By Sue Moore
What attracts artists to a community? This question was posed by Kathleen Hoyle, Downtown Development Director (DDA), at the inaugural meeting she organized for those interested in forming an Arts Council in the village of Vicksburg.
Six people sat around a small table in the Community Center with ideas popping every which way in December. It boiled down to some of the following concepts:
- Embrace the arts
- Attract unique and diverse artists
- Find a well-lit facility for painting with lots of big windows for natural light
- Provide different rooms for each artist
- Construct an outdoor amphitheater for performances and attract families
- Operate a co-op gallery for artists of different mediums
- Rotate exhibits
- Provide area for teaching classes
- Recruit artists and writers to available studios
- Host an Arts Fair in the Historic Village
- Create a destination – one big arts place – not just for one week – all year
Leeanne Seaver, who was one of those in attendance, coined the phrase “The Art of Living” as the marketing or branding approach that she recommended to further the arts in Vicksburg. All agreed to meet again on January 15 at 6 p.m. at the Community Center, and invite any others who would be interested, according to Hoyle.