Pascagoula receives $5k grant to help showcase the city

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula now has thousands of dollars to help showcase what the city has to offer. The Mississippi Development Authority awarded the city a Creative Economy Grant. Pascagoula officials believe the investment could help boost the city's economy.

Karen Joplin manages Arts on the Avenue. The community art center features unique pieces created by hometown artists.

"We also have classrooms in the back and a full pottery studio, so we offer a variety of classes and a place for artists to showcase their work," said Joplin.

The problem is a lot of people don't know about it.

"Certainly, there are a lot of people who don't realize that we are here, and what all is in Downtown Pascagoula."

But a new MDA grant could help change that.

"They offer grants for a variety of things from wayfinding signs, which is what we were awarded, to other public art projects," Community Development Director Jen Dearman said.

Dearman said Pascagoula will have to match MDA's $5,000 award. The money will be used to develop and erect 15 oversized signs, which will point people to what the city has to offer and what's already provided around town.

"We hear so many times that there are not enough things to do in Pascagoula. These signs will be that front line experience that says 'Go here to see our train depot,' 'Go here to Anchor Square,' 'Continue on your way down Pascagoula Street to see our beachfront and historic districts,'" Dearman said.

Both Dearman and Joplin are confident the wayfinding signs will draw that much needed attention to the city's assets, and as a result, become a revenue booster for those who really needed it.

"Our small businesses, local artists, things that are here and keep people in the city," said Dearman.

The 15 new signs will be up in Pascagoula by the end of the summer.

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