Mercer's art presence grows with $425,000 grant

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dunwoody/beeland, architecten, inc. / Photo courtesy Mercer Marketing and Communications

The former Tattnall Square Presbyterian Church will be revitalized to house the Tattnall Square Center for the Arts, thanks to a $425,000 grant from ArtPlace America. The Center will house the University’s Theatre Arts Department as well as community theatre and arts programs. A total of 54 organizations around the country received this competitive grant.  From the ArtPlace America website, “ArtPlace America is investing in art and culture at the heart of a portfolio of integrated strategies that can drive vibrancy and diversity so powerful that it transforms communities.”

From the press release: “The Tattnall Square Center for the Arts will serve as a cornerstone for revitalization of the College Hill Corridor,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. “By creating a bustling gathering place for the entire community, it will work to change the landscape of the neighborhood and help build stronger connections.” The Knight Foundation is a founding funder of ArtPlace.

Also from the press release: “ArtPlace America received more than 1,200 grant inquiries from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The applications yielded 105 finalists, from which 54 were selected to receive grants for their potential to have a transformative impact on community vibrancy. Grant amounts range from $750,000 to $33,000, with an average grant size of just over $280,000. Funded projects include everything from temporary art spaces to permanent performance venues, theatre festivals to art walks, and streetscaping initiatives to artist residencies.”

“ The new Tattnall Square Center for the Arts is a great example of creative reuse and revitalization of a landmark building in the College Hill Corridor. With Mercer

With the Village and Downtown within walking distance, the center is perfectly located to be a destination location. The combination of Mercer Theatre department and community programming at the new center will ensure that the entire community feels ownership and pride in the facility,” said Jonathan Dye, Director of Marketing for the Macon Arts Alliance.

President Underwood, also from the press release, stated, “ Mercer is pleased to be one of the select few organizations to receive an ArtPlace America grant this year. The fact Macon is represented in this elite group of awardees is a testament to the progress that has been made over the last three years in the College Hill Corridor. The ArtPlace America grant, combined with the other gifts and grants that have been committed to this project, puts us within striking distance of completing the fundraising so we can begin renovation of the facility this year.”

Renovations began early this August and are anticipated to be completed for the next school year.