The proposed Mill Hill: East Macon Arts Village project comes nearer to completion as the year comes to a close. The project, a neighborhood revitalization effort that seeks to develop an artist village, has raised $4.8 million to date.
A partnership between neighborhood residents, the Macon Arts Alliance, the Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority (UDA) and others, it was initially funded by a $134,370 National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town Program grant with matching funds from the Knight Foundation.
The project’s three phases include restoration of the 1920’s Bibb Mill No.1 auditorium as a community arts center; targeted restoration of historic mill cottages for rehabilitation and sale to artists; and creation of an asset map and cultural master plan for the neighborhood.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the impressive money that has been raised so far and how it’s being used:
$2,750,000: UDA Bond Funding for property acquisition and rehab and renovation of Clinton Street
$800,000: Macon-Bibb County Blight Bond Funding for auditorium rehab
$455,797: Macon Arts Foundations Grants for master plan asset mapping, auditorium rehab and more
$670,000: Macon Arts Private Donations for auditorium rehab
$141,585: Macon Arts Federal Grants for master plan asset mapping
Currently, three artist cottages have been completed with three more under construction, according to JR Olive with Macon Arts. “Macon Arts is working to finalize a landscape plan with the UDA for the Village Block (the block on which all the artist houses sit), which should delivered by the end of the year,” Olive said. “Once we have that landscape plan, we can begin major infrastructure improvements around the housing.”
Target completion date for the auditorium is the end of February, and a master plan will be presented in March. New goals for the Mill Hill project include highlighting the Ocmulgee National Monument entrance by redoing Clinton Street and creating a linear park leading to the National Monument entrance. Work on Clinton Street will likely being once the auditorium is complete.
To learn more about Mill Hill, visit maconartsalliance.org/millhill.