Tim Regan-Porter, director of Mercer's Center for Collaborative Journalsim, talks about Art Matters, a new program of Macon Arts Alliance in partnership with the CCJ. Looking on are (l-r) Don Bailey, president  and publisher of The Telegraph; Dr. Lake Lambert, dean of Mercer's College of Liberal Arts; Beverly Blake, Macon program director for the Knight Foundation; Jan Beeland, executive director of Macon Arts Alliance; Josephine Bennett,  community development specialist at Georgia Public Broadcasting; and Jonathan Dye, director of communications at Macon Arts Alliance. Photo by Noelle Brooks.

Tim Regan-Porter, director of Mercer’s Center for Collaborative Journalism, discusses Art Matters, a new program of Macon Arts Alliance in partnership with the CCJ.

Tuesday, it was my honor to announce that Macon Arts Alliance (a Knight Arts grantee) is one of 817 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive a National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works grant. Macon Arts Alliance is recommended for a $40,000 grant to support Art Matters: Engaging the Community through Embedded Arts Journalists. Matching funding for this program will come from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Art Matters is an initiative designed to engage the community through high-quality arts journalism. The Macon Arts Alliance, 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 students will create news articles, blogs, video reports and more for local news outlets, the CCJ’s newsroom, Macon Arts Alliance’s Ovations365.com and other publications.

Additionally, 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 art criticism.

Art is the catalyst of a vibrant and vital community. People want to live in a place where they can be engaged by the world around them. The arts have this ability, and Central Georgia needs effective and compelling arts journalism to show the world that the arts are thriving in this community.

Macon Arts Alliance is the overarching nonprofit representing more than 60 arts and cultural organizations. Our mission to foster the arts begins with the community theaters, the galleries, the artists and musicians and actors who live and work in Central Georgia. There are magnificent stories to be told about these organizations and the people who make the arts happen every day. This partnership, through the use of embedded journalists, will help us go beyond criticism of performances and paintings, and tell the story of our arts community.

Read Tuesday’s press release from Macon Arts Alliance for complete details.

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