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Mississippi Presenters’ Network Unveils Arts Go Dark campaign

Next week all of Mississippi will go dark, artistically speaking.

Arts organizations across the state are joining with the Mississippi Presenters’ Network to launch the Arts Go Dark Campaign, a multimedia awareness effort to promote the economic impact of the arts in Mississippi.

The one-night campaign will take place on March 5 where websites and social media for arts councils, theatres, festivals and dance companies across the state will instead share the unified message of what would happen if the Arts Go Dark in Mississippi.

“Mississippi is a mecca for arts and culture, and the arts are a driving force for incredible economic impact,” said Wayne Andrews, chair of the Mississippi Presenters’ Network and director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. “We want people to realize that the arts go much further than just a factor in quality of life and education. When people visit Mississippi for arts events happening across the state, they’re spending their time and money on services supporting the key industries of Mississippi.”

The campaign’s website will host information and resources to increase awareness on how important the arts are as an essential economic driver for Mississippi. According to Andrews, over 23 million tourists came to Mississippi in 2019.

Recent studies show the arts contributed to over $2.6 billion and employed 26,000 Mississippians, according to the National Endowment for the Arts. Mississippi stands to suffer a devastating loss in assets, tax revenue and jobs if local arts programs are not thriving.

“The arts, from our thriving culinary scene and local festivals to national events such as the International Ballet Competition, drive hotel nights, dining out, shopping and authentic experiences that capture the music, literature and creative spirit of Mississippi,” Andrews said. “As our state leadership focuses on jobs and economic growth in Mississippi, we hope they remember that the Arts are homegrown and contribute to our state economically, culturally and educationally.”

For more information on the Arts Go Dark Campaign and the Mississippi Presenters’ Network, visit presentmississippi.org and artsgodark.com or call Andrews at 662-236-6429.

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