Mississippi’s Creative Economy Summit

Over 300 people convened at the Convention Center in Jackson on August 10  to discuss the cultivation of Mississippi’s Creative Economy.  Congratulations are due to the Mississippi Development Authority and the Mississippi Arts Commission for organizing such an enthralling event.  We spent the day discussing how our organically grown arts economy (which is composed of 3% of the State’s population) can continue to flourish. There is an ever-growing need for us “creatives” to capitalize on our creativity so that Mississippi can be a place where artists, designers, chefs, and a myriad of other professions can establish their careers and a desirable quality of life.  MAC unveiled its recent study,”Realizing the Economic Potential of Creativity in Mississippi,” which covers topics from current economic trends and enterprises to goals and strategies for the future. It identifies sectors of the creative economy as well as recommendations for communities. In this study, you can learn about all facets of Mississippi’s creative economy. To download this study visit http://www.mscreativeeconomy.com/study.php.

Opening Remarks with Governor Haley Barbour, Whit Hughes (MDA), and Malcolm White (MAC)

Pictured above: Opening remarks with Whit Hughes, MDA, Governor Haley Barbour,and Malcolm White, MAC. Following the opening remarks, we experienced a “speed dating” session in which we  funneled into one room, chose 6 presentations and spent 10 minutes with each. It was a great way to get an overview of different departments that all seem to be working together. We covered pin-pointing artistic assets in a community, telling your story through film, effectively planning festivals, funding sources, MS Main Street opportunities, and quite a few other topics. Following this session we had some great entertainment during lunch by Shannon McNally (pictured below) and then had several other break out sessions and a panel discussion. It was so encouraging to hear of so many different tactics and programs that are functioning well and being effective in their communities.  For all of you out there in the business of creativity, I definitely suggest spending some time on MAC and MDA’s website, get familiar with the departments that specialize in your area and meet the people involved. Organize your community and your artistic cohorts and take your needs to their departments. As Malcolm White said yesterday, “He is with the government, and he is here to help.”


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