Have you ever visited a city, filled with rich history, failing to receive the care to keep its literal doors upon the hinges?
The city of Macon, Georgia and the people participating in the Mill Hill Village Project know this all too well.
Bibb Mill Auditorium is currently one of the city’s targets.
Being the first neighborhood built in Macon what will the now dilapidated Bibb Mill Auditorium, which was a “vital place for the neighborhood when it first opened”, built in 1920 and its surrounding homes come to be?
Mill Hill Community Arts Center in the new Mill Hill East Macon Arts Village
JR Olive, director of Mill Hill Village Project, is looking for a change. Change that will shift the atmosphere of the community of Macon-Bibb county, as well as the lives of those residing in East Macon. With the use of “creative placemaking”, Olive and several other community organizations seek to have the ability to revitalize a distressed neighborhood.
“Creative placemaking” truly does take parks and urban development in a new direction. While reading the National Endowment for the Arts, an organization that has helped fund a residency program for the restoration as well, describes creative placemaking as “partners from public, private, non-profit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities. [It] animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves the local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.”
The community is putting forth its total efforts to fight, full-force, blight.
However, in many cases of rebuilding, there are things that stunt the growth of the process.
In the situation with Mill Hill, there was a lack of communication, from my understanding. Outside artists were hired to take Because of the longstanding history that this area possesses, I believe that it would’ve been most beneficial to keep the artists, who were fire 10 days into their residency, and closely collaborate them with notable local artists. Not only would that bring economic vitality, but a sense of true community into what was once the heart of true beginning of Bibb County.
Communication is crucial to one’s success.
It is necessary that a new history is built for the community and by the community. The old has come and gone, and now it is time to start anew. In all of these things, communication is vital. Communication solves issues, as well as creates new ideas before taking physical action.
The story gives us the insight on a different way that communities can combat urban blight. Bringing in the new art to commemorate historical landmarks, especially in an arts-based community like Macon, can create a much more pleasant area.