Name: Tyree Smith
What is your relationship to Fort Mac?
I am partnering with Fort Mac to bring art and creative events as a type of inclusive community engagement stage for the surrounding areas. I want to bring art, shows, events that are inclusive to creative and surrounding areas.
What excites you most about the redevelopment of Fort Mac?
I’m excited to think about what Fort Mac can bring to the community and what it can do for creatives. For it to enable creatives to be a springboard for impacting what’s happening here. It’s exciting for us to be a part of the beginning stages of something, and to have an impact on the landscape of what’s happening here.
What would you most like to see happen with the redevelopment of Fort Mac?
I would like to see it be inclusive, involving everyone in the community, and serving as a place the world can look at when it comes to starting up similar places. I want to see this be a part of Atlanta’s history.
From your experience, what has the response from the community been?
It’s been positive and a little apprehensive. The community is excited about what’s being said is gonna happen, but apprehensive because they need to see it being done. They are excited about the role Fort Mac is beginning to play as a hub or nexus for creatives – a place to put the renaissance that’s happening in the city. They’re excited about the opportunity Fort Mac has to bring fresh food and restaurants into this food desert – to be an oasis in a food desert.
For those who are not as engaged as you are, is there anything you would encourage them to do? Anything you’d like for them to know?
They need to come to Community Engagement Subcommittee meetings, see what plans are, have their voices heard. These are things that are shaping the landscape of Fort Mac and if we aren’t there, it will get shaped without us.
Fort Mac is on the path to doing something great and historic for the city and state, and the world period. Fort Mac LRA and the Community Engagement Subcommittee MEAN what they’re saying. That’s the difference from a lot of things they’ve been a part of, and we can say that from the way they treat us. This IS the future. We want everyone to be a part of that from the beginning; to see more people here; to see more activity on Fort Mac.
The master plan is good. I like the fact that the creative crowd has helped change that landscape, and I’m excited to be vice chair for the Public Arts Advisory Council (PAAC) and to see what it will look like beyond renderings. The art and urban community is excited to see art – visual, performing, culinary arts – becoming a priority in the redevelopment.