Oct. 27, 2002
Lauderdale County-born actress Sela Ward wrote personal letters to other celebrities with Mississippi ties and secured their endorsements of the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center project. The Legislature designated Meridian as the center's home and a choice waterfront location at Bonita Lakes has been picked out. If built as envisioned, this center could go a long way toward helping re-establish Meridian's reputation as a center for arts and entertainment and provide a top quality attraction that showcases the contributions of so many talented Mississippians.
The problem, of course, is that no money has been appropriated for what is expected to be at least a $35 million facility. Ward's celebrity list should help raise the project's profile in the arts and entertainment world and that sort of positive attention can only help.
Another popular Mississippi entertainer, Paul Ott you know him for his song "Ole Blue" and his weekly call-in show "Listen to the Eagle" has been with the program from the beginning. Ott is chairman of the development committee and you might say he started the movement to build an arts and entertainment center in Mississippi. That was about a decade ago.
Now, he deserves substantial credit for his efforts to move the show along. He told the Associated Press it's time to quit meeting and put a shovel in the ground.
We applaud the efforts of Sela Ward, Paul Ott and many, many others who are working to make the dream of such a project come true.