UTICA, MS – On Tuesday, May 23, 2017, MCCP partnered with Hope Enterprise Corporation and Duvall Decker Architects to host an economic development meeting at the Utica Community Center. This gathering, attended by more than forty people, worked to both advance the planning and development of the Mississippi Center for Cultural Production, an arts and agriculture-based initiative for community cultural development located in Utica, MS; and shared information about an ongoing project led by Hope Enterprise Corporation to research economic development and investment in businesses in Mississippi communities.

Attendees participated in several mapping exercises led by the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio to help further the development of MCCP’s physical spaces in the town of Utica. Attendees also gave input to representatives from Duvall Decker to shape a survey instrument that will be deployed in late June to collect information about Utica’s interest and ideas regarding community development initiatives.

“I feel there is great potential for economic development here in Utica. The statistical data that was shared is very important information that can be used to market the town for new development. Also, having the citizens  to take part in such meeting allowed them to have a better appreciation on the future of this Town. With everyone working together Utica will improve, know it may not happen overnight, but every step we make forward is a closer step to a better Utica.”

Kenneth Broome, Utica Mayor

“Utica is a unique place. The community’s proximity to a metropolitan area and its plentiful assets, such as a local community college, dedicated residents and long-standing businesses, make it a prime location for economic development. Unlike many small towns, Utica has been able to maintain a significant middle class population and doesn’t struggle with many of the social ills that plague other rural areas. There is a great potential for economic development, as Utica begins to define what type of community they want to be and work towards implementing policies, plans and initiatives that would yield great benefit for the community.”

Jocelyn Poe, Duvall Decker Architects, P.A  

Elder Owens working with community members in mapping exercise.