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The College Hill Bear Trail was completed in 2011.

The College Hill Bear Trail was completed in 2011.

Increasing public art in the Macon’s College Hill Corridor was an important facet in the community revitalization effort’s master plan created in 2009. The plan recommended putting artists to work designing street scape furnishings and public art, temporary public art installations, and poetic public art.

The plan states, “Public art can make a significant impact on the perception of a place. The College Hill Corridor should use murals to introduce beauty to blank walls and celebrate themes of Macon’s history and current identity. Highly visible surfaces near the Corridor’s main entrances and intersections should be targeted, and the murals should be designed in collaboration with a mural artist, with the design process acting as a community building exercise just as valuable as the final product.”

In 2009, the Knight Foundation awarded $5 million to the revitalization of the College Hill Corridor. Three million dollars were set aside for the Knight Neighborhood Challenge, a five-year grant program that funds “the best ideas to transform the City of Macon’s first neighborhoods into the vision of the College Hill Corridor Master Plan.”

Since that time, only a few public art projects have been realized, such as the College Hill Bear Trail, the Milady Cleaners mural, and the Positive Postcards temporary art installation. More ideas and more projects were needed to realize the vision laid out in the master plan. Earlier this year, the Community Foundation of Central Georgia and the College Hill Corridor Commission formed a special public art committee to generate more proposals for public art projects.

The first results of that effort will be presented to the community at a public meeting on Thursday, August 1 at Centenary Fellowship Hall from 6-8 p.m. Nine public art proposals will be on display for the community to view and offer feedback. Members of the public art committee will be on hand to facilitate the meeting and assist community members in the process. These proposed projects were submitted in the grant cycle ending June 30. The College Hill Corridor Commission will use feedback from the public, the public art committee, and outside public art professionals to make recommendations to the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. The results will be announced in early fall.

The next KNC grant deadline is December 31. Those interested in submitting should contact the Community Foundation of Central Georgia as soon as possible for more information. Visit cfcga.org/knc for complete details.

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