Update: Dead (#1)
State Senator Lydia Chassaniol filed a bill that will place the Mississippi Arts Commission under the control of the Mississippi Development Authority. To say this bill stirred up a hornet's nest is an understatement. Social media has been afire with outrage as the arts community did not like this bill one bit. Marshall Ramsey captured the zeitgeist in this cartoon:
It is a 22-page bill but here is the relevant section:
SECTION 1. Section 39-11-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
39-11-1. * * * From and after July 1, 2017, all duties, responsibilities, authority, power, assets, liabilities, contractual rights and obligations and property rights of the Mississippi Arts Commission are transferred to the Mississippi Development Authority. All employees of the Mississippi Arts Commission holding positions on July 1, 2017, shall be employees of the Mississippi Development Authority.
SECTION 2. Section 39-11-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
39-11-3. * * * There is created and established the Mississippi Arts Advisory Council, to consist of fifteen (15) members broadly representative of all fields of the performing, visual, literary arts, and the business community, and who are to be appointed by the Governor from among citizens of the state who have demonstrated a vital interest in the performing, visual, or literary arts. Members shall serve a term concurrent with that of the Governor. The members shall also be representative of the different geographical areas of the state. All vacancies shall be filled for the balance of the unexpired term in the same manner as original appointments. The members of the * * * council shall not receive any compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as members of the * * * council. The * * * council will annually elect its chairman and other officers. The council shall meet at the call of the Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority. The council shall advise the Mississippi Development Authority regarding its duties under this chapter.
Board members are currently appointed by the Governor. The bill was assigned to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Read the bill and track its progress.
Should the Arts Commission move to MDA? What do you think?