FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tammy Craft, Public Relations 601.359.6556
Jackson, Miss. (August 11, 2011) – Yesterday, August 10, the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) and the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) hosted a Creative Economy Summit at the Jackson Convention Center in downtown Jackson, Miss. At the event, Governor Haley Barbour and officials from MDA and MAC introduced and rolled out a new study of Mississippi’s creative economy.
The two agencies commissioned the study in order to better understand the people, enterprises and organizations that comprise this key sector in the state and to gauge the impact the creative economy has on the state’s overall economy. The study also provides suggested next steps for further growing the creative economy in Mississippi.
“For the first time in history, Mississippi's creative and economic development agencies have partnered in an informative and cohesive study of the for-profit and not-for-profit creative economy,” said MAC Executive Director Malcolm White. “The study outlines and explores what the creative economy is, what portion of Mississippi's overall economy is in the creative sector and how we can support, encourage and grow this emerging cluster.”
The study revealed that nearly 61,000 Mississippians are employed in the creative sector, including employees of creative companies and employees of non-creative companies that are employed in creative occupations.
“Mississippi is full of creativity – from our many artists, artisans, musicians, writers and architects to our museums, theaters, art galleries, bookstores, advertising agencies and other creative institutions. They all contribute to their local communities, helping make them unique and attractive places to visit, but many don’t realize that together, they add significant wealth to the state’s overall economy,” said MDA Executive Director Leland Speed.
“This new economy is evergreen, authentic and local,” White added. “Every Mississippi community has a story, and we think it is time we tell those stories and invite the guests to visit and build civil pride around the process. Creativity and innovation are the new currency in this global economy, and Mississippi has a rich and diverse inventory of assets, entrepreneurs and storytellers.”
The Creative Economy Summit explained the findings of the study and offered informational sessions and roundtable discussions to educate attendees on ways they can grow their local creative economies.
Governor Barbour gave the keynote address, and roundtable sessions and breakout sessions covered topics such as Developing Your Community’s Unique Assets, How Communities Can Effectively Tell Their Stories, Cultural Marketing: How Communities are Capitalizing on Their Cultural Assets, Capitalizing on the Culinary Arts, Success Stories: How Other States are Growing Their Creative Economies and more.
The event closed with a best practices panel, and attendees concluded the day at the King Edward Hotel, where the 135th Mississippi Blues Trail marker was unveiled.
To learn more about Mississippi’s creative economy, and to view the creative economy study, visit www.mscreativeeconomy.com.
About Mississippi Development Authority
Mississippi Development Authority is the State of Mississippi’s lead economic and community development agency. Nearly 300 employees are engaged in providing services to businesses, communities and workers in the state. While the agency is best known for its efforts to recruit new businesses to Mississippi, the Authority provides services to promote tourism, help communities improve their quality of place, help existing employers identify and meet opportunities and challenges and help workers improve their skills – all with the goal of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of Mississippians. For more information, visit MDA’s website at www.mississippi.org.