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Creating a new economy

Empty seats were at a premium Aug. 10 at the Jackson Convention Complex as hundreds gathered for the state’s first-ever Creative Economy Summit.

Attendees came to learn more about the creative economy, what it is, where it is and how communities can grow it, adding jobs and enhancing their quality of life.

The event, the brainchild of Mississippi Arts Commission executive director Malcolm White, conducted in cooperation with the Mississippi Development Authority, also unveiled a pioneering study on the state’s creative economy. The 125-page study, which found Mississippi has approximately 61,000 workers employed in that sector, is now available online at mscreativeeconomy.com.

The event’s keynote speaker, Gov. Haley Barbour, offered a summary of what he hopes comes from the summit.

“We are known throughout the world for our arts,” Barbour said, adding that the state needs to do a better job of marketing that to the world. “When we get them here, we got to sell ’em something, feed ’em something and sing ’em something.”

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