Promoting Diversity and Inclusivity in Public Arts in Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg, Mississippi is a vibrant and diverse city that prides itself on its rich cultural heritage. As an expert in the field of public arts, I have seen firsthand the impact that diversity and inclusivity can have on a community. It is not just about creating aesthetically pleasing pieces, but also about promoting social change and fostering understanding among different communities.

The Importance of Diversity and Inclusivity in Public Arts

Public arts have the power to bring people together, spark conversations, and challenge societal norms. This is why it is crucial to have a diverse range of artists and artworks that represent the diverse population of Hattiesburg.

As an expert, I believe that public arts should reflect the values and identities of a community, and diversity and inclusivity are key components of this. Moreover, public arts can also serve as a tool for social change and promote inclusivity. By showcasing different cultures, histories, and perspectives through public arts, it can help break down barriers and foster understanding and acceptance among different communities.

The Role of the City in Ensuring Diversity and Inclusivity

The city of Hattiesburg has taken several initiatives to ensure diversity and inclusivity in public arts. One such initiative is the establishment of the Hattiesburg Arts Council (HAC). The HAC is a non-profit organization that works closely with the city to promote and support the arts in Hattiesburg. The HAC has a dedicated Public Art Committee that oversees all public art projects in the city.

This committee consists of artists, community leaders, and representatives from various cultural organizations. Their role is to ensure that all public art projects are inclusive and representative of the diverse population of Hattiesburg. The HAC also has a public art policy that outlines the guidelines for selecting and commissioning public art projects. One of the key criteria for selecting public art is its ability to reflect the diversity and inclusivity of the community. This policy also encourages the involvement of local artists and community members in the creation and installation of public art.

Collaboration with Local Artists and Communities

The city of Hattiesburg recognizes the importance of collaborating with local artists and communities to ensure diversity and inclusivity in public arts.

The HAC has several programs and initiatives that aim to support and promote local artists. One such program is the "Art in Public Places" initiative, which provides opportunities for local artists to showcase their work in public spaces. This program not only promotes local talent but also ensures that the public arts in Hattiesburg are reflective of the community's diversity. The HAC also works closely with various cultural organizations and community groups to involve them in public art projects. This collaboration not only ensures diversity but also helps to create a sense of ownership and pride among different communities.

Challenges and Future Plans

While Hattiesburg has made significant progress in ensuring diversity and inclusivity in public arts, there are still challenges that need to be addressed. One of the main challenges is funding.

Public art projects can be expensive, and securing funding can be a barrier for many artists, especially those from marginalized communities. To address this issue, the city has plans to establish a public art fund that will provide financial support to artists from underrepresented communities. This fund will also help to ensure that public art projects are accessible to all members of the community. Another challenge is the lack of representation of certain communities in public arts. To address this, the HAC is working on creating more opportunities for artists from diverse backgrounds to showcase their work. This includes partnering with local schools and universities to provide mentorship programs and workshops for young artists.


In conclusion, the city of Hattiesburg is committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity in public arts.

Through collaboration with local artists and communities, as well as the implementation of policies and initiatives, the city is taking significant steps towards achieving this goal. However, there is still more work to be done, and the city will continue to strive towards creating a more diverse and inclusive public art scene.

Ivy Scudder
Ivy Scudder

Incurable social media enthusiast. Freelance pop culture lover. Proud zombie lover. Incurable food junkie. Devoted coffee evangelist.