In tough times, during periods like the one we are currently in, where businesses are closing, the economy is struggling, and just getting our kids into the schools might be more important than what they're studying, art is often the easiest thing to cut. Struggling cities or schools often push art aside in order to fund the more pressing matters. Certainly these are tough decisions to make, but art is one of the few things that lifts us up during these trying times.
The Meridian Arts Commission (MAC ) is committed to creating an exceptional quality of life in Meridian by celebrating the history and culture of the city. It was established in 2006 and has since worked hard to engage residents by creating opportunities to experience or create art, enable artists to continue doing their great work, ensure children can learn creative skills, and more. One of their continuing projects is wrapping Meridian traffic boxes with the art of local artists and student artists. Traffic boxes may have been just a part of our regular city landscape that we never noticed - but they have become a canvas of themselves, and a great way to not hide these ugly boxes, but make them colorful and purposeful. Above all, it is a great way to view some of the city's talented artists.
New for this past holiday was their Meridian Ornament Drop initiative, where artists left little ornament surprises for people to find. Many of these were posted to social media, using the #meridianornamentdrop hashtag, with special stories attached to each one.
Starting in 2020, MAC has implemented a five year strategy that will help to support the challenges of community art as well as take advantage of the opportunities. Some of the things they are addressing are community engagement to accommodate the quickly growing Meridian population, nurturing a community of artists, funding, and ensuring that venues are made available to be dedicated to art experiences. Above all, they want to get the word out so that residents know what opportunities are available, because there is no art without the community. If you want to learn more about getting involved or how you can support MAC, check out their website or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.