For 11 years, the Mill Hill Community Arts Center remained unused and decaying. Now, the Center is shining again as a hub for arts and culture in East Macon.
Connections Macon, happening from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. April 21, is a free arts and culture festival to be held at the center. Performances, headlined by Prince Neo, will take place all day in the auditorium, and an art show, with featured artist Ayana Canady, will happen in the entrance of the building.
There will be more than 60 artists, art groups and community organizations on site, plus food vendors and children’s activities. A free trolley will run through East Macon to provide transportation to the event.
Connections chair and organizer Creighton Rosental said the mission of the festival is to use the arts to begin a healing process for long-standing divisions in Macon, as well as create a vibrant arts scene in the community long after the festival has ended.
Now in its second year, Connections is partially funded by a Downtown Challenge grant from the Community Foundation of Central Georgia and aims to reach 2,000 people.
“I’ve been working in the arts in Macon for some time now, and there’s nothing quite like an art project or activity to bring disparate people in Macon together,” Rosental said in a news release. “I’ve seen kids and volunteers from wildly different backgrounds and experiences quickly form a close bond by working together on an art project. … I’ve seen members of a community who are politically, economically and socially disenfranchised given a public voice through creative expression. This is what Connections is about, and what we hope will help build community and bridge divides in Macon.”
Helping to bridge that divide are 53 volunteers involved in festival planning, 42 of which are Mercer University students. The volunteers have been busy spreading the word about the festival by distributing 5,000 informational cards to residences and school students. You can learn more by searching Connections Macon on Facebook.