March 23, 2011
The city of Jackson took a significant step forward last week when City Human and Cultural Services Director Michael Raff announced a public-art initiative. Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. has committed 1 percent of all eligible capital-improvement funds for public art displays around the city, and the administration is seeking community members to get involved.
The program’s success, however, depends on the community’s involvement. The first project requires volunteers to paint 340 traffic-control boxes around the city. This is Jackson’s chance to put our words into action to create a blueprint of the future. City government might be pushing the idea, but it will fall flat without the public’s participation.
The initiative is modeled after Seattle’s public-arts program—and while Jackson may not have the same amount of funds and resources as Seattle, we have a vast pool of talented artists and visionary leaders. Seattle’s program started in 1973, and the city now has thousands of public art works to show for its commitment.
We encourage Johnson and City Council members to pass a public-arts ordinance that can stand on its own through future administrations and as an official commitment of basic funding. We call on artists, business leaders and all citizens to contribute their ideas and creativity to the initiative so that Jackson can become a cultural destination and positive example of forward thinking in Mississippi.
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Submited at Thursday, March 24th, 2011 at 2:00 am on Uncategorized by Alina
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