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2014: Year of the MS Creative Economy

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Governor Phil Bryant is proclaiming 2014 as the Year of the Creative Economy: Mississippi Homecoming.

The state hopes to highlight the state's talent throughout the year.

Invitations have already been sent out to several Mississippi-born celebrities like Oprah, Sela Ward, Jimmy Buffet and Morgan Freeman. Events will be planned around the visits of those who accept.

"We're asking them to come home in 2014. Come to the state in which you were born. The state that is truly your home," said Governor Phil Bryant.

Bryant says the creative economy is one of the state's true economic drivers. It's the birthplace to blues, rock 'n' roll and country music. It also fuels job creation.

"In fact, job growth in Mississippi's creative economy has outpaced national creative economy growth in recent years," Gov. Bryant said. "This 12-month celebration, known as ‘Year of the Creative Economy: Mississippi Homecoming,' provides an unmatched opportunity to showcase the people, communities and enterprises that are moving Mississippi's economy forward."

Malcolm White, Tourism director for the Mississippi Development Authority, noted the economic impact of the creative economy.

"Mississippi's creative economy is a direct source of economic growth and wealth, accounting for more than 60,000 jobs across the state. We look at museums right next to manufacturing plants, and creative enterprises next to industrial facilities. From print shops and music venues to art galleries, restaurants and other innovative businesses, the creative economy provides sustainable economic contributions to the state."

The Development Authority hopes the year will include a grassroots effort by communities to get involved in telling Mississippi's creative story.

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