By GWEN SISSON
With a wide variety of activities scheduled throughout the Spring, April seems to have the most arts-related events that add creativity and fun to the “Starkville experience.”
Several years ago, it was the vision of the Starkville Area Arts Council board to showcase how the arts contribute to the quality of life in the Starkville-Oktibbeha County area. Therefore, each year, the city of Starkville proclaims April as the official “Month of the Arts.”
Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said Starkville is fortunate to have a strong community of local artists and art enthusiasts.
“The arts of a community provide a window into its soul,” Wiseman said. “In Starkville we have a dedicated and talented group of people who open that window wide for all to see.”
Robin Fant, president-elect for SAAC, said with the flowers blooming, the Cotton District Arts Festival under way and all of the activities, April is “just a great time of year to celebrate the arts.”
“It is all abut quality of life,” Fant said. “The arts play such a big part in making Starkville a better place to live and work and retire.”
Fant said the Starkville Area Arts Council, as an organization, does more to improve the quality of life in this community than any other organization he has participated in. Fant began working with SAAC as they were launching the Cotton District Arts Festival’s Taste of Starkville event. He said it is amazing to see what the organization has been able to accomplish over the years, going from one or two annual events and growing to have events year-round.
Jay Yates of The Veranda agrees that a focus on the arts is important to the life of the community.
“We’ve been a part of the (Cotton District) Arts Festival and Taste of Starkville for eight years and it is a great opportunity to get involved in the community and to just have a fun day of fellowship, good food, music and the arts in general,” Yates said. “It’s so important to have a focus on the arts, especially in a college town and a small market like Starkville. It adds to the quality of life.”
Yates said at The Veranda, they consider cooking an art — an immediate, visceral art. And part of what SAAC has worked hard to do is include a wide variety of arts, including the culinary arts.
“There’s nothing like creating a dish and having the immediate response from your guests,” Yates said.
Candy Crecink of SAAC said the spring is “jam-packed” with arts-related events, and April seems to have the most activities.
“April is a great time to highlight all of the things we have going on in Starkville, and it is great to see how the community supports the arts,” Crecink said.
For more information about additional activities during Starkville’s “Month of the Arts” contact SAAC at 323-3080.