Macon County high school juniors and seniors, many of whom are fulfilling requirements for Bridge Builders Alabama, meet every other Tuesday night at Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church on Highway 81 between Notasulga and Tuskegee. Auburn University undergraduates work alongside them, as they develop skills related to life, work, and college. The program is funded in part by the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Tonight we had the good fortune of a return visit from The Mobile Studio – Daniel Neil, artist and curator of the Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University and Jocelyn Zanzot, landscape architecture professor at Auburn University. They worked with students last spring and summer on the Civic Data Challenge, which resulted in our students’ work receiving Honorable Mention and display at the National Conference on Citizenship in Philadelphia in September.
Jocelyn and Dan brought along AU interior architecture professor Kevin Moore, and we launched a project to build Little Free Libraries, which will accompany our beautiful mosaic tile benches and trees at locations throughout Macon County. These three talented designers took us through a design process where students thought through the scope, scale, intent, and qualities of structures that will act as lending libraries, as well as transform the space where they are placed. Students ideas were excellent, and the next time we meet they will “build out” the ideas and see them come to life.
In a world where it seems like everything is bought, and we make nothing ourselves (which would make our ancestors scratch their heads in dismay and unbelief), our students will CREATE something important for their community, thanks to the guidance and friendship of these three professionals—Dan, Jocelyn, and Kevin. And students learn design terms and processes, as well as the latest technology that can turn wood and glass into shapes for building ideas into creative reality.