Downtown Challenge Grant Announcement
Twenty-one grants totaling $636,700 will bring some of the best community-driven ideas to transform Macon’s urban core. Funding for these grants is made possible by the Peyton Anderson Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Create an Unparalleled Urban Core Experience
Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority
Transporting Art: Enhancing MTA’s Bus Stops | $17,000
Award Winning MTA will enhance MTA’s downtown bus shelters with eye-catching art to encourage people to use transit or to try transit for the first time. Local artists will submit designs and a 7-person committee will select 6 adult & 2 student winners.
Bike Walk Macon
Macon Play Streets | $16,500
Macon Play Streets will give neighbors and businesses the guidance and resources to come together and temporarily close their own street to through traffic – so residents and visitors can safely gather and play in their favorite ways.
NewTown BID Management
Downtown Playground Design Development | $150,000
This grant is to support the design development for the Downtown Playground. This phase is environmentally focused, and should be developed as soon as possible so pricing can be confirmed for the project as a whole.
Reimagine Spaces: The Wimberly Institute Resource Room | $3,000
Leadership Macon will update and enhance the Wimberly Institute Resource Room at the Tubman Museum through updated shelving, increased book organization, local art, improved lighting, accessible desks/chairs for all ages, and a new children’s selection of books.
Downtown Hosts: Hot Glass | $6,200
Local artist, Jamie Adams, will bring together the three glassblowing studios in Macon, Ga to highlight and employ their artists and assistants at different downtown locations in a mobile glass-blowing demonstration series that is free and open to the public.
Main Street Macon
Classics at the Bibb | $25,000
Classics at The Bibb will be a monthly outdoor movie screening cast onto The Bibb Theatre on Third Street giving life to one of Macon’s most iconic structures. They will also share the history of the Bibb Theatre in an educational slide show.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Georgia
Art From the Heart | $7,500
Currently, Club Kids travel to 567 Center Downtown to take weekly art lessons from Kevin Lewis. This grant will allow BGCCG to extend the program to include more students, and will also include field trips to at least 5 art destinations in Downtown Macon.
Fringed Campion Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society
Native Plant Planters, Trees, and Pollinator Waystations | $5,000
This project will integrate native plants into the landscape of Downtown Macon. This will be achieved through the planting of native trees, placing planters with native plants in various places around downtown, and creating pollinator waystations.
Otis Redding Foundation
Otis Redding Center for the Arts Public Amphitheater | $50,000
The amphitheater at the Center will open onto Downtown Macon’s main street and serve as a venue for student performance, a community gathering space, a landmark extolling Macon’s musical importance, and a symbol of an educational dream fulfilled.
Macon’s Musical Score | $10,000
Streetline Percussion Inc. will continue its collaboration with previous and new partners in the Urban Core in support of their efforts to create an unparalleled experience in the Urban Core for Maconites and visiting guests.
Project STREAM | $10,000
Project STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, ARTS, and math) will focus on foundational literacy skills. The ERIC Foundation’s music labs will address the need for strong educational experiences beyond a typical school day.
Mulberry Street United Methodist Church
If These Streets Could Sing | $20,000
Crosswalks will be painted with music bars and notes corresponding to familiar lyrics. Each crosswalk will have a QR code posted directing the visitor to a web page with info about how the song/artist relate to Macon’s music history and will include a link to play the song.
Bike Walk Macon
Macon Bike Commuter Resources | $10,000
Bike Walk Macon will update and provide additional resources for bike riders so they can safely and easily access Macon’s growing bike network by (1) repairing public repair bike stands, (2) creating bike maps, and (3) sharing videos about how to use these resources.
Focus on Downtown Living
Two Hands International
Pleasant Hill Strategic Plan (Phase 2) | $45,000
This project engages Pleasant Hill residents, community stakeholders, & gatekeepers in a strategic plan implementation that responds to neighborhood priorities for development, investment, & community engagement to increase quality of life in the neighborhood.
Macon Bibb County Community Enhancement Authority
Booker T – Greenfields Outdoor Fitness | $40,000
They will reconfigure the broken basketball court behind Booker T. Washington Community Center to create an outdoor shaded area. There will be three areas: a basketball court, a sitting area w/ shade, and an exercise area w/ shade.
Support the Engines of Economic Development
Macon’s Bicentennial Committee
Ocmulgee Indigenous Mini-Film Festival | $35,000
The Ocmulgee Indigenous Mini-Film Festival will be a walkable arts and culture weekend celebration connecting the Ocmulgee Indigenous Festival in the park to downtown through screenings, Q&A, and gallery showings championing Indigenous filmmakers.
Refresh Downtown’s Commercial Market Analysis | $50,000
NewTown Macon will commission a fresh commercial market analysis for downtown Macon. Market studies are essential tools for property owners and business owners to make sound, sustainable, and suitable investments in downtown Macon.
Macon Arts Alliance
Macon Mural Festival | $25,000
Macon Mural Festival will match local businesses with local, regional, and national mural artists to create murals over a 2 to 3 day festival. The general public will be invited to watch the artists work with a printed and digital map tour.
MJM Consolidated Services
Pleasant Hill Main Street Pop Up Shop | $12,500
4-week program to assist 8 completed businesses who have done the first phase of incubator program which was funded by a DTC 2.0 grant. The business owners will do a business pitch and have a pop up shop to showcase their business on Walnut Street.
Macon Arts Alliance
Music Study Phase 2 | $15,000
Global music consulting firm Sound Diplomacy completed Phase 1 of the plan. Sound Diplomacy will be engaged to complete Phase 2. In Phase 1, they engaged local stakeholders with interviews, small group roundtables, and a survey. Phase 2 will deliver recommendations to drive sustainable music tourism, create music industry jobs, and support current music professionals. The recommendations will be used to argue for reform and guide public and private investment.
Take Action for Implementation
Macon Bibb County UDA
Macon 2 Report Card & Update | $84,000
Interface Studios will conduct an in-depth analysis of MAP 2.0 and the DTC and help our community create a third MAP installment to program work going forward in a measured, inclusive fashion.
About Community Foundation of Central Georgia
Founded in 1993, the Community Foundation of Central Georgia provides donors a simple, powerful and highly personal approach to giving. As a public charity and a local center for philanthropy, the Community Foundation of Central Georgia works with individuals, families, corporations, private foundations and not-for-profit organizations to carry out their charitable objectives and address emerging issues to enhance the quality of life for the people of central Georgia. For information, visit www.cfcga.org or call (478) 750-9338.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
We are social investors who support democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once had newspapers. Learn more at kf.org and follow @knightfdn on social media.
About The Peyton Anderson Foundation
Formed in 1989 to distribute funds from the estate of Peyton T. Anderson, Jr., based on his desire to improve and impact the communities of his hometown region, The Peyton Anderson Foundation is an independent, place-based foundation investing in the good works of people in Central Georgia and improving their quality of life through community development, education, health, human services, and arts and culture. For more information, visit https://www.peytonanderson.org/.