Wayne Jones to speak at Macon-Bibb County Arts Advocacy Breakfast this week

MACON -  Macon Arts Alliance will hold a Macon-Bibb County Arts Advocacy Breakfast at the Grand Opera House on June 13 from 7:30-9 a.m. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

In a monumental vote last year, the citizens of Macon and Bibb County decided to consolidate and move forward under one local government. A consolidation task force was formed and the difficult task of combining a city and a county began. Though not every aspect of consolidation has been hammered out in perfect detail, in January 2014, a consolidated Macon-Bibb County will be a reality.

"With so much happening and so much changing, it's important that the contributions of the many arts and cultural organizations in Macon and Bibb County be recognized," explained Jan Beeland, executive director of Macon Arts Alliance. "The cultural industries of Macon-Bibb County have a huge economic impact on this community."

The idea for the Arts Advocacy Breakfast originated in meetings conducted by Macon Arts Alliance of the more than 60 arts and cultural organizations the alliance represents. These meetings, held quarterly, include representatives from local museums, community theaters, dance companies, festivals, educational institutions and other non-profits.

"Local arts organizations play a vital role in this community," explained Beeland. "From local festivals to First Fridays, arts organizations are involved at every level, and these events bring business and commerce here. Macon Arts Alliance represents a constituency of organizations that must have a seat at the table in local government."

Keynote speaker at the advocacy breakfast will be Wayne Jones, director of the Abraham Baldwin Arts Connection in Tifton, Georgia and the immediate past president of the Georgia Arts Network, the official advocacy and service organization for the arts throughout Georgia. Jones is a former member of the steering committee that worked in cooperation with the Fox Theater Institute to form the new statewide consortium, Georgia Presenters.  He has served as chair of the College Division of the Georgia Music Educators Association and as a member of the Georgia Council of the Arts Community Arts Programs Advisory Panel and its Music Advisory Panel.  Trained as a professional singer and conductor, Mr. Jones began his career as the Director of Choral and Vocal Music at ABAC and continues to actively perform throughout the region.

"As Macon and Bibb County move to a consolidated government, its more important than ever to recognize the impact of arts and culture in the local community, including the tremendous economic impact both locally and across the state and nation," said Jones. "Macon-Bibb County's story is told to the rest of the world through the arts and culture created here."

For more information, please contact Macon Arts Alliance at (478) 743-6940.

About Macon Arts Alliance
The mission of the Macon Arts Alliance is to foster and support the advancement of arts and culture in Central Georgia. Macon Arts Alliance works to create an environment where arts and culture thrive and Central Georgia is recognized as an unparalleled cultural destination.

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