EDITORIAL: The arts season

By NEMS Daily Journal

Most of the performing arts organizations and venues in Northeast Mississippi open their doors on new seasons this month and in October, offering scores of performances for virtually every musical and theatrical preference – and all ages.
Tupelo’s performing arts organizations – Tupelo Concert Association, Tupelo Symphony, Tupelo Community Theatre, and Tupelo Ballet – all have announced their fall-winter-spring seasons, and ticket sales continue for all of them.
Other communities across the region also have long-standing performance companies, including Starkville Community Theatre, whose season opens Thursday, and Corinth Theatre-Arts which has opened its season at the Coliseum Civic Center after spring floods devastated its revered Crossroads Playhouse.
In addition, the University of Mississippi’s Gertrude Ford Center for the Performing Arts offers four different series options, including national touring productions, from early October through spring.
The number and variety of performances in our region has steadily increased over the decades, a reflection of growing appreciation of the arts and community strength to financially sustain them.
Specific information about the seasons is easily available:
– Ford Center: Visit www.olemiss.edu/depts /tickets, or call (662) 915-7411.
– Tupelo Community Theatre: Call (662) 844-1935.
– Tupelo Symphony Orchestra: Call (662) 842-8433.
– Tupelo Concert Association: Call (662) 840-2658, 842-3173.
– Starkville Community Theatre: (662) 323-6855.
– Corinth Theatre-Arts: (662) 287-2995.
– Tupelo Ballet: Call (662) 844-1928.
In addition to the sheer pleasure of watching gifted people perform, the arts enrich local economies.
The National Governors Association issued a special report in 2009 about the economic value of the arts and culture-related “industries.” The “creative industries,” the research found, provide “direct economic benefits to states and communities: They create jobs, attract investments, generate tax revenues, and stimulate local economies through tourism and consumer purchases.”
“In addition, because they enhance quality of life, the arts and culture are an important complement to community development … attracting young professionals to an area.”
Companies’ decisions, it notes, about “where to locate their businesses often are influenced by factors such as the ready availability of a creative workforce and the quality of life available to employees …”
Support local performing arts non-profits, enriching communities in the process.

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