Conference Seeks to Blend Creativity into Economy

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2014 is being called "The Year of the Creative Economy" in Mississippi and some people are trying to take advantage of that.

Numerous individuals and organizations attended a Just Create It conference at the MSU Riley Center Thursday. The message is that this method can be used to draw in
tourism and economic value to a city.

In fact, the Mississippi Development Authority chose to host the event at the Riley Center because of its significant value to the city of Meridian.

"A living and breathing edifice of a building that dates back to years ago and it has been renovated and restored, and rightly so, we're having a creative economy summit here," said said Alan Henderson of the Mississippi Development Authority.

Through the creative economy, most cities and towns in Mississippi base most of their tourism on the historical values of a location. In fact the arts play a huge part in the economy throughout the state of Mississippi, according to
Dede Mogollon, executive director of Visit Meridian.

"Meridian has a very strong creative economy with all of our artists and venues and organizations," said Mogollon. "We're just here to talk about strategic planning and how artists can become more involved in the creative economy."

The creative economy has even sparked the interest of young entrepreneurs in understanding how history can play a part in boosting an economy

"We go out and learn what has happened in our town and learn more about our town," said Cole Durant of Leadership Neshoba.

By the end of the conference several individuals said they hope to take home key points in how they can boost the economic value of their town through creativity.