an art and performance festival
Picture yourself at The Grand this fall: Envision a colorful cultural celebration with interactive activities, an opportunity to see a brand new type of performance, find classes for arts education, buy homemade decor, and experience a true explosion of creative energy from all different corners and perspectives in our community. This is Macon Art eXplosion (MAX).
So what is Macon Art eXplosion?
Macon Art eXplosion (MAX) is an all-weekend, radically inclusive artist-centered cultural celebration with interactive family activities and demos, a craft market, exhibitions on the main stage, and exciting site-specific micro-performances and installations on October 23 and 24. MAX was created by artists, for artists, and submissions to the festival will be juried by a council of practicing artists from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.
Anyone can submit to MAX and an artist can submit multiple entries for different ideas. There are no table fees or application fees – we want this to be open and available to everyone from the most reputable professional painter to the nine-year-old prodigy singer that currently headlines her living room voice recitals. We also want to encourage risky and experimental ideas that artists may not have felt supported to show before.
Our aim is to explode the venue with arts and cultural activities from Macon’s eclectic creative community that are open to everyone and where audiences will learn something new.
How will it work?
We were inspired by open submission art festivals and Fringe festivals in other cities. With that in mind, we will open up the space at The Grand as wide as possible over the weekend for art.
There will be three different ways to engage and explore Macon Art eXplosion:
- Maker Merchant Spaces: These are table/booth spaces to both showcase your wares and to perform interactive art activities (we love the idea of ones that are family friendly!). As an example, while Dushawn may be selling his screen-printed t-shirts and gifts at his booth, Katie might be leading a chalk-art demo for kids at hers. YOU set your prices 100% for Maker-Merchant tables and there are ZERO application fees – being a participating maker or artisan is totally free upfront. The Grand will take a 15% commission on items sold to cover the cost of your participation. We accept local (to Middle Georgia) and handmade goods, items, and activities. We’d love to encourage activities that make art and creative activities appealing for youth and booths that have a variety of price points for accessibility, but most importantly we want you to sell and present the work that you do. These spaces will be available in the lobby, CenterState and Encore rooms, and in front of the Grand on the sidewalk. APPLY TO MAKER MERCHANT SPACES NOW
- Stage Shout-Out Spots: Give a sneak peek to what you perform, create, or teach with these slots onstage – approximately 15-20 minutes long. Do you have a creative business bringing art to parties? Do you run kid’s camps or classes in your creative discipline? Do you run awesome comedy shows? Give a taste of who you are to your audience. We’ll have people cycling in and out of the auditorium all day with these spots to market and spotlight you. APPLY FOR A STAGE SHOUT-OUT SPOT NOW
- Guerilla Grand Spaces: What can YOU do to activate a unique space with your mini-concert, gallery show, play, or interactive performance? We present six spaces on the fringes that are ripe to be turned into a creative paradise. And it’s not just the locations that are meant to be edgy – we want your weird, wacky, and wonderful ideas. These site-specific gallery or performance spaces are the fire escape, green room, dressing rooms, balcony stair landing, top of balcony, and The Grand boxes. What can YOU make in those spaces? A cubby concert in a dressing room to an audience of 4? A stairway gallery? A comedy show using The Grand boxes? APPLY FOR A GUERILLA GRAND SPACE NOW
Applications are open now through September 30th. For questions, please email Julia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the coming days, we will be adding resources for applicants and an FAQ on our website on this page. We will have multiple tours of the venue available and at least one informational Zoom session for applicants to learn more.
Funded by an On the Table mini-grant from the Community Foundation of Central Georgia.
Create. Explore. Connect. To the MAX.
SITE TOURS AND Q&As
Interested in applying to Macon Art eXplosion but need to learn more? Come to one of our site tours:
WEDNESDAY 9/22 AT 6 PM: Creative Conversations, hosted by Anna Richards and Erin Hawkins
Join Macon’s vibrant artist and creatives group, Creative Conversations, as they host a tour at The Grand for people interested in applying. Walk around the whole space, brainstorm ideas for submitting to the festival, and connect and network with other creatives! FREE DRINKS AND REFRESHMENTS PROVIDED
SATURDAY 9/25 FROM 12-2 PM
Hang Out at The Grand! Kick off your weekend by coming to see a site tour and learn about applying to Macon Art eXplosion. FREE DRINKS AND PIZZA PROVIDED!
MONDAY 9/27 AT 4 PM
Last minute site tour! Still looking for information and inspiration? Meet up with other artists and learn about applying to Macon Art eXplosion! FREE DRINKS AND REFRESHMENTS PROVIDED!
Frequently Asked Questions and Site Photos
Who can apply?
We encourage anyone – and we mean anyone – with a bold idea to apply for Macon Art eXplosion. This includes artists and creatives of all ages and backgrounds. Our only requirements is that your gifts/art are handcrafted – not part of a larger corporation’s products. Even if you are unsure of an idea, please feel free to apply! Our artist council can provide specific feedback even in the event that your work is not accepted.
We encourage both visual and performing artists to apply with all kinds of ideas. We want your one-woman operas and group paint and sips. We are looking for any idea we can house in the building. The only limitation on the type of work is that most submissions will have a relatively small amount of installation time and that nothing can be hung from our walls – as a historic theatre, we are a little old and delicate!
What does the “blind jury” process mean?
A group of Macon visual and performing artists from all disciplines was selected to be on the artist council who will be judging the applications. The “blind jury” aspect refers to the fact that all applications will strip your name from consideration during the council reading and discussing the applications. This is meant to focus our attention on the work that you are submitting, not your perceived reputation or previous experience.
What does it cost?
The event costs artists nothing to apply or exhibit. That’s right, the number is 0. There are no fees involved. You can set your own prices for your work or performance during the event. There is a 15% commission being taken on items sold or tickets sold to help cover the costs of the event.
I want to participate, but I’m not sure where my application fits in.
Please go to one of our site visits or contact Julia Rubens at email@example.com. We want to figure out a way to envision your work at this event!!
Admission for kids are free. Does that mean all exhibits are family-friendly?
We are emphasizing family-friendly activities, but not all artistic expressions at the festival may be appropriate for children. We will have a color-coded marker at the doorway to each exhibition or performance to indicate age appropriateness. That way, the littles can have a great time, the artists can present their work authentically, and parents won’t be confused about what will work for them!
Maker Merchant Spaces
Description: Tables for Maker/Merchant Spaces and activities can happen in front of The Grand, in either of our reception rooms the SouthState Room or the Encore Room, or the lobby. You can receive one 8′ table and one chair from The Grand to sell your wares or do an activity.
Stage Shout-Out Spots
Description: Stage Shout-Out Spots will happen on The Grand Stage in 15-20 minute increments. We will provide you with a microphone and the ability to project imagery.
Guerilla Grand Spaces
Description: Multiple spaces around The Grand are available for pop-up galleries and performances. These are customized to fit your vision. Our main restriction is that we can’t hang pieces directly from the walls of our historic space.
1) The Grand Fire Escape: Multiple levels and architectural metal staircase.
3) Top of Grand Balcony: This is a long, hallway-type space at the top of the staircase.
4) The Grand Box Seats: The iconic boxes are a staple fixture of the architecture at The Grand. Each holds six seats and there are three levels of boxes on each side of the stage connected by staircases.
5) The Grand Stage: The main stage!
6) The Green Room: Our backstage room where performers hang out! Could be a great intimate or edgy show venue.
7) The Dressing Rooms: There are three small “star dressing rooms” upstairs backstage. Downstairs, there are two larger ensemble dressing rooms which each have shower rooms attached. All have the lightbulb vanities pictured.