BACK STAGE PASS CONFERENCE WILL TEACH TOOLS TO PRODUCE SUCCESSFUL, AUTHENTIC FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
JACKSON, Miss. — Festival and event planners in Mississippi and throughout the Southeast are invited to attend the third annual Back Stage Pass conference on Jan. 23-24 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Starkville, Miss.
Event planners will gain valuable information about how to produce successful festivals and events along the theme of “Celebrating Mississippi’s Creative Economy.”
Gov. Bryant proclaimed 2014 as the “Year of the Creative Economy: Mississippi Homecoming” that will feature both ongoing events and new activities throughout the year and will highlight the state’s vast talent across the creative spectrum and the impact it has on the local economy.
Back Stage Pass is one of the state’s first sanctioned creative economy events of the year and will feature a Mississippi Artist Showcase on Thursday evening of the conference.
The Mississippi Arts Commission will present a selection of musicians and others from the Mississippi Artist Roster. The showcase will include blues (Kenny Brown, Bill “Howl-n-Madd” Perry), jazz (Alphonso Sanders) bluegrass (Larry Wallace Band), Celtic (Emerald Accent) and improvisational comedy (LaffCo).
For the second year, a grand prize drawing will be held at the closing session, and a lucky participant will win a $1500 stipend to hire any artist or performer on the Mississippi Artist Roster to perform at his or her community festival or event in 2014.
The Mississippi Arts Commission, along with the Mississippi Main Street Association and Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Division, are presenting Back Stage Pass for the third consecutive year. Additional sponsors include the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, the Mississippi State University Extension Center for Technology Outreach, the Mississippi Horse Park, Hilton Garden Inn, and Webz Advertising.
“We’re ready to roll out the maroon carpet,” said Jennifer Gregory, CEO of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership. “We’re excited about the opportunity to host this conference and showcase Starkville!”
The 2014 presenters include: James Barnes, MSU Department of Agricultural Economics; John Brandon, Mississippi Development Authority’s Entrepreneur Center; Debbie Brangenberg, Craig Helmuth, Allie West and Jessica Hollinger of the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association; Jill Conner Browne, The Sweet Potato Queen™; Rachael Carter, MSU Extension Service; Sally Durkin, Natchez Convention & Visitors Bureau; Brad “Kamikaze” Franklin, Mainstream Talent Agency; Joe Fratesi, MSU Stennis Institute; Alan Henderson, MDA’s Tourism Division; Bricklee Miller, Mississippi Horse Park; Jan Miller, MS Main Street Association; Margaret Miller, Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau; Jeremy Murdock, MSU Stennis Institute; Stacy Pair, MS Main Street Association; Tom Pearson, Mississippi Arts Commission; Diane Williams and a panel of Mississippi artists, Mississippi Arts Commission; Bob Wilson, MS Main Street Association; and Allison Winstead, Mississippi Arts Commission.
The 2014 exhibitors include: Bessie Johnson, Basket Weaver; HanaLena Band; Lyle Wynn, Blacksmith; MSU Stennis Institute; MSU Extension Center for Technology Outreach; Resource Entertainment Group; Starkville Area Arts Council; and Webz Advertising.
Registration is $125 and includes early bird events, two days of educational sessions, an exhibitors reception, Mississippi artist showcase in downtown Starkville, breakfast and networking breaks. Check or credit card payment is accepted. Online registration will close Sunday, Jan. 19.
On site registration will open at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23 in the lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn in Starkville.