Do you have a favorite line of poetry from Sidney Lanier? An Allman Brothers song lyric that always sticks with you?
Thanks to a grant to the Crossroads Writers Conference, residents will now be able to immortalize their favorite lines related to Macon and help revitalize part of the College Hill Corridor area in the process as part of the Sidewalk Stories Challenge.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded a $29,300 Knight Neighborhood Challenge Grant that will allow the organization to take nominations to inscribe quotations on areas of sidewalk that need to be replaced. The Community Foundation of Central Georgia is administering the grant.
The original idea was to create a sort of literary Hollywood Walk of Fame for the corridor area, said Angel Collins, a Crossroads board member. Since there isn’t enough grant money for an entire sidewalk, Crossroads board members decided to let people nominate sections of sidewalk in the corridor between Mercer University and downtown Macon that are in greatest need of repair and have a quote inscribed in the new sidewalk.
The only catch besides the location is that the quote must somehow be relevant to Macon -- either about Macon itself or written by someone with a Macon connection. The quotations don’t necessarily have to be a quote from a song or literary piece. People also can submit historic facts if they choose.
“It can be music, it can be literary -- something that had an impact on that person,” Collins said.
The Macon-Bibb County Convention & Visitors Bureau is partnering with Crossroads on the project.
CVB spokeswoman Valerie Bradley said anything that improves a part of the city as well as gives tourists another spot to visit is a “win-win situation” for the organization.
“For us, it’s a great avenue for visitors to come by and check out,” she said. “People will be able to see a finished product that was revived by the community.”
Collins said some of the details, such as how many pieces of sidewalk can be replaced with the grant money, are still being worked out. She said initial estimates are for two to three dozen sidewalk squares, depending on the size.
Nominations are already coming in, and organizations such as the College Hill Alliance, the InTown Neighborhood Association and Historic Macon also are getting the word out about the process.
Nominations for a piece of sidewalk must be turned in by Monday. After that, a committee will take all the eligible nominations and hold a community forum to let residents decide which quotes and sidewalks are to be redone.
“This grant is a great opportunity for us to help physically change the landscape in College Hill by not only improving the safety of the sidewalks, but highlighting Macon’s literary legacy,” Collins said. “It is a way for us to educate and create a sense of civic pride for College Hill.”
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334. 

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