Festival in Jackson, MS @ the Mississippi Museum of Art


September 19, 2011


Julian Rankin, jrankin@msmuseumart.org  







(Jackson, Miss.) … On October 1, 2011, the Mississippi Museum of Art (the Museum) hosts the 2011 Town Creek Arts Festival to celebrate the public grand opening of The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art (The Art Garden) at 380 South Lamar Street in Jackson, Mississippi.  The all-day free event features musical and performing artists, Downtown Jackson food vendors, Mississippi artists’ and craftsmen’s booths, and encounters with art in a variety of forms.

The Art Garden’s grand opening is a watershed event in Downtown Jackson and the culmination of years of visionary planning.  It serves as the nexus of Jackson’s Cultural District and a welcoming and inviting public green space that will be an asset to Mississippi’s Capital City for years to come.

This 1.2 acre park, where community and culture convene, is the completion of Phase 2 of the Mississippi Museum of Art’s longterm goal of serving Mississippians as a haven for artistic expression and engaging Mississippians in the visual arts (Phase 1 being the construction of the Museum’s current state-of-the-art facility, which opened in 2007).  These endeavors have been, from the beginning, the result of successful partnerships with the city of Jackson, Downtown Jackson Partners, and many other public and private partners.  The importance of The Art Garden was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts earlier this year when that federal agency, as part of its inaugural
iteration of Our Town grants, awarded the Museum $150,000 to support creative place making and programming in The Art Garden.

John Gomez, Associate Director of Downtown Jackson Partners, said, “The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art is just another example of the ongoing revitalization of Downtown Jackson. The beautiful garden will provide much needed green space for Downtown workers to congregate for lunch, residents to meet after work, and additional events to take place in Downtown. The Art Garden enhances the Arts District and helps connect the District to the Jackson Convention Complex.”

Town Creek Arts Festival ushers in this new era of community cohesion.  From 10 AM – 10 PM, visitors and residents can enjoy the many facets of The Art Garden, which at its core is a gift to the community of Jackson and to all Mississippians.  Lamar Street will be closed to accommodate the booths of participating craftsmen, artists, and food vendors.  Artistic performances and programming are scheduled throughout the day and evening.

Betsy Bradley, director of the Museum, said, “We are looking forward to officially opening The Art Garden during Jackson’s first Town Creek Arts Festival.  We encourage everyone in the community to come Downtown to spend time in the Museum’s new front yard and enjoy the many activities our staff and volunteers have planned for this special occasion.”

Downtown Jackson food vendors Basil’s, Downtown Café, Miller’s Grocery, King Edward Bar & Grill, The Palette Café by Viking, and Scurlock’s are providing food during the daytime hours (10 AM – 5 PM).  During the evening hours (6 PM – 10 PM), Executive Chef Luis Bruno of The Palette Café by Viking will be grilling al fresco.  Cold beverages will be available throughout the day and night.

Town Creek Arts Festival includes performances by Southern Komfort Brass Band, Mississippi Improv Alliance, Sigma Beta Club of Jackson Step Group, Front Porch Dancers, Strange Pilgrims, Ballet Mississippi, Brady Stewart & Paul Martin, Swing de Paris, Phaze 1, Margaret Phillips, and Gary Scott and Friends.  Children’s hands-on activities, led by members of The Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi, the Mississippi Children’s Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, and the Mississippi Museum of Art, are planned for each of The Art Garden’s rooms.

Town Creek Arts Festival also features the first artworks on The Art Garden Mural Walls.  The Art Garden Mural Walls are two adjacent exterior wall spaces integrated into the design of The Art Garden to display the work of visual artists.  One wall is dedicated to children’s education and the other to showcase the work of an individual artist.  During the day on October 1, renowned Mississippi artist William Goodman will paint the inaugural design on the artist mural wall.  In addition, the education wall will be designed by professional graffiti artists LiquidMetalz Kru, and will give children a chance to experience the art of graffiti.

Presenting sponsors for the 2011 Town Creek Arts Festival are AT&T; Entergy; FOX 40; Miss 103; Oldies 105.1; Z 106.7; & 95.5 Hallelujah FM.  Town Creek Arts Festival is also sponsored by Jackson Free Press, Downtown Jackson Partners, Mississippi International Film Festival, EastGroup Properties, and Siemens.  The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art and its programming are supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information about exhibitions and programs offered by the Mississippi Museum of Art, visit the web at www.msmuseumart.org or call 601-960-1515 or toll free 1-866-VIEW-ART.

The Mississippi Museum of Art and its programs are sponsored in part by the city of Jackson and the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau.  Support is also provided in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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