New Mississippi Creative Economy Advisory Panel launches

New Mississippi Creative Economy Advisory Panel launches

JACKSON, MS - This is a news release from Visit Mississippi

Twenty-three creative professionals, community leaders and economic developers from across the state have been selected for an advisory panel—the first of its kind—to grow the Mississippi Creative Economy. The advisory panel will help guide Visit Mississippi's  Bureau of Creative Economy & Culture's strategic planning and resources, which are designed to enhance and expand the state's creative sector. The panel will convene in an inaugural meeting on July 29 at The Hatch, a creative business incubator located in Midtown Jackson.

"The purpose of the Creative Economy Advisory Panel is to build the statewide infrastructure needed to grow the creative sector," said Malcolm White, Director of Visit Mississippi. "It will bring key influencers together who are committed to fostering creative people, businesses, and communities in their hometowns. Investing in, engaging, and promoting Mississippi's creative people and their work will ultimately enhance the quality of life throughout our state."

Members of the new Creative Economy Advisory Panel include:

David Crews of Cleveland, chef instructor at Mississippi Delta Community College, executive chef of Six Shooter Land and Timber, executive chef of Merrimac Farms

Andy O'Bryan of Water Valley, founder & president of Yalobusha Craft Beer

Neil White, creative director and publisher at The Nautilus Publishing Co.

Neal McCoy of Tupelo, executive director of the Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau

Al White of Duck Hill, director of Action Communication and Education Reform (ACER)

Tim Moore of Philadelphia, Chamber/Main Street director

Leslie Hiatt, of Meridian, account executive at Leading Edges Ad Agency

Martha Whitney Butler of Bay St. Louis, owner of French Portager

Lori Watts of Columbia, project manager for Marion County Development Partnership

Dub Rogers of Natchez, owner and creator of Steampunk Coffee Roasters

Milton Chambliss of Port Gibson, director of Claiborne Economic Development District

Daniel Johnson of Jackson, director of Engagement and Learning at Mississippi Museum of Art

Whitney Grant of Jackson, director of Community Development at Midtown Partners

Matthew McLaughlin of Jackson, attorney at Baker Donelson

Rhea Williams-Bishop of Jackson, executive director of The Center for Education Innovation

Bob Wilson of Jackson, executive director of Mississippi Main Street

Mary Martha Henson of Jackson, executive director and chief operating officer of MEDC

Meg Cooper of Rolling Fork, director of the Lower Delta Partnership

Charly Abraham of Cleveland, instructor at Delta Music Institute

Lee Harper of Jackson, owner of Koinonia Coffee

Reggie Fullwood of Jackson, director of Jackson Medical Supply

Raven Brooks of Hattiesburg, director of marketing at New South Restaurant Group

Ken Flynt of Hattiesburg, owner of Art & Design Tech, LLC.

Mississippi's creative economy is the sum of all wealth generated by the state's cultural and creative enterprises, institutions, people and places. It adds value to traditional economic sectors like manufacturing, agriculture, service and tourism, while influencing where people choose to live, work, learn and visit. Some examples of economically creative industries include performing arts, culinary, design, film and even craft breweries.

For more information on Mississippi's creative economy, visit or

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