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A Mississippi Homecoming: Plans for the Year of the Creative Economy

JACKSON, Miss.–You may not know it, but Mississippi has more Grammy winners than any state, per capita. That’s what the state’s Tourism Director Malcolm White says, and those are just some of the creative minds that may be coming home this year to celebrate.

White said that since Gov. Bryant proclaimed this year the “year of the creative economy”, there will be a number of events that will feature actors, musicians, writers, and any number of creative Mississippians. He believes Mississippi’s exports and those who have stayed here, too, could be an even bigger draw for tourism.

“We’re gonna be having a lot of fun celebrating our creative heritage all over the state,” said White in a Thursday interview. “We’re gonna have concerts and celebrations, we’re gonna have unveilings.”

White says his group has been working with Marty Stuart, poet laureate Natasha Treathewey, Faith Hill and Morgan Freeman.

“It’s the famous and the not-so-famous, all the creative types. We have a roster that is unparalleled.”

He says one sign of how the “creative economy” is expected to bring money into the state is the Grammy museum being constructed in Cleveland on the campus of Delta State University.

He said the expected completion is in 2015 and construction is underway. They have about half the funds they need to get the project finished.

The Mississippi House also passed a bill this week that would provide $25 million to help build the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center in Meridian, which would showcase Mississippi’s creative and entertainment personalities. That funding is just part of some $40 million needed to get the interactive, multimedia facility built.


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