The arts sector in Jackson, MS has grown drastically within the past few years. While The Jackson Medical Mall has been known as a health and retail hub, we were seeking opportunities to improve our community by incorporating arts and culture. The announcement that we had been chosen as a CDI recipient came with great excitement and anticipation. In the beginning, we were a bit uncertain on how the process would unfold, but we were eager to bring such an investment to our community.
The community is our priority and we want them involved from beginning to end. We also want to collaborate with local artists to ensure that at least one artist is involved in each new development. We understand that Cultural Asset Mapping is a critical phase in development and we are being careful in the selection of the entity that will assist with the process. Thus, we have convened a thirteen-member advisory committee who will assist in the selection process of the proposed research firm.
Our goal is to solicit valuable, organic community engagement and feedback throughout this process so that we can develop a project with an impactful footprint and sustainable outcome. However, is there a measurable way to gain community consensus and create something that will be supported by the community’s majority? We’ve found this to be one of our most prevalent questions.
Overall, we've really benefitted from the monthly webinars and calls with ArtPlace and fellow grantees. We especially gained useful insight from hearing other grantees share their experiences and by reviewing toolkits and Planning magazines. We’ve really enjoyed cultivating relationships with our local arts communities and have developed a deeper appreciation for their work and contributions. Moving forward, we look forward to collaborating with local artists and the community to develop projects that will be beneficial and well-utilized in the community.