GPAC finds vision

Published 11:13 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Greater Picayune Arts Council, GPAC, participated in a workshop on Sunday to establish a vision for the newly forming organization.

The workshop, led by Wilson Wong of Jackson, Wong and Associates, was provided free to the group through the Mississippi Arts Commission, MAC. MAC sponsors these workshops for Coastal Arts Councils in the “lower six” — storm affected counties — through Katrina Recovery Funds for the Arts.

Reba Beebe, Manager of Picayune Main Street, and main inspiration for the local arts council said, “It’s a good time for Picayune.” Several members of the group stated they believed with the county in flux, now was the best time to establish an arts council.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In addition to local members of GPAC, the group’s key MAC contacts participated in Sunday’s workshop at the Centraplex in Picayune: Malcolm White, MAC Executive Director; Allison Winstead, Arts-Based Community Development Program Director and Sallye Killebrew, Arts Recovery Coordinator.

White introduced the members of MAC to the group. He also introduced Wong. “He’s colorful and full of facts,” he said.

Wong is a licensed consultant. He has been traveling the coastal counties of Mississippi to offer guidance to the area’s arts councils during their early formation stages. Sunday’s workshop led to a POTENTIAL vision statement for GPAC: To promote, support and expand the artistic expressions of Greater Picayune.

Wong explained that an organization’s vision is its “north star.” As the group was reaching a consensus on a vision statement, Wong reminded all of the importance of that moment. “You are like founding fathers. Once this gets written it doesn’t change.”

“There are three things a vision statement should be: clear, concise, and repeatable,” he said.

GPAC was able to reach a clear, concise and repeatable statement but the group is sleeping on its decision before carving it out.

MAC members said the important thing for GPAC to keep in mind, as it moves forward to create a strategic plan, is everything should be based on what the community wants — not what the group believes the community should want.

MAC advised town meetings for GPAC during the early planning stages.