MAEC Dedicated to Downtown

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

The future of the long-awaited Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center is in the news.

Newscenter 11 reported Saturday that New Wine Ministries, a downtown church, is moving out of the former Montana's building. Leaders said they were being forced out, because the arts and entertainment center was going to be built there.

Monday, MAEC wanted to clear up some issues. Board member, Clay Holladay, who handles public relations for MAEC, said the the group hasn't purchased property yet, but is dedicated to the downtown area. But Holladay says no plans have been finalized.

"The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center is focused in looking at putting a facility in downtown Meridian and we have not finalized that yet," said Holladay. "But we are focusing on downtown. At this point, we haven't hired an architect, so at this point, there are no plans for us to demolish buildings or anything."

Holladay does say the project is further along than it ever has been and that, hopefully, there will be exciting news in the future. As for how soon that could be, Holladay wouldn't say.


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  • by Still Wanting to Know Location: Meridian on Jul 13, 2010 at 04:51 PM
    OK peeps, once again: Is this the same A & E Center that Meridian fought so hard for several years ago? If so, I thought one of the prerequisites for "winning" the honor was that it be built on the water--Bonita Lakes? Does anybody recall this?
  • by What's the problem? Location: Meridian on Jul 13, 2010 at 10:08 AM
    How can you fault a man for selling property that he owns? Whoever purchased the building/land whether it be the MAEC or someone else has every right to do with it what they please. They don't owe Mr. Roberts or anyone else an explaination. The occupants of The Gathering place did not own the building so complaining about having to move is not productive. For this to be a major news story is a little ridiculas. I'm sure the fact that Mr. Roberts used to work for WTOK has nothing to do with the amount of air time he gets.
  • by Eyes Wide Open Location: Meridian on Jul 13, 2010 at 09:43 AM
    The same old vampires sucking as much financial blood as they can. No matter what they call themselves (downtown association, a&e, whatever), they are the same people who profit on downtown redevelopment. If it ain't downtown, it ain't right.
  • by Houses of God? on Jul 13, 2010 at 07:16 AM
    Set Free By The Truth, The Gathering place sounds a little like a trading den. Book exchange, coffee house, the chili house restaurant, throw a church in there too. I saw were the book store already has a new building. Glad they are being proactive instead of the usual Meridian way of complaining and protesting. Its to bad the owner of that building made a business decision that will improve the area. Now y'all can make one and move to another building. Progress
  • by Amazed on Jul 13, 2010 at 07:06 AM
    Here's an idea...let the MAEC locate in the soon-to-be-vacant Hulett Furniture building. It's an existing building with beautiful architecture and a downtown location, and the tenants of Montana's stay where they are. I agree that something needs to be done with the old mall (desperately!), but if it were me doing the MAEC, I'd want to be close to performance venues, and that means the Riley Center and the Temple Theater, and the parking that goes with them (parking garage). As far as the parking situation, there IS parking, it's just that everyone wants to park in the front door of wherever they're going instead of walking a few blocks.
  • by Wants to Know Location: Meridian on Jul 13, 2010 at 05:01 AM
    Is this the same A & E Center that Meridian fought so hard for several years ago? If so, I thought one of the prerequisites for "winning" the honor was that it be built on the water--Bonita Lakes? Does anybody recall this?
  • by Slewfoot Location: Meridian on Jul 13, 2010 at 05:00 AM
    Is this the same A&E center that is to be built at Bonita lakes?The one that Meridian was so fortunate to be chosen to be location?The one that we have a slight financial problem of being about 50 million dollars short?Get real,it ain't never going to happen.I have many things that I want,I just lack the money.
  • by Set free by the truth Location: Meridian on Jul 12, 2010 at 09:34 PM
    For Stop Progress, there are some things that you don't put money ahead of. I would think that a house of God should be at the top of the list. Meridian does have many locations in the downtown area to use for a location to house the "stars" and their memorabilia. But at what cost? Forget all of the hoopla associated with arts and entertainment, we need houses of worship to house the harvest of souls that are lost in our home town of Meridian, MS.
  • by Blake and Shae Fuller Location: Marion on Jul 12, 2010 at 09:03 PM
    We are very much in favor of the Arts and Entertainment Center. We are not in favor of it, however, taking over the current home of local churches and businesses. The Gathering Place is a place of worship and a place of steady business. There are innumerable vacant buildings in which to house the new center. We see no need in stranding these current businesses and these two local churches - aren't we trying to "revitalize" our downtown? Again, we are huge supporters of the arts; we just do not feel that this is the avenue that should be taken. We feel that taking advantage of the Village Fair Mall's excellent location and space could entice tourism and industry to Meridian. This could be a wonderful location for the Arts Center! If The Gathering Place is truly not a done deal, we implore the MAEC and Mr. Holladay to think about this: How can we as a city, encourage business and also conduct business properly, if we shove small businesses aside? We need each business to thrive.
  • by Stop Progress! on Jul 12, 2010 at 08:35 PM
    By all means we have to stop this group from bringing potential money into town. How dare they want to support Meridian and especially downtown. Anyone that supports downtown obviously is the devil. Get a life people
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