One of the state’s most culturally significant regions is receiving a boon to its arts and development sectors. The Delta Regional Authority announced that nearly $460,000 will now be available to innovators in the fields of art and culture through its Creative Placemaking Initiative.
“Investments in our arts and culture sectors are an incredible contributor to our innovation, to our entrepreneurship, and having a more inclusive economy for our communities,” said Chris Masingill, DRA Federal Co-Chairman.
Masingill says the DRA is partnering with leading national organizations paying attention to arts, culture, and quality of life in communities to offer local artists an opportunity to showcase their work.
“Successful economic and community development requires us to focus more, invest additional dollars into our arts, culture, heritage, and the tourism assets in our region,” Masingill said.
Among the many organizations involved are the National Association of Counties, the Rural Policy Research Institute, ArtPlace America, and the National Association of Development Organizations. “
Artists are the one asset that are in every community,” ArtPlace America Executive Director Jaime Bennett said. “Every community already has people who can dance, sing, and tell stories.”
Funds for creative development will be dispersed through seed investments of up to $30,000. A series of six workshops across five states will be held in June and July to bridge the gap between artisans and local development and government leaders. Masingill says arts and culture have a solid impact on the national economy, and that his group is hoping to bring more revenue to the state through fostering creativity.
“The launch of this initiative will address the growing importance of quality of place and quality of life in business retention, recruitment, and attraction, in resident retention and attraction, in workforce development, entrepreneurism, business development, and even economic resilience in some of the most impoverished and underserved places in America,” Masingill said.