplifies dedication in her contributions to our area’s cultural life by working to ensure, largely behind the scenes, that the arts have the financial and human support needed to thrive. She’s been an integral part of Nutcracker of Middle Georgia since 1985, when she was a member of the founding group of ballet supporters. She’s served as a board member, officer, and since 2001, as managing director. The cultural landscape of Middle Georgia is defined by the events and organizations that last. For more than 27 years, Nutcracker of Middle Georgia has stood as a tradition, a rite of passage for local ballet students, and a treasured event for the multitude of families who attend each year. It’s impossible to imagine the past quarter century without Nutcracker of Middle Georgia, and it’s impossible to imagine Nutcracker of Middle Georgia without Marianna Gebara.

Janice Brice

Janice Brice has been a patron of the arts in Central Georgia for many years. In that time, she’s served in a multitude of roles and been an integral part of the cultural fabric of the area. Brice has served as the treasurer of the Central Georgia Opera Guild and the Macon Concert Association. She has been a board member of Macon Arts Alliance and was instrumental in bringing the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD to the Douglass Theatre. Her efforts go far beyond managing money. She works tirelessly to bring wonderful music and art to the community. Brice is currently on the board of the Morning Music Club.

Kathleen “Kam” Cook

Kathleen “Kam” Cook has been an encouraging, positive force of volunteerism and advocacy throughout Central Georgia and in her home of Crawford County. She has a “can-do” attitude that brings vitality and energy to every project of which she is a part. Her civic involvement has included numerous organizations such as the Crawford County Historical Society, Crawford County Kiwanis Club, History Club of Macon, Macon Heritage Foundation (now Historic Macon Foundation), and the Museum of Arts and Sciences, just to name a few. She was even an administrative assistant at Macon Arts Alliance in its early years. Cook has been a strong supporter of the Georgia JugFest and Old Knoxville Days in Crawford County, and a staunch advocate for historic preservation throughout the area.

Kenneth Hammond

Kenneth Hammond loves the arts and isn’t afraid to share that love with everyone. Some have called him a “town crier” for the arts, or a “pied piper,” if you will. He has a personal email list with which he shares regular updates about local arts and cultural events and personal invitations to attend. He convenes groups of friends to attend local events, and spreads the word about what’s happening however he can. As a member of the board of the Opera Guild, he works diligently on every event and tirelessly towards its success. He is admired for his culinary talents, his willingness to share those and many other talents, and his desire to see everyone enjoy the many arts offerings in our community.

Macon Film Festival

Macon is quickly becoming known throughout the state, and the country, as a place to make movies. From 42 to Need for Speed to Trouble with the Curve, Hollywood has taken notice. There’s no question that the Macon Film Festival has been a driving force behind Macon’s introduction into the film industry. Created in 2006 as a project of the Cox Capitol Theatre, Macon Film Festival has grown to attract high-quality films and visits by prominent filmmakers. In 2011, the festival expanded to five venues, featuring three screening venues, a workshop location, and a headquarters for ticketing and hospitality. Through its independent film competition, special screenings, workshops, community events and its subset, the Macon Film Commission, the festival has elevated Macon in the eyes of the film industry and in the hearts of all who call Macon home.

Claire Smith and Nancy Shurling

The dynamic duo of Claire Smith and Nancy Shurling have been nominated and awarded a 2013 Cultural Award together. Each has made significant contributions on an individual basis, but their work together has had an impact on the Museum of Arts and Sciences that will live on for years to come. They were the co-chairs of the 2007 event that inspired the annual event known as the Festival of Trees Luncheon. The first year was a quite an experience – Smith and Shurling volunteered to cater the luncheon which turned into a massive hit. They sold more than 200 tickets and inspired a new tradition. Their work has been phenomenal, as they’ve continued to work together over the past half decade, but 2013 marks the end of an era. This year, they will hand the tradition off to new co-chairs making this award both timely and well deserved.

Gina Ward

Gina Ward has been the manager of the Historic Douglass Theatre in Downtown Macon since 2003. She is responsible for every aspect of the theatre including keeping the seats filled through regular performances, musical events, political forums, family gatherings and film presentations. She does this all while maintaining a historic facility that requires special projects, upgrades and repairs. Those who work with Ward on a regular basis know that she is dedicated to the preservation of the Douglass and its best use as a performing arts center for Downtown Macon. She always has a smile on her face and a warm-hearted word for anyone she meets. Her demeanor is reflected in her work. She is the common denominator in all the successful events at the Douglass and in the success of downtown as a whole.

# # #

Macon Arts Alliance names Steve Murray critic-in-residence

MACON, Ga. – Macon Arts Alliance is pleased to announce that Steve Murray has been named critic-in-residence as part of Art Matters, an arts journalism project in collaboration with Mercer’s Center for Collaborative Journalism (CCJ). Murray will begin his tenure as critic-in-residence immediately. His office will be housed at the CCJ in Mercer Village. He will work closely with arts journalism interns, the CCJ’s staff and media partners to ensure the success of this new collaboration.

Art Matters: Engaging the Community through Embedded Arts Journalists is a one-year initiative designed to engage the community through high-quality arts journalism.  The $80,000 project is funded by a $40,000 National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant and a matching $40,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  This award was among only four national arts journalism grants funded by the NEA in 2013 and is the first time in seven years that Macon Arts Alliance has been awarded an NEA grant.

The Macon Arts Alliance (MAA), in collaboration with Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism, will embed paid journalism interns in various arts organizations served by Macon Arts Alliance. These journalists will create news articles, blogs, video reports and more for local news outlets, the CCJ’s newsroom, and Macon Arts Alliance’s Ovations365.com and other publications. The program provides for a critic-in-residence at the CCJ and a series of public symposia that will pair different artists and critics to discuss the state of various art forms and criticism.

Murray is an award-winning writer, reporter, critic and playwright with years of experience as both a theater and film critic. He began his career at the weekly newspaper Southline in Atlanta as a staff writer and theater critic. He went on to be a staff writer at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Over his years at the paper, he was an arts writer, a film and television critic, and an adjunct editor for its weekly film section, Movies & More. Since 2009, Murray has worked as a columnist and film critic for ArtsATL.com, one of Atlanta’s leading arts blogs, covering all forms of art in the Atlanta metro area.

“We’re excited to have Steve on board as critic-in-residence. His years of experience in print journalism along with his recent transition to being a professional blogger give him first-hand knowledge of the changing media landscape and how it has affected arts criticism and arts journalism,” said Jonathan Dye, director of communications at Macon Arts Alliance. “He will be able to help our embedded interns identify potential stories, give them guidance on how best to present those stories, and be a strong liaison with the media partners at the CCJ. He’s a great choice for this residency.”

“I am excited to have on board someone with Steve’s talent and experience,” said Tim Regan-Porter, director of the Center for Collaborative Journalism. “Steve understands the art scenes nationally and here in Macon, and he knows first-hand the challenging nature of arts criticism in the evolving media landscape. He will provide valuable insight for students and help this program contribute to the local arts community and to the community at large.”

“This project is a great opportunity for young journalists to learn first-hand and in-depth the hard work that goes into making art. It’s also a chance to create an open and ongoing conversation among artists and the public about the many things we mean by ‘art,’ and why it’s a vital part of all of our lives. I’m hoping that Art Matters will be just the beginning of a long and rich dialogue in our community,” said Murray of the project.

About Macon Arts Alliance

The mission of the Macon Arts Alliance is to foster and support the advancement of arts and culture in Central Georgia. Macon Arts Alliance works to create an environment where arts and culture thrive and Central Georgia is recognized as an unparalleled cultural destination.

About the Center for Collaborative Journalism

The Center for Collaborative Journalism (CCJ) is a unique partnership between Mercer University, The Telegraph and Georgia Public Broadcasting, with generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Peyton Anderson Foundation. The Center’s groundbreaking collaboration has students, faculty and veteran journalists working together in a joint newsroom. Learning in a “teaching hospital” model, students engage the community using the latest digital tools and leave with a strong portfolio of published work.

About Art Matters

Art Matters is an arts journalism partnership of Macon Arts Alliance and Mercer’s Center for Collaborative Journalism that seeks to engage the community through embedded arts journalists. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works. Matching funding provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

website-logos

New exhibit highlights Macon’s ‘sense of place’

September 27, 2013 – MACON, Ga. – Macon Arts Alliance will host a First Friday opening reception for its new exhibit, “Sense of Place,” on Oct. 4. The show features work by two local artists, James Bodell and Daly Smith, and will be on display from Oct. 4 through Oct. 31. Bodell’s metal sculptures and Smith’s colorful paintings represent wildly different approaches to art making, but both are expressly linked to Macon.

“Daly Smith does very representational scenes of Macon while Jim Bodell creates sculptures out of reclaimed metal from around Macon and from Macon Iron,” said Heatherly Wakefield, director of fine art at the Macon Arts Alliance. “This show combines the historical with the modern, with Jim operating as the vibrant foundation and Daly creating the beautiful design. It’s both traditional and contemporary.”

Smith, a Macon native, is an architect who uses his skills to create simple yet colorful depictions of local landscapes and cityscapes. Bodell, former president of Macon Arts Alliance, uses iron and other materials to construct bold and contemporary sculptures. The artwork in this exhibit is quintessentially Macon, highlighting both the city and the creative individuals that call Macon home.

“We want people to know that Macon is a place where creative people can thrive,” said Wakefield. “This show helps highlight how Macon artists feel about their city.”

The opening reception for “Sense of Place” is Friday, October 4 from 5-8 p.m. and is an official One City Art Festival event. Admission is free and light refreshments will be served.

Macon Arts Alliance invites all community members to enjoy First Friday receptions and to visit the gallery Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All artwork featured at Macon Arts Alliance is available for purchase. For more information, call (478) 743-6940 or visit MaconArtsAlliance.org.

Vein Specialists of the South and Spa Medical are proud sponsors of First Friday at Macon Arts Alliance.

About Macon Arts Alliance
The mission of the Macon Arts Alliance is to foster and support the advancement of arts and culture in Central Georgia. Macon Arts Alliance works to create an environment where arts and culture thrive and Central Georgia is recognized as an unparalleled cultural destination.

First Friday Sponsors:

 

Print

 

 

 

 

 

SPA MEDICAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Sponsor:

mup

 

Macon Arts Alliance showcases young artists in August exhibit

MACON – Macon Arts Alliance kicks off its new exhibit, “Roaring 20s” on August 2 with a First Friday opening reception from 5-8 p.m. The show features artwork by emerging artists between the ages of 20 and 29 years old. It’s part of a “Roaring 20s” themed month for Macon Arts Alliance that includes a mid-month Great Gatsby-themed fundraiser, Taste of the Arts 2013.

“I knew early on that I wanted to play off the Roaring 20s theme”, explained Heatherly Wakefield, director of fine art at Macon Arts Alliance. “It’s a great name for an emerging artist show. August’s show will include a few new artists and some artists who are quickly becoming established locally.”

Work by more than 10 young artists will be on display. The exhibit includes a variety of styles and media. Not surprisingly, young artists tend to be more contemporary; so don’t expect rolling landscapes or still life paintings in this show. There will be beautiful work in glass, metal, bold contemporary paintings, colorful prints, and eye-catching photography on display and for sale.

“I wanted a variety of artists who represent a wide spectrum of styles and approaches. Lots of different media,” continued Wakefield. “This event will give these young artists a venue to establish themselves and build their artistic identity in Macon and Central Georgia. An emerging artist show has become an annual tradition for Macon Arts Alliance, so we’re excited to be able to continue that in August.”

“Roaring 20s” at the Macon Arts Alliance opens on Friday, August 2 with a reception from 5-8 p.m. The show continues through August 31. Admission is always free. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Call (478) 743-6940 for more information.

Vein Specialists of the South and Spa Medical are proud sponsors of First Friday at The Gallery at Macon Arts Alliance.

Beat the heat when Macon Arts Alliance presents ‘Fun in the Sun’

MACON — The Macon Arts Alliance will host an opening reception for “Fun in the Sun,” a summer-themed exhibition of paintings and ceramics on July 5 from 5-8 p.m. at its gallery on First Street in Downtown Macon.

Georgia summers are sweltering, but the Macon Arts Alliance has an event to help you beat the heat. “Fun in the Sun” features the incredible collage paintings of Macon-artist Lucy Richardson and ceramic-artist Lauren Bausch.

From her new series, “Permanent Vacation,’ Richardson creates stunning images of women living in a perpetual paradise. Under the umbrella, on a float, and with a drink in hand, her sunbathing beauties will perk your spirits on the hottest days of summer. These works of art are perfect for the beach house or the Macon house. Remind yourself that it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere with a colorful painting by Lucy Richardson.

Bausch is a young ceramicist living in Centerville, Georgia who is quickly becoming an area favorite. She creates whimsical ceramic mugs, intricate ceramic jewelry, and sculptural pieces reminiscent of coral reefs. Her beautiful and colorful pottery is the perfect compliment to Richardson’s vibrant paintings. You’ll be inspired to drink your Mai-Tai from a ceramic mug when you see Lauren’s new work.

“Fun in the Sun” opens at The Gallery at Macon Arts Alliance with a First Friday reception on July 5 from 5-8 p.m. Admission is always free.

Vein Specialists of the South and Spa Medical are proud sponsors of First Friday at The Gallery at Macon Arts Alliance.

First Editions Printmaker Exhibition and Sale Coming to the Macon Arts Alliance

MACON — The Macon Arts Alliance will hold its first-ever all-printmaker, group exhibit and sale Friday, June 7 from 5-8 p.m. Six artists were chosen, representing the many forms of printmaking being produced today. This exhibit unveils the true art of printmaking and seeks to break the connotations of mass reproductions often associated with prints.

“There is a rich and long history of printmaking dating back hundreds of years,” explained Heatherly Wakefield, director of fine arts at the Macon Arts Alliance. “The skill and technique required to make fine art prints is just as significant as painting, and the results are equally as beautiful.”

“First Editions” features work by three local art professors, Dennis Applebee, Craig Burkhalter, and William Fisher along with three local freelance artists Sharon Clabo, Jason Frost, and John Whistler. These printmakers will display original, hand-pulled prints in The Gallery at Macon Arts Alliance.

There are four basic forms of printmaking. Relief prints use cut wood, often done by hand with carving tools. Intaglio printmaking involves engraving and etching metal plates using acid baths or solar emulsions. Lithograph prints are made when an artist draws on stone with a greasy crayon, and stencil printmaking is most often made with silk screens. What makes printmaking so compelling and complex is that artists must create their images in reverse, as the final image is a mirror to the original plate or wood cut.

“This show is designed to highlight fine art printmaking over giclee prints, which are mass produced reproductions of other works of art,” explained Wakefield. “The term print can refer to either, but a fine art print is handmade and much more significant and valuable.”

“First Editions” will be on display June 7-29 and is always free and open to the public. 

Vein Specialists of the South and Spa Medical are proud sponsors of First Friday at The Gallery at Macon Arts Alliance.

Macon Arts Alliance aims to be more social with May exhibit

Macon, Ga. — The Gallery at Macon Arts Alliance will hold a First Friday opening reception on May 3 for “The May Social,” an exhibit featuring artwork by members of the Middle Georgia Art Association and the Fine Arts Society of Middle Georgia. The reception will be from 5-8 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

“The work in this exhibit is representational of the types of the work being produced in Central Georgia,” explained Heatherly Wakefield, director of fine art at Macon Arts Alliance. “Sometimes people perceive a competitiveness among arts organizations, but we are promoting the same thing… some of the same artists.”

Ever since the arts alliance was founded, part of its mission has been to foster collaboration and communication among arts groups. Quarterly meetings of more than 60 arts and cultural organizations, called the Arts Roundtable, are convened to share ideas and build community spirit. “The May Social” offers Macon Arts Alliance the opportunity to showcase two of Central Georgia’s fine arts groups and bring that spirit to life in a tangible way.

The Middle Georgia Art Association (MGAA) was established in 1967 by a small group of local artists. Membership was originally by invitation only, but today the group is open to the entire community, artist and non-artists alike. MGAA operates a gallery in Ingleside Village, displays work on the walls of Market City Café, and is the sponsor and organizer of the Mulberry Street Arts Festival.

Mae Thurston, president of MGAA, explains, “We want everyone in the community to work together and that’s our goal.” The collaborative spirit is shared by all the organizations participating in “The May Social.”

Martha Tisdale is a local artist and member of MGAA. She paints mostly in watercolor and acrylic, and her subject matter ranges from landscapes to animals. An avid traveller, she collects photographs and sketches from the places she visits. Back in her home studio, she scours her collection for subject matter and inspiration.

“My last trip in November was to Hawaii and that is where I saw those fish,” Tisdale explained, referring to a recent watercolor. “…I tried to look them up. I’m not sure what they were. But they were blue, the bluest blue. It just grabbed me and I thought ‘I’ve got to paint these.’”

The Fine Arts Society of Middle Georgia (FAS) is based in Houston County where they seek to bring the arts to the community. They achieve this goal by offering workshops and by conducting monthly meetings with guest speakers. FAS offers weekly sketching sessions for members and raises money for a local scholarship program. The prize is awarded to the Best of Show winner at a student art exhibit for Houston County middle and high school students at Galleria Mall each year.

Beth Smith is the vice president of the Fine Arts Society. Though she’s not academically trained, she has studied art history, which fostered a deep interest in Surrealism. She’s read the “Surrealist Manifesto” and books on the Surrealists like Dali and Magritte.

“I like to create art, other people can draw their own conclusions, get their own interpretations from it,” explains Smith. “I found in my previous exhibits that the Surrealism really has a powerful impact.”

Leslie Hoops-Wallace is a member of both the Fine Arts Society and the Middle Georgia Art Associations. She specializes in animals and landscapes and is a trained illustrator. She recently illustrated “Bullminia: The Courageous Bulldog.” In her spare time she teaches workshops on animal painting and watercolor.

“I always drew. I was adopted at 18 months old and I was drawing the first time my parents saw me,” she recalled. “I thought I’d be a veterinarian, but I was terrible at math. So I went into illustration instead.”

Collaboration and community spirit are the inspiration for “The May Social.” Learn more about these fantastic organizations and the artist who they all work to support by visiting The Gallery at Macon Arts Alliance on May 3 from 5-8 p.m. Or stop by The Gallery during regular business hours: Monday­‑Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Macon Arts Alliance receives NEA grant to support arts journalism partnership with Mercer’s Center for Collaborative Journalism

New program will embed arts journalists in community arts organizations

Macon, GA – National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced today that Macon Arts Alliance is one of 817 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. Macon Arts Alliance is recommended for a $40,000 grant to support Art Matters: Engaging the Community through Embedded Arts Journalists. Additional funding for the project will come from a matching grant from Knight Arts, a program of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts.

Art Matters is an initiative designed to engage the community through high-quality arts journalism. The Macon Arts Alliance (MAA), in collaboration with Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism (CCJ), will embed paid journalism interns in various arts organizations served by Macon Arts Alliance. These students will create news articles, blogs, video reports and more for local news outlets, the CCJ’s newsroom, and Macon Arts Alliance’s Ovations365.com and other publications. The program will provide funding for an Art Critic in Residence at the CCJ and a series of public symposia that will pair different artists and critics to discuss the state of various art forms and criticism.

Acting Chairman Shigekawa said, “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement, or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable opportunities for the public to engage with the arts.”

Michael Killoren, NEA’s director of local arts agencies and Challenge America said, “On behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts, I congratulate the Macon Arts Alliance on their NEA grant to support Art Matters. This collaboration between the Alliance, Mercer University, Georgia Public Broadcasting and The Telegraph exemplifies the kind of smart partnerships and innovative thinking necessary to advance the field of arts journalism and strengthen the arts. I look forward to learning more as the project progresses.”

“We are honored to be recommended for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support this program,” said Jan Beeland, executive director of Macon Arts Alliance. “Our selection among such a large pool of qualified applicants is a testament to the strength of the project.”

“Embedding journalists within arts organizations is a key component of the program. The ability to go beyond traditional arts criticism and tell the full story behind the productions and exhibits presented by local organizations allows us to foster greater appreciation for the hard work required to bring arts events to the community,” explained Jonathan Dye, director of communications at Macon Arts Alliance.

“We are very excited to participate in this innovative program with the Macon Arts Alliance,” said Tim Regan-Porter, director of the Center for Collaborative Journalism. “The arts are crucial component of Macon’s history and identity, as well as a vital part of economic development. This NEA grant will help arts organizations in the area improve their presence in the community, it will provide students with valuable experience in the field, and it will further enhance our regional reputation as a cultural center.”

“The arts play an important role in bringing us together to share our common history, culture and context,” said Beverly Blake, Macon program director for Knight Foundation. “This grant will not only inform people and highlight the vibrant art offerings in Central Georgia, it will support a new generation of journalists as they come to appreciate the power of the arts in building a connected community.”

In August 2012, the NEA received 1,547 eligible applications for Art Works grants requesting more than $80 million in funding. Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. The 817 recommended NEA grants total $26.3 million and span 13 artistic disciplines and fields. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.

About Macon Arts Alliance
The mission of the Macon Arts Alliance is to foster and support the advancement of arts and culture in Central Georgia. Macon Arts Alliance works to create an environment where arts and culture thrive and Central Georgia is recognized as an unparalleled cultural destination.

About the Center for Collaborative Journalism
The Center for Collaborative Journalism (CCJ) is a unique partnership between Mercer University, The Telegraph and Georgia Public Broadcasting, with generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Peyton Anderson Foundation. The Center’s groundbreaking collaboration has students, faculty and veteran journalists working together in a joint newsroom. Learning in a “teaching hospital” model, students engage the community using the latest digital tools and leave with a strong portfolio of published work.

###

8th Annual Fired Works Regional Ceramics Exhibit and Sale to be held April 13-21

Macon Arts Alliance is pleased to announce the 8th Annual Fired Works Regional Ceramics Exhibition and Sale April 13-21, 2012 in the Historic Round Building in Central City Park in downtown Macon. This year’s exhibit will feature 70 artists and over 6,000 pieces of handmade pottery.

Fired Works began as a local pottery show and has grown to become the largest exhibit of functional and sculptural pottery in the state of Georgia. This year’s nine-day exhibit and sale features special events such as Clay Workshops for Children and Teens, Clay in the Classroom, Cocktails and Clay, Pickin’ & Pottery, artist talks and more. A Special Preview Party will be held Friday, April 12. See and buy smoking-hot pottery while enjoying fresh-grilled sausages, kicked- up chili, gourmet toppings, a smores buffet, complimentary beer and wine with an outdoor concert from Sterling Waite and the Cotton Avenue Hustlers.

New to this year’s schedule is Clay in the Classroom, a workshop for teachers to explore new ways to integrate clay into their curriculum. It’s great for homeschool parents too. Also new this year is “Pickin’ and Pottery,” a fun and exciting concert featuring music by Nathan Garrett to be held on Friday, April 19 in Central City Park. There’s something for everyone at the 8th Annual Fired Works.

Visit www.FiredWorksMacon.com to purchase tickets or more information.

About Macon Arts Alliance and Fired Works:
Fired Works is a program of the Macon Arts Alliance, whose mission is to create an environment where arts and culture thrives and central Georgia is recognized as an unparalleled cultural destination. This exhibit supports the artists and artisans that make Georgia and central Georgia a fun and creative place to live and visit.