Mississippi Center for Cultural Production

will receive funding from ArtPlace America’s 2016 National Creative Placemaking Fund

29 projects were chosen to receive $11 million in funding

For immediate release: (December 6, 2016) Today, ArtPlace America announced that the Mississippi Center for Cultural Production is one of 29 projects chosen, from almost 1400 applications, to receive funding through its National Creative Placemaking Fund in 2016.

ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund is a highly competitive national program – funding 2% of initial applications – that invests money in communities across the country in which artists, arts organizations, and arts and culture activity will help drive community development change in the sectors of agriculture and food; economic development; education and youth; environment and energy; health, housing; immigration; public safety; transportation; or workforce development.

“Creative Placemaking seeks the full and robust integration of arts, culture, and community-engaged design into the decisions that define the ebb and flow of community life. These grant recipients embody what this looks like at its most effective best,” said Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation and Chair of the ArtPlace President’s Council. “The sheer volume of applications for these grants suggests the growing updraft of creative placemaking efforts throughout the nation.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to be adding this dynamic set of projects to our portfolio this year,” says F. Javier Torres, Director of National Grantmaking. “The thoughtful and innovative strategies in this year’s projects are truly indicative of the vital role that artists and arts and culture organizations play in strengthening local policy, and the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities.”

The complete list of the 2016 projects for ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund may be found here.

Carlton Turner is the lead artist behind the Mississippi Center for Cultural Production. This project will engage the community across the 39175 ZIP code in a process of informing the development of the Mississippi Center for Cultural Production, a space to facilitate the research, development, marketing, and commerce of agricultural products – through film, photography, audio stories, small and large scale agriculture, and culinary arts – that speaks to the history and future of the Utica community. The MCCP will promote economic empowerment and self-sufficiency of low- and moderate-income people through education, technical assistance, training, and mentoring in agribusiness. Additionally, it will work with the community to create an advocacy base to lobby and establish increased broadband access in this rural community – a key to sustainable community development in the 21st century.

Through the development of community driven place-based narratives, in digital and analog form, this project aims to shift the context by which individual and community wealth is understood. Using a collective story to drive empowerment and the framework for economic development.

Carlton Turner is a cultural organizer from Utica, Mississippi and the executive director of Alternate ROOTS. Carlton works across the country as an artist, arts advocate, policy shaper, lecturer, consultant, and facilitator. He is on the board of Imagining America, Appalshop, First People’s Fund, the Arts x Culture x Social Justice Network, serves on the governance council of the Southern Movement Assembly and an advisory member of the We Shall Overcome Fund. Carlton is also a co-founder, alongside his brother Maurice Turner, of the performing group M.U.G.A.B.E.E. (Men Under Guidance Acting Before Early Extinction). Carlton lives in Utica, Mississippi with his wife Brandi and three children Jonathan, Xiauna Lin, and Tristan Ali.


About ArtPlace America

ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration among 16 partner foundations, along with 8 federal agencies and 6 financial institutions, that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities.

ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic.

Media contact:  Carlton Turner, info@sippculture.com, @sippculture