Tattnall Square Center for the Arts

The Corporation of Mercer University

Funding Received: 2013
Macon, GA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
August 1, 2013

Celebration and Collaboration: Community Arts Then and Now

Macon, Georgia, has a vibrant arts and cultural scene that dates back to the Muscogee or “Creek” Indians, the original inhabitants of our land. Their pottery and music, dance and tribal stories are chronicled at Ocmulgee National Monument. A few miles away, Tattnall Square Center for the Arts is poised to be a modern gathering place for the stories, music, dance and art of the modern day inhabitants of Macon.

When Mercer University embarked on creating this new community-based center they turned to an array of arts and cultural organizations for input on how the center could serve our community and function as a space where different arts exhibits and performances could occur. Representatives from the College Hill Corridor, Hayiya Dance Theatre, Macon Arts Alliance, the Macon Film Guild, Macon Jazz Association, Poetic Peace Arts, and others joined Mercer Theatre director Scot Mann and his colleagues to conceptualize a multi-purpose performing and visual arts space.

“The Center will be flexible for many kinds of presentations, including theatre, dance, concerts, art exhibits, lectures, poetry readings, debates and movie screenings,” said William D. Underwood, president of Mercer University.
Starting the project by asking for input from community partners expanded the scope of ideas for programming and created ambassadors to the community who could help spread the word about the new Center.

“We are very excited that through this project the arts will further strengthen the relationship between Mercer and the Macon-Bibb community, “ said Lake Lambert, dean of Mercer’s College of Liberal Arts. “First, it will literally relocate Mercer Theater in the community, moving us down the street into more accessible space, a more diverse space, and a more attractive space for both Mercer students and Macon residents to be a part of the thoughtful and even avant-garde theater productions that the university offers. Second, by bringing community arts to this facility and our expanding campus in the College Hill Corridor, this project will make downtown an even more exciting place to work, play and reside.”

As exterior renovations continue with concrete repairs and clay bricks begin to be exposed, members of these organizations are helping to carry forward the story of the newest addition to Macon’s arts scene.

Recent wins

1. Buy-in: Asking the arts community for input during the planning phase resulted both in buy-in and in spaces that are useful for a variety of arts presentations.

2. Buzz: Since May 20 we have amassed 119 Facebook likes! With the addition of Twitter in August and the influx of students and faculty into the College Hill Corridor as the school year begins, we expect to keep growing our social media presence.

3. Building: The remediation of the parking lot and activity happening around the exterior of the building is attracting the attention of those who drive down College Street. As the fall school term begins more and more people will have a daily


When you include the community and people with a diversity of opinions in the planning phase of a project you may reap the rewards of fresh ideas and instant ambassadors for your project.