Macon League of Creative Interventionists puts residents’ haikus on display – Knight Foundation

Macon League of Creative Interventionists puts residents’ haikus on display

A poetry prompt distributed to local residents by the Macon League of Creative Interventionists. In the early 2014, San Francisco-based artist Hunter Franks created the League of Creative Interventionists and received more than $55,000 in funding from Knight Foundation to take his creative placemaking project on tour. The group–which stages monthly arts-based “interventions” in public spaces–is currently active in eight communities in the U.S. and Europe, including four communities where Knight invests: Detroit; Philadelphia; Akron, Ohio; and Macon, Ga., where Franks’ tour began.

When residents sign up to create a local chapter of the league, they commit to organizing and attending events that will connect and engage citizens via unconventional methods. In Macon, the league’s efforts are catching on like wildfire.

As a matter of fact, the league’s Macon chapter has been involved with other local arts events  to recruit people and gather feedback on a particular theme each month. “July’s intervention is related to last month’s [activity],” said Rachel Hollar, the leader of the Macon League. “In June, we went to several events around town [Arts Advocacy Breakfast, First Friday at 567 and Mill Hill Block Party] and asked people who walked by to complete a haiku about Macon. The prompt was ‘Macon is…’ We collected around 50.”

A Macon-inspired haiku

] A Macon-inspired haiku, collected as part of a recent project by the local League of Creative Interventionists.

In addition to setting up camp at other events, the Macon League of Creative Interventionists organizes its own stand-alone productions, where it shares feedback gathered from people in the city, or initiates projects and conversations that reference the theme of the month. For instance, the haikus gathered from residents in June will be posted this month in a vacant window space at 555 Poplar Street.

These are some examples of the “Macon is…” haikus that will be featured in the display: 

“Marvelous music, cherry trees blooming brightly, center of Georgia.”

“A place on the rise, transforming every day, becoming stronger.”

“Historic beauty, alive possibility, modern vibrancy.”

Today, July 21, the league will host an opening reception for the haiku display. The group will place temporary chairs near the window space and encourage pedestrians to stop by, read the posted poems and enjoy complimentary refreshments. In doing so, attendees will be helping to activate an empty space downtown–and perhaps the haiku-decorated piece of property will even attract a tenant for the vacant building. It’s one example of the way that the League of Creative Interventionists mixes in with almost every aspect of city life as it pursues its own broader and monthly goals.

The Macon League of Creative Interventionists has been busy bringing about social change through the arts in the city. For the remainder of the year, its meetings will be held at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of each month at SparkMacon on 557 Cherry St.