HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Arts Council is prepping for its 50th anniversary. The council has been a major part of the Hub City community for quite some time.
“We decided that it would be really nice to show off the amazing permanent collection that we have, that has been gathered over the 50 years from various donors and past board members,” said Hattiesburg Arts Council Director Rebekah Stark Johnson.
One of the reasons for the anniversary is to honor those who paved the way for the council.
“There’s so many people that have been a part of Hattiesburg Arts Council that have formed it and kept it going all these many years, and I just want to celebrate them because they brought a lot of culture to our town and what was most important to them was to educate people,” Johnson said.
The council dates back to the early 70s. One Hattiesburg native is said to be very instrumental to the council.
“Most organizations began around 1969, 1970, through the national endowment for the arts and it was brought into all the different states,” Johnson said. “We had Lita Rogers, who was from here and who was then the director for the arts commission. She really brought Hattiesburg to the forefront in the arts. Not only was she working with the whole state, but she wanted to make sure that were advanced in what we did to bring culture to the people.”
The Hattiesburg Arts Council has been sharing memories on its Facebook page.
The official opening of the anniversary gallery will be Sept. 18 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hattiesburg Cultural Center. The gallery will also be available for viewing from Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m and Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It will highlight fine arts, exhibits, music and competitions and so much more.
Masks will be mandated at the ceremony, and social distancing will be enforced.