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Street Talk

Creative Energy A Big Part Of Mississippi

By Mickey Howley

It seems every week or so there is a national listing of which states are the best or worst in a given category. Which state has the highest salaries? Or which state has the heaviest people? Or which state has the most or least educated population? Mississippi often ends up being near the worst in a good category or near the “best” in a dubious category.

In some way these listings are good, as they give us a comparative idea as to how the rest of the country is doing.  However, if one is listed always at the bottom of the list, one could develop quite an inferiority complex.

I saw two listings recently where Mississippi was at the top. One listing had Mississippi as the fastest state in the union. You read that right, the fastest. What that means is that Mississippi vehicles average the highest overall speed. That is not to say we are the state that has the most speeders; we are not.  But we can drive closest to the posted speed limit and not get caught in traffic.

The other listing is which state gives the highest percentage of personal income to charity.  Mississippi is number one.  I’d like to think that makes us the state with least greedy population. Did you ever think we could be the fastest and most generous at the same time?

There is a listing I would like to see in the future. I would like to see a ranking on which state has the most creative and artistic people per capita. A list like that would perhaps be too subjective.  But if there was one, I believe Mississippi would be near the top.

Last week the Mississippi Arts Commission hosted the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and among the honorees were art educators, artists, and musicians.  Our state has a creative force that has produced a legion of world known painters, writers, and singers.

Where this creative energy and motivation comes from, one can only speculate. Civic recognition of this “creative” energy and how it can benefit a nation or state or even a town is relatively recent.  

Part of the Water Valley Arts Council’s mission is to promote the creative arts, recognize artists and assist them whenever possible, foster a creative atmosphere in town and let people know that the creative and imaginative aspects of visual and performing arts enriches the whole community.

This Friday, Mar. 4, at Bozarts Gallery, beginning at 6:30 p.m., the Water Valley Arts Council hosts a poetry reading featuring the works of Water Valley’s Dessie Caulfield. Dessie, as you may or may not know, is an accomplished poet.

I have had the pleasure of hearing her read her works in the past. She captures the essence of human emotion in poems and lyric language best enjoyed and understood when read out loud.

Come and hear some of Dessie’s work. The event is free and open to the public and sometimes all you need to do to support the arts is invest a little time.  See you there.

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