Art + Exchange Utica

August 24, 2018

 

Thursday, Aug. 23 | Utica, Miss. ... CAPE joined forces with the Town of Utica, Friends of Utica, and Sipp Culture to gather public input as part of the Art + Exchange Story-Gathering Tour. This research serves as part of Phase 1 of a new program of place-based artist residencies that will fund community-engaged artworks across Mississippi.

 

Participants shared their opinions on the past, present, and future of the community. This input will be utilized in Phase 2 of the residency program, when Mississippi artists will be invited to propose specific project ideas that address narratives raised by the public.

 

Development and Economic Access

 

PAST AND PRESENT

  • Our schools are an asset

  • The town is small and peaceful

  • Beautiful scenery

  • No economic base restaurants or stores

  • Trying to bring back industry

  • Getting people out to vote is a challenge

  • Lack of community resources, grocery stores, high school, recreational programs

  • Not very much infrastructure

 

HOPES FOR THE FUTURE

  • Grocery store

  • Affordable homes, growth

  • Education, highways and byways

  • Interest in micro-loans for capital purchases to fund small businesses

  • Creative thinking

  • Leadership with collaboration

  • Focus on agriculture, our roots

  • Waffle House

  • New infrastructure

 

Community Narrative

 

PAST AND PRESENT

  • Safe, friendly, quiet, education system

  • Everyone that I have met has been helpful and enthusiastic

  • Cucumbers grown in the back yard and pickled with vinegar

  • Welcoming

  • Utica natives have great pride

  • Historic

  • Family is important

  • Limited activities for communities to engage

  • Things for the community to participate in and grow

 

HOPES FOR THE FUTURE

  • Agency over our own story

  • Creating a book on Utica history

  • Community healing, art stories

  • Youth: a desire to see more, have more, do more

 

The Arts

 

PAST AND PRESENT

  • Home to Utica Jubilee Choir

  • Too far away, not immediately connected to arts and culture; stories dying with the elders

 

Diversity and Equity

 

PAST AND PRESENT

  • Still segregated

  • Less resources in black parts of town

  • Community violence (especially among youth)

  • Poverty, essentially gentrification

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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