The Jones Family Foundation (JFF) has a long history of supporting the arts in our community. Historically, the arts are the expression of a community’s history, culture, and overall community health. The arts are a way of celebrating our community’s successes and struggles, but more importantly, they are an effective medium for educating younger generations about our community’s past and promote the desires of our community’s future. A healthy arts community is indicative of community health and can be a significant factor in promoting economic development as well as attracting professional talent from outside of the community.
The Arts as a Story to Tell
Bibb County has a unique and rich history, if you will, a great “story” to tell. We have a long and ancient history with the Creek Indians, a world class antebellum community, and a diverse history of notable music artists, just to name a few. These various arts interests weave a beautiful tapestry that allows our citizens to be proud of their community ancestry, together with the realization that our strength lies in our diversity. Of course, maintaining our arts community requires substantial funding; however, it would be tragic to allow our arts community to whither. We have arguably one of the broadest arts communities in the U.S. and it is critical that we work to enjoy and preserve the arts in Macon-Bibb.
Jones Family Foundation & the Arts
The JFF has enjoyed a varied and long history with multiple projects in the arts community. The Macon Symphony Orchestra is unrivaled by other comparable cities in Georgia and we have been proud to sponsor both capital projects and individual concerts. Both Theater Macon and Macon Little Theater continue to produce envious productions and showcase the extensive theatrical talents of our citizens. The JFF has continued to aid both in capital efforts and production efforts.
Macon is blessed with several important cultural museums such as the Museum of Arts and Sciences and the Tubman African American Museum. The JFF has participated in multiple capital efforts including the Judy Jones Hay Gallery at the MAS and the Charles H. Jones Gallery at the Tubman. The Macon Arts Alliance is an important endeavor and works to obtain funding for the varied arts institutions throughout Bibb County. We are a long-term supporter of the Alliance and appreciate their efforts to assist our community.
Our Vision for Arts in Macon-Bibb
The increase in technology has indirectly hurt the arts community in Macon. Our younger generations are more involved in the social media culture and have not engaged with the arts community to the extent that prior generations did. Historically, the arts “engaged” individuals through all of their senses, but smartphones have become a more convenient and cost effective alternative.
Nevertheless, we believe that a great deal is lost without the direct and personal engagement one can experience in the arts. If something is not done, the arts will be relegated to web-based images and content and therefore become not as engaging as historical mediums. If we lose our culture, we potentially lose our identity. The JFF feels that it is critical to introduce the arts community to the younger generation and remind the older generation of its importance. Mainstream mediums such as television and movies can’t possibly replicate the intricacies and interest in our historical past, nor the potential for our future. While many of our partners in the arts community operate on limited budgets, the JFF is hopeful that we can leverage our efforts in social media to generate both interest and fundraising in Macon-Bibb.