Tattnall Square Center for the Arts

The Corporation of Mercer University

Funding Received: 2013
Macon, GA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
December 2, 2013

The construction plans for Mercer University’s Tattnall Square Center for the Arts are nearing completion, and new ideas about the physical space are inspiring ideas from the community partner organizations that will share it.

Yolanda “Y-O” Latimore, founder of Poetic Peace Arts, came to the Tattnall Square Center for the Arts Programming Board with an awareness of the ArtPlace Grant thanks to a presentation given by former ArtPlace Director Carol Coletta at a conference that Ms. Latimore attended. She was excited to be a part of the project when she heard about it, and her excitement grew with the announcement of our grant.


Yolanda Latimore; photo by Allison Clowers

“The creative placemaking that’s going on with the Tattnall Square Center for the Arts will make Macon a little more metro,” said Ms. Latimore. “It will bring people in from the surrounding areas for workshops and performances, and it will really define what’s considered the College Hill Corridor for sure, bringing Mercer University and downtown and the community together. I’m excited!”

Ms. Latimore says she envisions collaborations that don’t stop at the doors of the Center. “Tattnall Park hosts so many great festivals. I see some of that activity maybe crossing the street and happening inside the Center for the Arts. The Center has the influence of a major institution, Mercer, and the grassroots involvement of all sorts of people in the community teaching and putting on productions. The cross-cultural connections are what is exciting to me. I can see it enhancing the neighborhood tremendously, enmeshing our community.”

For her own organization, Poetic Peace Arts, the space brings opportunities for educational sessions and more programming geared toward youth in the community. “When we do open mic productions and we have featured artists who have made it on the national scene, they can share their art and insight about how they did it. We can also teach the youth and give them a place to present their work with youth open mic sessions, and which teaches them creative writing and ways to enhance their lyrics. This will be a stage where they can hone their skills and become spoken-word artists.”


A performer from Poetics Peace Arts

She also points to the success of cross-arts collaborations like Hayiya Dance Theatre’s annual production Stained Glass, where “Pilar Wilder brings together poets, dancers, actors all mixed up into one production. The Center will motivate what we already do and help us collaborate on new projects.”

As fundraising efforts continue and plans for the Center are being finalized, we will continue to share the visions of partners like Y-O, as they too take shape and become the future of the Center.

Recent Wins
The project team met to review our progress to date and establish a rough timeline. Construction plans are nearly finalized and the final funding sources have been identified. With construction set to begin in the New Year, the cold weather has arrived in Macon, Ga., and activity at Tattnall Square Center for the Arts is starting to heat up!

Discussions so far with our partner organizations have focused on collaborations and activity inside the building. As improvements continue on Tattnall Square Park, our across-the-street neighbor and namesake, new ideas are being sparked for collaborations between the two facilities, such as performances or exhibits that are part of festivals in the park. We look forward to cultivating even more community partners from such cooperative ventures.