Cultural Support Plan City of Gautier, Mississippi September 20, 2011
Economic Implementation PlanEXECUTIVE SUMMARY The purpose of the Cultural Support Plan is to annually support those efforts that further Gautier’s Comprehensive Plan, a document with a 10-year planning horizon. As a City of the first class, Gautier offers one-of-a-kind community events in partnership with our numerous community organizations. Gautier recognizes that support of family events, fine arts, cultural opportunities, and programs providing a “special sense of place” brings new residents and a growing number of visitors to Gautier each year.
The goal of program funding is not to support the growth of our organizations, but instead to partner with organizations for the growth of our community. Economic Development: In 2010-11, financial support to economic agencies was adjusted to support the new Gautier Business Association’s first-ever small business expo and the production of small business publications for $2,500. In addition, FY ’11 reduced funding to the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation from $21,000 to $9,000, equal to the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. Community Development: Highway beautification continued last year, but with a strategy shift. Due to a $6 million grant funding the City’s streetscape project, the Council instead supported new city entrance signs and a way-finding sign program to draw visitors to tourism-oriented destinations. Also last year, the City partnered with Gautier Pride to offer a housing rehab program to homeowners who apply. In one week, World Changers provided labor to re-roof, repair and repaint housing, install handicap ramps, and build both a gazebo at Home of Grace and an obstacle course playground at Singing River Elementary. The City also celebrates its 25th Anniversary with an ambitious public arts fundraiser to promote Nature’s Playground and install art sculptures in the developing Town Center. Parades and Festivals: The support of city parades and festivals represents less than 8% of the Cultural Support budget and remains unchanged from the previous year. The City provides $1,000 for the Gautier Mardi Gras Parade, $2,500 for the Gulf Coast Symphony Beach Boulevard Concert, and $5,000 for the Gautier Mullet and Music Festival. Charities and Misc. Support: The number of charity sponsorships increased last fiscal year by $3,000, due in part to the City’s provision of assistance to Wren, Mississippi after severe flooding. The City continued to support the American Red Cross for $5,000 and the Gautier Boys and Girls Club for $20,000.
Strategies, Project & Programs The effectiveness of any Plan is measured by performance and outcomes. It is only appropriate then, to emphasize cultural objectives within a Cultural Support Plan.
Programs/Objectives by Lead Agency ► = Initiate. Ongoing. ▲ = Initiate and Complete
Gautier Pride, Inc.: How A Case Study Becomes A Success Story In 1986, Gautier Pride, Inc. organized with a mission to promote and foster prosperity for Gautier. Today, Gautier Pride is comprised of 86 members representing a cross-section of businesses and social classes. The average age of its members is 46, and many are retired, offering decades of knowledge and experience to the mission of community development. Amazingly, Gautier Pride’s most significant annual project until last year was to trim the crape myrtles lining highway medians. In 2011, with the assistance of the City’s newly created Neighborhood Services Division, the organization visited other communities outside the region to investigate how other organizations have fostered prosperity. The results are incredible. In three months time the organization developed a plan to celebrate the City’s 25th anniversary with special events and promotions. To accomplish “Project 25”, Gautier Pride created an initial four subcommittees, launched an upgraded website, commenced fundraising, and today continues to visit with residents of a “sister city” on the Gulf Coast, located an hour away, drawing on their experience and advice. Social participation is an important community function. Even when Gautier Pride lacked direction and clear goals, members still convened monthly to socialize and share their community-minded values. Gautier Pride has a strong horizontal pattern, meaning that members (individuals) of Gautier Pride serve on committees that in turn coordinate with other civic groups, creating new subsystems to implement community projects and events. In each new subsystem the members also play internal roles, and keep Gautier Pride moving forward toward its ultimate goal of promoting the City and fostering prosperity through volunteerism. Perhaps the biggest obstacle for this group for the last 25 years has been the incredible revolving door of city staff and administration. Without coordination and support from their city government, Gautier Pride could not gain traction. After just a few short field trips with city officials, Gautier pride members began meeting and holding events independently. The governmental link continues to be strong, as Neighborhood Services acts as a government liaison to inform members of opportunities and also inform City Council on their progress. In summary, Gautier Pride is responsible for drawing visitors and creating momentum that has kept Gautier in the news headlines for over a year. By creating new subsystems which in turn have branched out to partner with other civic groups, Gautier Pride is maximizing its volunteers’ efforts to promote community, and enrich our quality of life.
Thank you! On behalf of our Mayor and City Council, the City of Gautier expresses our gratitude to our FY 2012 Partners in Progress. Questions? Contact The Planning and Economic Development Department at email@example.com or 228-497-1878