MTA Awarded Downtown Challenge 2.0 Grant | Transporting Art: Enhancing MTA’s Bus Stops

On Thursday, December 8, the Community Foundation of Central Georgia announced the final round of Downtown Challenge 2.0 Grants — 21 grants totaling $636,000, among them $17,000 for Transporting Art: Enhancing MTA’s Bus Stops.


The grants are funded through the continued generosity of the Knight Foundation and Peyton Anderson Foundation of Central Georgia and are administered by the Community Foundation of Central Georgia.

MTA is partnering with local artist and designer Erin Hawkins on the grant. Hawkins and MTA Public Information Officer Jami Gaudet, will oversee the project.


  1. Continue to help beautify downtown Macon.
  2. Enhance downtown transit stops for current riders & entice people to “try transit.”
  3. Encourage & support the creation of public art by paying artists for concepts & winning designs.
  4. Encourage student artists.
  5. An art-filled downtown boosts tourism and economic development, making our city more attractive to visitors and industrial prospects.
  6. A progressive, vibrant downtown improves the quality of life in Macon.


The first step is an “Art Call” in January 2023. Local artists will be invited to submit designs, and a seven (7) person committee consisting of two (2) artists and five (5) MTA employees (throughout the ranks), will choose the finalists and winners.

Each finalist will be paid for their conceptual design, and ultimately, the committee will select adult winners and two (2) student artists whose work will be displayed in downtown bus shelters.

MTA CEO Craig Ross states, “In addition to providing high quality, dependable, and affordable public bus service in Macon, MTA is happy to be able to enhance our bus shelters with attractive, imaginative art by local artists, including students. We look forward to seeing the work the contest produces.