By Sue Moore
Finding a new home for the Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center (VCAC) has been a long process, according to Amanda Wilson. It may be drawing to an end. Wilson presented the first choice for the center’s move to new digs to the Vicksburg Village Council in June.
After careful scrutiny of 20 possible locations in and around downtown Vicksburg, a search committee chose an empty building at 103 E. Prairie Street, a few hundred feet from the incubator location at 200 S. Main St., as the center’s next site. A rating system was set up by the committee, which included an artist, a sound expert, the executive director and a former real estate broker from the community. The move was required; the property owner has new plans for the current building.
The Cultural Arts Center opened in 2015 under the auspices of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and has gone through a series of leadership changes and artist involvement. With Syd Bastos as its part-time executive director and Lisa Beams as artist coordinator, it has flourished. It offers coffeehouse style programs each month and special events throughout the year.
“We will be able to continue to grow and enhance these programs in the new location,” Bastos explained. They will lease what was the former Doris Lee Sweet Shop from Paper City, Inc. with seed money available to install a bathroom and make other improvements. The DDA has previously approved a façade grant to Vicksburg Land Co., to improve the outside of the building. That will be done over the summer. Bastos hopes the building will be in ready for move-in by fall.