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Helping Mississippi Grow p 12 // Drink, Sleep, Zoo pp 16-17 A SCORE for Business p 19 // We’re Gettin’ Married p 39

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January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine





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“When you bring together people doing something for one cause, it does nothing but force them to talk.” —Jessica Smith, p. 18


11 JXN Stronger, Better How Thalia Mara Hall is growing. 12 A More Modern Mississippi This Tougaloo grad wants to reform the state. 14 SECRET JXN Uncovering the Clinton Riots Delve into a dark moment in the metro’s history. 16 PROGRESS Drink, Sleep, See What’s new in the developing world? 18 DO GOODER Unity in Midtown Learn about Jackson’s future Wall of Peace. 19 BIZ Keeping SCORE Small businesses get the help they need. 19 Best Practices Listen up, entrepreneurs. 20 Family Business The story behind Canton Mart Square.




23 MENU GUIDE Paid advertising. 32 BITES A Cake at a Time Ciara is following her culinary dreams.


34 POWER COUPLES Creative and Savvy Meet nine of Jackson’s coolest couples. 39 HITCHED Bridal Knowledge Find your perfect dress ... locally.


39 Bringing It Home Give the gift of small, unique in the season of love. 39 PEEKABOO Pastry Extraordinaire We didn’t find a macaron inside her bag. Really. 43 ARTS Making ‘The Beatdown’ Two filmmakers try to make a short happen.



44 MELODIES Music Family This couple quit their day jobs to perform. 46 EVENTS What to See. Where to go. 50 LOCAL LIST Keys to the City A Fondren biz duo shares their Jackson favorites.

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publisher’s note

BOOMing in 2016 Editor-in-Chief and CEO Donna Ladd Art Director Kristin Brenemen Managing Editor Amber Helsel Assistant Editor Micah Smith Editorial Assistants Maya Miller // Adria Walker Editorial Writers Dustin Cardon // R.H. Coupe Arielle Dreher // Genevieve Legacy Mike McDonald // R.L. Nave Scott Prather // Christina Spann Brinda Willis Listings Editor // Latasha Willis Photography Imani Khayyam Ad Design Zilpha Young

Business and Sales Advertising Director // Kimberly Griffin Sales and Marketing Consultants // Myron Cathey Sales Assistant // Mary Osborne Distribution Manager // Richard Laswell Bookkeeper // Melanie Collins Assistant to the CEO // Inga-Lill Sjostrom Operations Consultant // David Joseph President and Publisher Todd Stauffer CONTACT US Story pitches // Ad Sales // BOOM Jackson 125 S. Congress St., #1324, Jackson, MS 39201 p 601.362.6121 f 601.510.9019 Would you like copies of BOOM Jackson for recruiting, welcome packets or other corporate, institutional or educational uses? Call 601.362.6121 x16 or email BOOM Jackson is a publication of Jackson Free Press Inc. BOOM Jackson, which publishes every other month, focuses on the urban experience in Jackson, Miss., emphasizing entrepreneurship, economic growth, culture, style and city life. © 2016 Jackson Free Press Inc.

Cover photo of William Goodman and Nell Knox by Imani Khayyam. See more on page 34



// by Todd Stauffer

small) projects add up to a better quality of life firmly believe that, in 2016, Jackson is at for residents and visitors to the capital city. a crossroads, and I don’t just mean I-20 Let me be clear—these are wins specifiand I-55. I mean that we need to look secally for the city of Jackson; while we have no riously at changing some of the ways we animosity toward the suburbs, we note that approach the world of business and governmost have their own chambers and business ment, and we must change our expectations organizations. TeamJXN about where growth and seeks to promote businessprosperity is coming from. es and individuals making We face new times and a a difference within city limnew economy, and it’s time its, with the goal of making to build a new city. Jackson more attractive as We have challenges. a destination and as a place Our infrastructure isn’t in to build a life and career. great shape, city finances In 2016, we will bring a have deep challenges, and similar energy to this pubsome of the tricks in our lication. As of this issue, bag from past years—GO BOOM Jackson is launchZones, recovery funds, the Publisher Todd Stauffer ing a new website at www. city’s bond rating—have that will reached their sunset, makbe a live, interactive site complete with the ing the financing of big deals more difficult. magazine’s content, regular web-only fea But that gives us an opportunity to look tures, and events and business listings specifat the little things that can make a difference in Jackson—and to understand that it’s really ic to BOOM and its mission. We will continue to cover creators, makers, do-gooders and the little things that are most important. In 2016, I’ll be the vice chairman of the entrepreneurs of Jackson—and to build on that by helping to create connections, report revamped TeamJXN organization, now a nonprogress and lift up new ideas. profit corporation focusing on building aware As a priority in 2016, we’ll focus on placeness of Jackson’s creators, makers and entremaking efforts in Jackson and opportunities preneurs. Part of the TeamJXN plan this year for entrepreneurship and lifestyle improveis to focus on two “wins” that we can generate with the help of our membership and the com- ments that take advantage of the ability of small groups of people to cooperate, co-work, munity at large. First, TeamJXN is making a commitment and find “prosumer” opportunities to build markets and sell within the community. And to the Museum to Market Trail that is fully we’ll highlight some of the best that Jackson funded and awaiting movement on water-main work in the area stretching from LeFleur’s has to offer in a variety of areas, such as offices and places to work, doctors and dentists, Bluff Park, behind Belhaven and Belhaven estheticians, young influentials and more. Heights down to High Street and ultimately to As always, we’ll cover food, drink, arts, the Farmers Market at the Fairgrounds. This music and entertainment, both in print and biking-walking trail will be a fantastic outdoor online. But new to our listings will be more of experience for transportation, exercise, and a focus on the type of events that bring people connecting some of the core assets in Jacktogether in order to get things done, both in a son’s downtown and historic neighborhoods. social and business entrepreneurial context. Second, we’ll focus on Smith Park, helpOver the past decade, Jackson has seen ing the Friends of Smith Park get the word out—and, ultimately, the funding and neces- some “grand scale” developments happen, sary legal work—to refurbish the park and but some of that is likely slowing. Instead, we need to focus on street-level developments, turn it into a multi-use venue for events, festiimprovements to our postage stamp and efvals, food-truck lunches and much more. forts that can bring us together. Like the work being done in Fondren, Jackson has great people, a fantastic culmidtown, west Jackson, around the Medical ture and a low cost of living. Let’s build on all of Mall and the Art Garden at the Mississippi that and create a booming city of the future. Museum of Art, these “small” (and not-so-

January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine













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January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

A Lift for Mississippi p 11 // A New JSU Certification p 11 Unearthing the Clinton Riots p 14 // Making Strides in the City pp 16-17

Imani Khayyam

Faster, Bigger, Stronger: Thalia Mara Hall // by Genevieve Legacy


halia Mara Hall is in the race to become Jackson’s premier entertainment spot. The 2016 season will have an eclectic mix of theater, music and performance intended to bring people to downtown Jackson. Broadway in Jackson and the contemporary music and performance series, “Jackson Live,” will highlight the season. Back by popular demand, the “Broadway in Jackson” series that brings touring theater productions to town has returned after a yearlong hiatus. “We’re very excited about our new season of ‘Broadway,’” Thalia Mara Hall’s marketing specialist, Brad Franklin, says. It will begin with an eight-show run of “Jersey Boys” in the first week of January. The City’s new focus include taking on partners to help develop a business model and marketing strategy. Tickets for the “Broadway” and “Live” performance series went on sale in June 2015. From $100 to $1,000, the cost of a season pass varies according to the number of

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.

shows and the location of the seats. As with any municipal facility, Thalia Mara has to confront challenges. Franklin says budget constrictions mean making improvements incrementally while doing what’s possible to make the facility more inviting. The City is also making administrative changes to keep attendance high. “We’ve made a number of policy changes,” Franklin says, which includes allowing the hall to serve alcohol and allow people to drink inside the building. The staff also has streamlined booking policies to cut down on conflicts and be more accommodating to local promoters. “In spite of the challenges, business has picked up,” Franklin says. “We’ve pledged to be open every weekend this year. In 2016, the lights will be on.” The “Broadway” series will have performances of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Annie” in February; “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in March; and “Mama Mia!”

in May. The “Jackson Live” series includes performances from Yanni in February, Blue Man Group in March and Celtic Woman in May. Branching out and appealing to a more diverse audience is part of the City’s strategy to attract more people downtown, Franklin says. Along with performances by the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Ballet Mississippi, the auditorium will have several concerts during Jackson Indie Music week Jan. 11-17. People returning for the first time since the theater was renovated and refurbished in 2014 will see new seats, carpet, curtains and bathroom facilities. The theater is also more friendly to people with disabilities with 12 ADA-compliant seats and 18 ambulatory seats. “The theater got a substantial facelift. People who have not been here in the last year and half will be pleasantly surprised,” Franklin says. For information, visit Buy tickets at 11

JXN // engagement

Upgrading Mississippi

Apples of Knowledge at JSU

// by Dustin Cardon


Jackson State University was once again been named an Apple Distinguished School.


eing an Apple Distinguished School can make life easier at Jackson State University for students. “Starting with an iPad of your own is a great incentive and recruitment tool for JSU,” says Olivia Goodheart, JSU’s director of public relations. She says it is also an educational tool. JSU will hold that designation from 2015 to 2017, which it also held from 2013 to 2015. Apple gives the award to schools that demonstrate visionary leadership, innovative learning and teaching, ongoing professional learning, compelling evidence of success and the flexibility of its learning environment. In 2012, JSU implemented its Cyberlearning@JSU program, which its website says is an “enhanced digital teaching and learning ecosystem.” The initiative includes creating new learning environments in classrooms, libraries and dormitories, redesigning core curricula and producing new digital content. That year, the Mississippi e-Center at JSU sponsored a scholarship that allowed fulltime students entering that fall to receive iPads. JSU has worked to integrate the technology into the curriculum, such as allowing students to purchase digital textbooks. The first iPad recipients will graduate in 2016. Apple Store products are available for purchase on campus by students and the community at large. For more information, visit



n December 2013, the same year legislators passed Mississippi’s voter ID law, Robert Kuttner wrote an article for The Huffington Post calling for a new Freedom Summer similar to the famous 1965 college student-led civil-rights event. If young people could rise up and take action, it would be possible to fight the forces of voter repression like students in 1965 did, Kuttner argued. Antron McKay-West, then a Tougaloo College student, read the article and felt compelled to answer the call to action, so he formed Upgrade Mississippi. “After I read that article, I showed it to some of my friends who agreed with me about

courtesy Antron McKay-West

// by Brinda Fuller Willis

Antron McKay-West began Upgrade Mississippi as a new version of 1965’s Freedom Summer. the damage things like the voter ID law could do to Mississippi, and we decided we wanted to do something about it,” McKay-West says. “‘Upgrade’ means to make something better, and we made it our mission to improve the quality of life in our state. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here, but to improve it.” McKay-West, who is executive director of Upgrade Mississippi and a graduate student at Jackson State University, started the organization with Jarmyra Davis, Karneha Perry, Joscelyne Jackson and David Thomas in September 2014. Davis serves as Upgrade’s assistant director and program specialist, and Perry, Jackson and Thomas work as outreach representatives. Upgrade has 105 members statewide. The group’s efforts center on a trio of pro-

January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

grams called Upgrade Health, Upgrade Education and Upgrade Community Engagement. Upgrade Health aims to teach college-age youth and the elderly about healthy life choices. Part of the program includes a community garden in the Tougaloo College community, where students grow watermelons, cabbage, bell peppers, jalapeños, tomatoes and more. Students in the program learn how healthy eating helps the body and gives it energy. In addition, the organization works with My Retirement Account and the Alliance for a Just Society to secure the expansion of Medicaid in Mississippi. “We’re also looking to improve language enrollment and access through the Affordable Care Act to make Jackson more accessible for people who speak different languages, so we can hopefully eliminate the language barrier as an obstacle for health-care access,” McKay-West says. Upgrade Education is a tutoring program at Tougaloo dedicated to helping students who are struggling in STEM subjects. Upgrade is working on an exchange program with Vaal Tech University in South Africa with the goal of increasing cultural awareness and experiences for students in both countries. Upgrade Community focuses on community engagement and helping Mississippians understand how a strong community infrastructure helps to build schools, improve minds and maintain good traditions in communities. Plans are in the works for a program called Upgrade Academy, a program at Tougaloo that will focus on STEM subjects, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. McKay-West hopes to start the program by August 2016. “Upgrade is a youth-led and generated model for bringing the ideas of young people in the state to the table and letting them act on it, and that’s a very important thing for Mississippi,” McKay-West says. “It puts the power in the hands of the youth and gives them an opportunity to have fun together while making a difference. They can keep a free and open mind for creativity while doing things their own way.” For information on Upgrade Mississippi (1060 E. County Line Road, Suite A-193, Ridgeland), call 769.918.9480 or visit

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Our Community Commitment 53,000 Volunteer Service Hours $797,000 Value of Volunteer Time “2015/2016 League Year�

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JXN // secret metro

Clinton Riot: ‘It Cannot Be Told’ // by Mike McDonald


BO OM Pa yin g f

Co or nt ra wa Un cto ter . . ive rs . . r . Go sity . . . . . ur of . . m . M . e . i . Co t i ss . S i c lla s . bo e po sip . teal . p in r Pi i g nk ativ ps U . an e s . . niv Tran wat Lig d b pa . . ers sp er ity ar ht lu ce . Sa e . s . . . . of enc . Do be y M iss c M r C . . . . . . o . . h Bo arte ic . . . . . Jun uri x w ns Cu k f . . o . . b Re ine . . . . . Ora icle od n so . f rt . . . . . ge a arm . . . s n Pe s t ar atu . . . . . . d g re s, s . . . . Ci rea . . . . . . . S en vil po ity l or . . . . . . ile f . . rs Pe . . ake . . . . ac . U . . . . . . oc . . g Bi ks . . . F . . . B gs ke . . i a . g ke . . L B . Fa Pro ox M ane . . . h c ac . s . . i . -n . ebo biti . . . ok on . Pl -che . . . . aid q D . e . . se . . . . . ona uote . 3ld s . D . . . . . . Tr . . Pr . u . m M intin . . . . . . Fera p ak . . . ld . . . er g . Bo og Ca s . . . . . . . . at s . . . th la . . ea . . F . . re nes d . . . n . . ch . . . . . . fri . . . . e . . . . . . . St s . . . r i . . . 3-D pes . . . M . . o . . . vies . . F . . Gr ake um rs py Ca t


Imani Khayyam

fter witnessing political and civil violence on Sept. 4, 1875, in rorize local black people, taking Square Hodge from his home, killing him and dumping his body in a swamp. Clinton, Miss., Sarah Ann Dickey, an educator, felt compelled to Historians estimate that from 30 to 50 black Mississippians write President Ulysses S. Grant to inform him about what had died in the ongoing manhunt and massacre, amid a rumor of African happened: “I was at the Republican mass meeting, held at this American efforts to essentially overtake the town. place (Clinton) … the Democrats, who were on the ground, went there To influence the upcoming state elections, Democratic Party for the express purpose of creating a disturbance and of killing as many as leaders dramatized the event as a “premeditated massacre of whites.” they could. ... You hear a great deal about the massacre at Clinton, but you do not hear the worst. It cannot be told.” By 1875, African American men had been able to vote for about eight years. On Sept. 4, Republicans had planned political rallies in Utica, Vernon and Clinton. About 1,500 to 2,500 people attended the rally that took place at Moss Hill in Clinton. A majority of the attendees were African American men, women and children, with about 75 white people in attendance, 18 of whom were Democrats from Raymond. Hinds County Republicans were conscious of racial tensions, thus inviting the local Democratic Party to send a speaker. A Democratic candidate for the state Senate, Amos R. Johnston, spoke for the first hour. When Capt. H.T. Fisher, a former Union officer, addressed the crowd, the group from Raymond began heckling. A plaque in Clinton tells the story of state Sen. Charles Caldwell, who organized the political African American Republican Daniel C. rally that led to the Clinton Riot in 1875. He was killed as a result of the massacre. Crawford reportedly heard one of the men shout, “Well, we would have peace if you would stop telling your damned lies.” In 1876, Massachusetts Sen. George Boutwell chaired a U.S. Senate An argument started that soon devolved into violence with white investigative committee that presented the Boutwell Report, which men lining up in a formation, pulling out their weapons and firing stated findings of systematic efforts from the state Democratic Party into the crowd. At least five African Americans died, including two to disrupt and intimidate Republican efforts of political organizing. children, as well as three white men. The riot served as the inauguration of the Mississippi Plan, which The violence continued for weeks after a mixture of local whites the Democratic Party created to regain political control. and White Liners (essentially a paramilitary unit of the then rapidly Scott Prather contributed to this story. racist Democratic Party) from other counties formed a posse to ter-


January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

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JXN // progress Imani Khayyam

Booze, Zoos and a New Place to Snooze // by R.L. Nave

Cathead’s 20,000-square-foot distillery is the newest addition to Farish Street in downtown Jackson.


athead vodka is not made with real bits of feline cranium. It’s not distilled in Kathmandu or on the Mississippi’s Sound’s Cat Island (although, admittedly, that would be a good guess). The name comes from the phrase, “That cat can play,” which has long meant that a blues musician was highly respected. As of December, the home base of Cathead Distillery—whose spirits are made of water, mash and botanicals—is downtown Jackson. Since 2010, Cathead Distillery has done its work in Gluckstadt at a warehouse just down the street from the Mississippi Alcohol Beverage Control warehouse. Co-founder Richard Patrick told the Jackson Free Press in November 2015 that, at first, it made sense since the state’s liquor is kept there until it gets distributed. But after a few years and a new bill that allows for 4-ounce samplings, Patrick and the other co-founder, Austin Evans, decided that it was time to move their business to downtown Jackson. A ribbon-cutting and grand opening took place in early December. The project was four years in the making and increased the formerly Gluckstadt-based company’s capacity tenfold. In its 2,000-square-foot Madison County facility, Cathead brewed vodkas including honeysuckle and pecan-flavored offerings, Bristow gin and Hoodoo chicory liqueur. With 20,000


square feet on the south end of Farish Street, Cathead plans to start producing bourbon whiskey, bourbon, rye and wheat whiskeys, and single malts. In early December, the Jackson City Council approved a plan that would request so-called resort status for the distillery, which would allow it to remain open past 2 a.m. As of press time, the Jackson City Council was considering another plan to create an entertainment district with resort status in the Commerce Street corridor, which includes Hal & Mal’s, One Block East and Jaco’s Tacos.

Places at the Helm After a short delay, developers of Helm Place, an 88-townhome, affordable rentalhousing project near downtown, is scheduled to host a grand opening in January. The grand opening for the new community, which started construction in early 2014, was planned for November, but heavy rains and other delays caused the event to be postponed. Clarence Chapman, president of Oxford-based developer Chartre Consulting Ltd., said the City issued the building permits for the 4,000-squarefoot community center—the centerpiece of the project—later than expected. Plus, the developer installed some infrastructure for the homes, which included replacing water and sewer lines and repaving Church

January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

Street. Chapman said the company was also working with the Jackson Police Department to improve security near the work site. “It’s going to be a tremendous boost to putting that area back on the map,” Chapman told BOOM Jackson. The groundbreaking took place in February 2014 with dignitaries including Gov. Phil Bryant, former Gov. William Winter and Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, who passed away a short time later. Low-income housing tax credits from the Mississippi Home Corp. helped finance the development, which features 1,500-squarefeet townhomes that lease for around $700 per month. Under the IRS tax code, families have the option of buying the homes outright after 15 years for $50,000. Mt. Helm Baptist Church, considered the oldest African American church in Jackson, oversaw the waiting list, which Chapman said had 300 names within the first few days. Normally, only 25 percent of people on waiting lists for Chartre’s homes qualify; in this case, Chapman said 60 percent of applicants, who must meet income guidelines, qualified. “It’s an amazing demand down there,” he said. Therefore, the company is already planning for Phase II, another 70 units for a total of 158 homes. Chapman said after the bureaucratic snags with the City, he expects the next

development to go more smoothly. “Every time something comes up, you lose a week here and there, but it’s really going to result in an attractive improvement for that historic part of town. We think Farish Street can be improved (with the proposed entertainment district), but if you put families down there, you’re going to have a really nice community right there in the heart of town,” Chapman said. Another Chartre development called East Village Estates near the Jackson Medical Mall is also nearing completion and is already 20 percent occupied.

Westin + Bonds: It’s Complicated The $60-million Westin Hotel project broke ground in August after securing financing, which included $29 million from the sale of bonds from Hinds County and the Jackson Redevelopment Authority backed by the City’s credit line. However, when the bond issue went out, no buyers were interested in the $9 million bond from the city. At a JRA meeting in late November, the organization’s officials said investors wanted a five-year

bond instead of seven years. Bill M. Brister, a finance professor at Millsaps College, says unsuccessful bond issues are usually the result of buyers wanting more favorable terms such as collateral, higher interest rates or shorter maturity. “If they shorten the maturity of the bond, that means the payments will be larger,” Brister said. The hotel is being built at the site of the former Mississippi Valley Title Building on Tombigbee and West streets. Minnesotabased Wischermann Partners plans to operate the hotel, which will include 12,000 square feet of meeting space and a destination restaurant. Officials said the hotel is due to be completed in early 2017. Pernila Stimley Brown, the attorney for JRA, told the board in November that several investors were interested in purchasing the bonds. On Dec. 16, JRA officials announced the Westin would receive the $9 million as a loan from an investment bank.

Welcome to the Jungle More information about the Jackson Zoo’s long-range master plan is coming to

light. A draft version of the plan dated Aug. 11, 2015, proposes new exhibits, visitor services, and a significant revision of pedestrian and vehicle traffic routes. “The new master plan also (intends) to increase and improve interactive and interpretive experiences, including visitoranimal interaction, as well as families interacting together,” authors of the plan write in its summary. Among the proposed attractions are an interactive Discovery Zone, including expansion of the Africa exhibit, which includes a new giraffe and lion exhibit, and possibly elephants. Other amenities include an Adventure Zone, which would provide space for kids to do challenging play, a group event space, renovated gift shops and concession stands, and a 150-seat restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. These and other improvements are expected to take between 10 and 15 years to finish, depending on funding. Get breaking business and development news at Send news to

#2%!4%sINNOVATEs#/,,!"/2!4% Coalesce | verb | co.a.lesce | to come together to form one group or community Designed with the creative professional in mind, Coalesce focuses on design aesthetics, a sense of place, and an open workplace for tech focused startups, creative entrepreneurs, freelancers, project teams, and other small businesses. Coalesce offers an environment where people can create, innovate, collaborate, and of course coalesce. Coalesce members have access to the workspace, a conference room, wi-fi from the C-Spire fiber network, a coffee and water station, use of a printer and copier, and the ability to attend monthly events: lunch and learns, various tech meetups, pitch opportunities, and a monthly social open to the entire startup community. For more information about this collaborative coworking space, visit or email Lot One, Square One – Spengler’s Corner Historic District | 109 North State Street – Jackson, Mississippi

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Is Everything // by Maya Miller


hen Clarksdale native Jessica Smith moved to Atlanta last year to film a movie, she came across an 80-foot-long mosaic wall in Little Five Points made of 2,000 tiles painted with messages of peace. The one that said “peace is everything” stood out to her. Since then, the phrase has stuck with her and inspired her to start a Wall of Peace project for Jackson. Carolyna Marks created the Wall of Peace in 1989 at the University of California, Berkeley, and since then, it has grown into global projects with more than 30 walls in four countries. The Wall of Peace is a collaborative effort toward providing the community with a visual mural and a “peace zone,” as well as fostering peace-making efforts within the community. The wall, which will be completely built using tiles hand painted by locals, will serve as a visual representation of hope and unity. Smith, who graduated with an English degree from Tougaloo College in 2011, says she hopes that the project will bring people who have the common goal of ridding Jackson of violence together through the process of creating art. Smith says she believes such a wall in Jackson can help bring the community together. “With everything that’s going on, I think Jackson needs a different distraction as far as peace is concerned,” Smith says. She wants to see

The Wall of Peace in Atlanta inspired Tougaloo College graduate Jessica Smith to give Jackson a wall of its own.

courtesy jessica smith

happy, and what I’m doing is going to make me happy, we can’t lose.” Smith chose midtown because of its creative flair and the current revitalization in the neighborhood—and also because it’s where she got her start as a musician. She plays piano in the band Calico Panache. She is working with Malcolm Morrow of Jackson entertainment blog The Hood Hippie and professors from Millsaps College and her alma mater, Tougaloo College, on the project and hopes to partner with Midtown Charter School to get the first class of scholars to build something they can maintain and have pride in after completing it. Smith says she is currently tying up loose ends and searching for more volunteers and supporters. She says the project is open to the public, but she needs dedicated people on her team. In January 2016, she plans to begin the project, with three months of seminars at Tougaloo and construction to begin in March. The seminars will be twice a month and cover everything from peace studies to the building process. Smith hopes that these seminars will engage Jacksonians and open up the door for more conversations on peace and unity without people being offended or afraid of criticism. “I don’t want the seminars to just be lecture based,” she says. “I want people to engage, talk or ask questions.” She hasn’t decided on a final design, but ideas include ones such as a big “JXN.” The wall itself will take more than 2,000 tiles, and the design will depend on their size. While it’s free to the public, the level of involvement will determine how many tiles she can give to each person. She is choosLocal musician Jessica Smith wants to create a local “Wall of Peace.” ing between two ceramics businesses as a supplier for the tiles and plans on finalizing the location for the wall by January. “I hope to ... show people that they are more open than they think they are,” she says. “When you bring together people doing somemore meaning attached to events that bring people together here. Her personal philosophy of being happy and helping others be happy thing for one cause, it does nothing but force them to talk. After that, it’s pushed her to create the project. “Peace to me is inner happiness and want- like: ‘Hey, I like you. I like doing these things, I need to get out more.’ That’s the main goal, to bring coexistence beyond just everyone here.” ing happiness for everybody around you,” she says. For more information, find the Wall of Peace Jackson on Facebook. “I don’t care what it is that makes you happy—if it’s going to make you 18

January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

BIZ // success

Keeping SCORE // by Dustin Cardon

// by Amber Helsel

Imani Khayyam

Harris, a Jackson native and Local SCORE chapter offices unning a small business can seem daunting. You match clients with counselors who retired nurse, has run home-based have experience in similar busi- businesses and owns a nonprofit, have to develop a business Community Business Strategies. plan and marketing strat- nesses. The counselors help to deSCORE sessions for individuegy, work out the financials and velop plans for and grow their cli- more. Luckily, local entrepreneurs ents’ business, whether that means als and groups are free, except for fees for workshops and can get help you get seminars. These cover ahead with SCORE. topics such as creating a SCORE, which start-up checklist and sepreviously stood for curing funding. Advanced Service Corps of Reworkshops discuss topics tired Executives, is a such as starting a homenonprofit volunteer probased business and buying gram that has provided a franchise. free business mentor SCORE counseling is ing services to entreSCORE of Metro Jackson opened in October 2015. confidential and does not preneurs since 1964. An require an individual to affiliate of the U.S. Small helping with billing or developing a have or apply for an SBA loan to Business Association, SCORE has participate. Since 1997, SCORE more than 15,000 volunteers and social-media plan. “We don’t do the work for has also offered online services 389 chapters across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands them, but we guide them, ask them called Ask SCORE. The program questions and help them find an- has more than 1,500 counselors in and Guam. swers,” Mary Harris, assistant dis- many different fields. Ask SCORE After a 13-year hiatus, the trict director of SCORE Mississip- services are also free. Jackson branch of SCORE began For more information, visit the pi, says. “Seeing business owners re-opened in October 2015, and SCORE website at or the mentoring sessions for area start- grow and become able to succeed SBA’s website at on their own is so important to us.” ups began soon afterward.

The Permission to Care Deeply // by Donna Ladd

they stop, then don’t try to force a bad fit, or the whole team suffers. File Photo


ow that I’ve co-owned and managed the parent company of BOOM Jackson— Jackson Free Press Inc.—for 14 years now (where does the time go?!), people often ask me the biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way about managing people. There are many, I respond, as well as even more lessons I’ve learned about managing myself, my moods, my time, my energy. Running a business is hard—so much harder than working for someone else. The buck has to stop here. But 14 years in, and now with CEO attached to my title, I really can boil my biggest management advice down to two sentences: Hire people with a great attitude who want to care deeply about what you do as an organization. And if they don’t, or

BOOM staffers care deeply about the city—and popsicles. I didn’t come up with the concept of “permission to care deeply”; it’s a phrase I’ve read in several smart management pieces. But, dang, is it everything. We must help our team keep their passion. Every staffer must get permis-

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.

sion from the whole team to care passionately for the mission. This leaves no room for toxic people (or managers) who complain for sport. As a team here, we’ve been through attitude hiccups and always come out stronger on the other end. Thanks to leadership training—and a bunch of mentors beating into me that toxicity is not acceptable in the workplace from anyone—I’ve learned to engage our entire team in keeping it positive and focused. As my partner, Todd Stauffer, likes to say to our superb staff: “Solve problems. Don’t stir them.” The truth is that some people love to stir problems. A smart company doesn’t hire, or retain, those folks if they won’t change quickly. It’s a tough lesson, but a valuable one that every manager must learn.

file photo


Get the Word Out

Events such as 1 Million Cups allow local business owners to network with community members.


hen you start a small business, one of the hardest parts is building awareness of the service you provide. Luckily, has some tips to get the word out without the gimmicks. Here are just a few. Give stuff away. It may sound counterproductive, but it’s a surefire way to get the word out. Go to local festivals and farmers markets, and let people try your product for free. Network. The current City administration seems to be aware of the power of networking. Mayor Tony Yarber recently hosted “Doing Business With the City” to help connect local business owners. In midtown each Wednesday, 1 Million Cups features local entrepreneurs who present their products and then tell community members what they need. Jackson is rife with opportunities to network. You just have to look for them. Start a podcast. It’s a popular form of media that’s still on the rise. Jackson resident Beau York created a podcasting platform called Podastery. His goal is to help businesses connect with potential customers through the platform of podcasting. For more information, visit


A Safe Haven // by Scott Prather



hen Steve Baker gets in his truck every morning, it just seems to drive itself down Old Canton Road from his home in Ridgeland to Canton Mart Square, he says. That explains why every tenant of the shopping center has a story about passing by on some Sunday morning off and finding Baker there, hard at work—fixing a roof, chopping down a tree, trimming the green leaves growing on the square’s tall sign. Baker loves the property he manages and the tenants who make their living there. “It’s almost a little funny,” he says with a half-crooked smile. Walking out of his office in the center of the square, Baker extends his arm eastward and points out the building where he began his work 38 years ago. He had just finished his bachelor’s degree in business management at Delta State University, having married his high school sweetheart from Clarksdale, Cathy Canton Mart Square prides itself on being Willis, on New Year’s a safe haven for small businesses. Eve, 1976. “Doc” and Joe Ann Ward, Cathy’s uncle and aunt, had opened Briarwood Animal Hospital on Canton Mart Road in the early 1960s. By the time Baker arrived in 1977, he says that “Doc and his guys” had transformed the six acres surrounding the hospital into a small and vibrant shopping center.

‘Just Steve’


A Safe Haven for Smart, Local Business While Baker is definitely the point person for the day-to-day operations of the square, its tenants and the customers, he is quick to point out that he is just one lucky man in a network of hardworking, smart and successful women. “When I makes business decisions of some consequence,” Baker says, “I run it by Ms. Joe Ann, Cathy, Stephanie and Joanna, out of courtesy for the Wards, but also because I depend on their insight and practical wisdom.” The square’s reliance on the wisdom of women doesn’t end there. Women own and run 16 out of the 25 stores in operation. Baker says the predominance of women-led businesses is not by design. “It’s just what happened naturally, but we’re blessed for it,” he says. Intentional or not, Baker is well aware that maintaining a family-friendly, boutique-style shopping center with a strong female presence is good for business.

January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine


The animal hospital, The Book Rack and Briarwood Package Store— now Briarwood Wine and Spirits—were there “since the concrete was poured,” and Briarwood Enterprises began in 1966, with the Pet Shop, Briarwood Yard and Garden Center, and Briarwood Shop for Men coming along over the next decade. Ward kept the books for all those businesses. Although Baker was initially tasked with running both the garden center and men’s clothing store, his green thumb and hands-on proclivities led them to “get out of the men’s business forever,” he says. So he spent the next 15 years managing the garden center and helping Doc and his men develop Canton Mart Square into the 26-store, 80,000-square-foot retail property it is today. As Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart came to the area, with their all-inclusive yard-and-garden offerings, Baker says it hurt Briarwood Yard and Garden, which was a small-scale retail center selling plants, chemicals and supplies for locals. So in the early 1990s, the company leased the building to Latitudes Furniture, and Baker moved into his current role as property manager of Canton Mart Square Baker’s humble demeanor leads him to eschew all formal titles. “I’m not a landlord, I’m just Steve,” he says.

At some point, however, Baker says he promoted himself from “nominated deputy to U.S. Marshall of our little territory,” a more austere title than those that current tenants give him, seeming to prefer “the kindest man you’ll ever meet,” “an ever-present worker-bee,” “Mr. Fix It” and “Canton Mart Square’s Santa Claus.” The Ward and Baker clan lost Doc in 1998 to a tragic car accident. Joe Ann Ward, who lives in Ridgeland with Baker and his wife, Cathy, owns the property and remains head honcho for Briarwood Enterprises LLC. Baker’s oldest daughter, Stephanie Maley, now handles bookkeeping and business management. “They pay the bills, and I handle the headaches,” Baker likes to say. With a background in interior design, Maley, now 33, left an architecture firm in 2011 to come and work for the family business full-time, which has allowed Ward, 77, to ease up and enjoy the fruits of her and Doc’s labor. Maley and her husband, Collin, have two kids, Brennan and Claylon. Baker and Cathy’s second daughter, Joanna Keith, runs Red Bird Paper Company out of Hattiesburg, where she lives with her husband, Matthew, and two children, Elleigh and Carson. As the Ward and Baker clan look forward to their 50th year at Canton Mark Square in 2016, Baker and Maley both refer to their four little ones as the “fourth generation” of future Briarwood Enterprises management.

(Left to right) Joanna Keith, Stephanie Maley, Joe Ann Ward, Cathy Baker, Steve Baker—and Doc Ward in the portrait.


Small Business

It speaks to the square’s success that its turnover rate is low, but when a space does become available, the company doesn’t advertise it. Baker’s first and primary business-recruitment model is to go to his merchants for insight on what’s new and what might best complement their existing stores. “When the right idea comes out of the right person’s


zero for retail business in the north Jackson community.” He doesn’t want anyone telling him how to run his business, so he wouldn’t dare tell anyone else how to run theirs. “They’ve spent a lot of money figuring out what kind of stores to bring in and why, and I think we’ve got to give them credit that they know what they’re doing,” he says. Although Baker certainly appreciates the foottraffic Whole Foods and other new national retailers are bringing through northeast Jackson—“if it’s good for Highland Village and LeFleur East, it’s good for us”—there are certain perks for those doing business out of Canton Mart Square, which seem out of the question just down the road. For example, Briarwood Enterprises does not charge their tenants common-area maintenance, or CAM, costs, which is a standard practice owners of retail space use to pay for costs of property maintenance by charging tenants a percentage of annual expenses, based on the percent of retail space they occupy. Neither does Briarwood charge retailers overage rent, a fee built into most retail leases, where the owner takes a percentage of sales—Baker says it’s often 6 percent—off the top just for doing business in the space they’re already renting.

The Next Generation Jon Lansdale, who co-owns Crazy Cat Bakers with local chef Gary Hawkins (formerly of 1908 Provisions), says that with rent and overage rent skyrocketing in north Jackson, it’s an uphill battle to do business in the area. After looking all over, from Madison to Flowood to Clinton, Lansdale and Hawkins are currently moving Crazy Cat to Canton Mart Square after almost 10 years in Highland Village. Lansdale says that he was initially hesitant about moving to the square, but an existing kitchen space in what was previously Paul Anthony’s Market will allow them to renovate and expand to eventually include a dinner service at “a fraction of the cost” of what they would have spent elsewhere. “What really won me over was getting to know Steve, though,” Lansdale says. “The more I spoke to him, the more I knew (that) this guy is an open book—a businessman I can actually trust.” In addition to refraining from overage rent and CAM costs, which Baker says Briarwood Enterprises considers “just part of doing business” and pays out of pocket, every new tenant at Canton Mart Square gets the same simple, five-page contract, with no non-compete clauses. Depending on the needs of the tenant, “the only thing that really changes is the length of the agreement,” Baker says, “and every tenant knows that the most important part is where I sign.” Briarwood Enterprise’s policy of offering local businesses a straightforward contract for retail space at an affordable rate means, for Baker and company, that they can balance tried-and-true family businesses with the best and brightest startups Jackson has to offer. “Forcing a young couple or first-time business owner into a lengthy contract with rent they can’t really afford wouldn’t do them or us any good,” Baker says. “We want to be a haven for successful Jackson entrepreneurs, while we create an environment that welcomes the next generation’s great ideas.”

Crazy Cat Bakers owners Jon Lansdale (left) and Gary Hawkins (right) are moving the business into Canton Mart Square from Highland Village.

mouth, then we’ll know it,” Baker says. Maley says it’s with good reason that her father can be particular about what new businesses come in when, preferring to keep a space empty for a year instead of bringing in a business that might step on existing tenants’ toes and damage the overall harmony of the square. “We’re not just in it to have a full shopping center or to seek out the best possible bottom line,” Maley says. “If it’s not good for the square, our existing businesses or the surrounding LeFleur East community, then it’s not good for us.” From a financial perspective, it may be a luxury of local ownership, born of the Wards’ own entrepreneurial genius, that allows Baker to be so selective and protective about new tenants. The family has owned Canton Mart Square for so long that it has paid for itself, and their success has been buttressed by the Wards’ development of commercial and residential properties throughout Rankin County, filling out the real estate and investment side of Briarwood Enterprises LLC. Yet Baker and Maley also speak of their management opportunity as an exercise in communal responsibility, carrying on the Ward legacy of providing north Jackson with “a tradition of fine, local merchants,” as the square’s slogan puts it. This brings up the most salient aspect of Canton Mart Square for today’s business climate: All of its business decisions seem driven by the desire to provide what Baker calls “a safe haven for small, local business” amidst the corporate storm clouds that line the Jackson sky. Baker’s humble demeanor shines through in his praise for the developments taking place at Highland Village, which he refers to “as ground Work. Live. Play. Prosper.


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January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

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January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

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January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine


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January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine






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Work. Live. Play. Prosper.


BITES // inspire

Ciara’s Dream // story and photos by Imani Khayyam


very day around 5 a.m., Ciara Brown comes to her restaurant, Ciara’s Bakery and Café, to prepare her meals for that day. She cooks the baked goods, vegetables and noodles, and thaws and seasons her meat in preparation for opening. Brown, with the help of her mom, Lynda Powell, opened the bakery and café in 2015. At first, she was nervous about owning her own restaurant. Before Brown, 30, opened her business, she researched areas for her restaurant and hired a commercial Realtor to help her find a spot. Her dream became real when her mom helped her by providing her first loan. She decided to do a café and bakery because it would cater to more clientele. “People don’t eat sweets everyday, but people will eat lunch everyday,” she says. Brown decided she wanted cook in high school, where she took culinary arts classes at Forest Hill High School. But the tradition was already in place. “A combination of my great-grandmother, grandmother and my mother inspired me to cook,” she says. When she was growing up, she cooked with them, making dishes such as cakes, gumbo, greens and other southern-style food. When Brown graduated from high school in 2004 and moved out on her own, she began experimenting with new dishes, but it was a while before she actually pursued culinary arts as a career. In her senior year of high school, she had worked in childcare, which led her to do after-school care at the YMCA on Capitol Street until 2008. Brown also worked as a secretary for the Mississippi Department of Corrections and did work at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility for Wexford Health, a correctional health-care company.

Ciara’s Bakery and Cafe, which Ciara Brown (left) owns, features dishes such as fried green tomatoes.

At that point, Brown’s goal was to be a nurse like her mother, because many people told her that chefs don’t make that much money. But she changed her mind; by 2010, Brown was living in Atlanta and attending Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. Her experience at Le Cordon Bleu consisted mostly of learning culinary skills and only a small amount of baking, though she wanted to learn more about the subject, specifically cake decorating. “I wanted to learn how to do the big cakes like you see on TV,” she says. Brown

says most of the cakes she makes now she either learned how to do from teaching herself, YouTube or by asking friends and family for recipes. In October 2014, she studied baking at a two-week program at Wilton Cakes in Darien, Ill. Brown says when she prepares a meal for the restaurant, instead of her writing the recipe out, she makes the meal and lets her two cooks taste it and tells them what it should taste like. She says one thing she can’t let them prepare is her macaroni and cheese, though. It’s her specialty. At Ciara’s, her popular dishes include fried green tomatoes and fried catfish. Ciara’s Bakery and Café (870 Avery Blvd. N., Ridgeland, 601.707.8530) is open for business Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

S courtesy cathead

Resort Status: H o w D o e s I t Wo r k ? // by R.L. Nave


everal downtown businesses could receive a special designation that lets spirits flow all night long. Establishments can ask the Mississippi Department of Revenue, which oversees the alcohol business in the state, for what is known as qualified resort status. There’s no swimming pool or sandy beaches involved. Rather, bars with the status can keep selling booze long after others have to close for the night. A municipality can ask the state to designate certain parcels or whole neighborhoods as resort areas as long as applicants collect “endorsement letters” from area civic clubs. In December, Jackson voted to give resort status to the new Cathead Distillery on South Farish Street. Later, officials proposed a second downtown resort area along Commerce Street.

January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

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Dynamic duos photos by Imani Khayyam


e have a lot of power couples in Jackson— significant others who not only help their partners, but the community at large. They can be anyone from artists to city planners to activists to everything in between. They’re your friends, neighbors, family members and confidantes, and they’re changing Jackson for the better. The area has many dynamic duos, but here are some of them.


Power Couple:

Nell Linton Knox and William Goodman


reative spirits Nell Linton Knox and William Goodman, both Jackson natives, believe their relationship serves as a medium to strengthen each of them as individuals and support the other’s artistic needs. The couple first connected through email. “I was trying to find a place to live when I moved back to Jackson,” Knox says. She had been living in Oxford for graduate school at the University of Mississippi. In 2011 she received her master’s in southern studies. Goodman was living in an apartment in Fondren Corner, which Knox had heard about as a cool, creative building, so mutual friend Ellen Rodgers Johnson arranged for them to email about it. Knox finally met Goodman faceto-face a few months later, and

January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

they quickly discovered they were kindred spirits. Their passion for creativity fuels the couple, who married in 2014. Goodman, 35, is an established abstract mixed-media artist who has displayed his works in international and public and private collections. Knox wrote the text for the book “Studio Jackson: Creative Culture in the Mississippi Capital” (The History Press, 2014, $22.99), and Johnson provided the photographs. Knox, now 28, poured her knowledge, education, personal connections, and love of reporting and art into the book’s snapshot of Jackson’s creative culture. She is comfortable using her writing to express herself creatively, but her husband relies on her for guidance in writing and

editing. “We are both on a creative brain wave; we collaborate well,” Knox says. Even though the two artists express their creativity in different ways, they find a common ground and work together. “I love to have Nell in the studio with me and watch her create something like a collage and see her creativity move past just her words but also with her hands,” Goodman says. As this couple is about to embark on a new journey of being first-time parents—their baby is due in February—they feel safe in knowing that their efforts to let love grow will instill these same values in their child. It also helps that a strong creative community in Jackson continues to grow around them. —Christina Spann

Power Couple:

Preselfannie and Johnnie McDaniels


Frederick Douglass quote, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men (and women),” is a guiding principle for Preselfannie and Johnnie McDaniels. Preselfannie, 46, an Arkansas native, attended Jackson State University on a full honors scholarship and graduated in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in English. She followed that with a master’s degree in English from Mississippi College in 1994 and a doctorate degree in the same subject from Louisiana State University in 2004. She is now an associate professor of English and the interim department chairperson of the English and modern foreign languages department at Jackson State University. “I love being in Jackson because it has allowed me many opportunities to connect people with their destinies— whether it is helping someone become a better parent, assisting someone in locating needed services, finding a male mentor for a young man or helping a student make lifetime choices through academic advising,” she says. Johnnie, 49, a Mississippi na-

tive from the Port Gibson area, also attended Jackson State University and then the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge for his law degree. Johnnie says that as a former prosecuting attorney and now the executive director of the Henley-Young Juvenile Justice Center, he is “on the front line in the efforts to address the complexities of the school-to-prison pipeline, and I am fully committed to helping to end that pipeline.” To Johnnie and Preselfannie, being a “power couple” means having the ability to make the difference and the willingness to do so. They met as students at Jackson State University. Preselfannie, a freshman, was a student volunteering on Judge Patricia Wise’s campaign for chancery court judge in 1989, and Johnnie, a senior, was working for the Mississippi Democratic Party. They began dating and married in 1991. They live in south Jackson and have two boys (John, 16, and Jaylen, 13) and are active with New Hope Baptist Church on Watkins Drive. —R.H. Coupe

Power Couple:

daniel johnson and Amber Kellum Johnson


mber Kellum Johnson and daniel johnson have a shared motivation to collaborate and serve the community through creative and inclusive means. Amber, 34, is a native of Crystal Springs, Miss., and a graduate of Copiah-Lincoln Community College where she received an associate’s degree in psychology in 2002. daniel (who prefers that his name be lowercase) is a Jackson native who received a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Millsaps College in 2011. They met through mutual friends in the winter of 2000. From parenting their sons Vesper and Wiley to taking turns supporting each other financially, a strong sense of partnership marks their history as a couple. In 2013, the couple expanded their partnership by creating a business for the Mississippi Museum of Art—a consulting firm called Significant Developments, LLC. “After the museum approached us about doing a project for the ‘C3 Series: Creativity, Community, Conversation,’ I was interested in getting close to the inner workings of how the staff was thinking about the

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.

series,” he says. “Amber and I collaborated to create the business to research and develop the series.” daniel, 36, is now director of engagement and learning at the museum, and Amber serves as a room parent (a liaison between teachers and parents) at McWillie Elementary, where Vesper attends school.

“(daniel and I) partner when something comes to the surface to work on together,” Amber says. “I feel like our energy is best focused towards community. daniel really pushes me and inspires me to see situations in a new light. He’s good at what he does, and he gives me the drive to do as well myself.” —Genevieve Legacy 35

Dynamic Duos

Power Couple:

Paul and Libby Hartfield


or more than 40 years, Elizabeth, who prefers to be called Libby, and Paul Hartfield have worked to improve conservation efforts in Mississippi. The pair met in 1974

while they were completing their undergraduate studies at the University of Southern Mississippi. Libby and Paul graduated with bachelor’s degrees in biology in 1973 and 1975, respectively, and continued on

into graduate studies. Libby earned her master’s degree in science education in 1975, and Paul earned his in zoology in 1976. They married in 1979. For four years, Libby taught at various schools in Mississippi, while Paul worked at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science for 12 years. Then, Paul told her of a job opening at the museum. She began working there in 1978 and found that she enjoyed the hands-on educational aspect of the museum. “The people in Mississippi have been so interested in everything that we wanted to do,” Libby says. “Young people have just flocked to the museum, and it’s been wonderful. Every time you go down there, it’s full of kids. It keeps me interested.” After 37 years, Libby, 65, retired this past April from her post as the director of state

parks, which also covered the museum. Paul, 66, now works as an endangered species biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where he does listings and recovery for endangered species, in addition to his work in keeping Mississippi rivers healthy. “We have been interested in wildlife conservation, I guess, for the last 40 years,” Libby says. “Our biggest areas of concern have been rivers and keeping Mississippi’s rivers free-flowing and natural, and having clean water and good habitats for wildlife.” When they aren’t pursuing their conservation efforts, the Hartfields enjoy going out on their sailboat, traveling to Central and South America, and visiting their daughter, Emily, her husband, Nathan, and their new grandchild, Norman, in Oregon. —Maya Miller

Power Couple:

Kenneth Myricks and Katrina Boyette-Myricks


wenty-eight years is an eternity these days to be married to the same person and still be able to respect each other’s faults and quirks, but that’s only the half of it,” Kenneth Myricks says. Kenneth met his now-wife, Katrina Boyette Myricks, when he crashed a pool party in Kosciusko, Miss., in 1982. He had first seen her at a basketball game a few months before he met her and had then become curious about her. “All I knew, he was the guy in the brown truck that crashed my pool party, so I had to find out who he was,” Katrina says. Katrina, a Durant, Miss., native, received her master’s degree in business from Mississippi State University in 1993. Kenneth, who is from Kosciusko, received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mississippi Valley State University in 1988. The couple married in 1987 and moved to Jackson in 1991. Today, Kenneth, 53, owns Affordable Insurance Solutions Agency in Jack-


January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

son, and Katrina, 51, is a business teacher at Holmes Community College in Ridgeland and an advocate for causes such as breast-cancer awareness. She is a member of the 100 Black Women of Central Mississippi coalition and is president of the Madison chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. “We base everything on mutual respect,” Kenneth says of the trick to their long relationship. “I always knew that I wasn’t going to do this marriage thing but one time, so it’s a no-brainer. She was the one for me; besides, she was my daddy’s choice, too.” Katrina’s answer is a close mirror of her husband’s response. “We have always kept mutual respect and our own individuality,” she says. “It keeps us going down the middle of the road together. That keeps us from infringing on each other’s space and gives us power and longevity.” The couple lives in Madison, where their daughter, Kaitlin, 14, attends Germantown Middle School. —Brinda Willis

Power Couple:

Ashlee and Akili Kelly


ike many great stories, Ashlee and Akili Kelly’s romance started with snacks. In early 2010, when the then-graduate students in urban and regional planning at Jackson State University took a class together, Ashlee, then Ashlee Theodore, sometimes brought snacks to share with the often-snackless Akili. Over time, she mixed in healthier options such as dried cranberries and granola. “I was hungry until I met you—and my life changed forever,” he professed, playfully, to Ashlee. Now, the Kellys, who married in March 2015, are hungry to change Jackson. They recently purchased land in west Jackson, where they plan to build a duplex.

Akili, who earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., is designing the home they hope will spur other economic development and the kinds of amenities they have grown accustomed to living in Belhaven. The Kellys believe they have the experience to make that happen. Ashlee, 30, has worked for the City of Jackson since 2006 in the public-works and planning departments. She is currently a policy analyst with the city clerk’s office and working on a doctoral degree in public policy and administration at JSU.

Akili, 32, is originally from Houston, Texas, and worked for an architecture firm in Jackson for three years before going to graduate school and is only two tests from receiving his professional architect’s license. The couple worked together in the City’s

planning department for four years until fall 2015. The Kellys like to spend their free time driving around neighborhoods in Jackson and other cities, talking about possibilities. “When we travel, it always turns into some kind of planning tour,” Ashlee

says. “Because he loves architecture, we always have to visit certain buildings just to see what they’re doing in their area.” Akili adds: “Every time I go to a city, I always say, ‘This could happen in Jackson.’” — R.L. Nave

Power Couple:

Knol Aust and Duane Smith


nol Aust and Duane Smith have been together for 17 years but have only been married for about six months, largely due to the same-sex marriage ban in the country and state that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned this past June. “(Marriage) was the final piece of the puzzle happening for (me and Knol) here after everything we’ve done,” Smith says. “After fighting so many years for it and with it, I wanted that to be the final step.” Aust and Smith were the fourth same-sex couple in Jackson to get married at the Hinds County Courthouse, but the duo’s story began at one of Jackson’s only gay bars in north Fondren in 1998 (the space has changed owners and names over the years, but it is currently the home of WonderLust). Aust had a book with people’s numbers in it, and Smith remembers writing his number and a cartoon in the book—and ripping out some of the other pages, so he would not be forgotten. His plan worked, and the couple started dating soon afterward. Smith, 40, grew up in south Jackson, and Aust, also 40, grew up in Hinds County. They say they have had it easy, living in the progressive bubbles of Fondren and Belhaven since leaving home. The duo helped start Unity Mississippi, a Jackson-based LGBT nonprofit organization that hosted OUToberfest celebrations for the LGBT community for years and helped organize Jackson’s Pride event this past summer. Aust works as a web developer at Maris, West and Baker; Smith is the front-desk manager at Smoak Salon. Aust says one of the keys to their relationship is not letting outside influences affect it. “Plus, I make you laugh,” Smith says to Aust. “You have to find a good balance,” Aust says. “He lightens me up, and I keep him serious.” “And super grounded,” Smith adds. —Arielle Dreher

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.


Dynamic Duos Power Couple:

Ann Phelps and Kenneth Townsend


nterpret generously’ is a family motto of sorts,” Ann Phelps says, smiling at her husband of five years, Kenneth Townsend, and their newborn son, William. The motto, both say, makes it easier to get through conflict by assuming that each partner has the other one’s best interests at heart. Phelps and Townsend radiate sincerity in the way they speak and interact with each other—and their son. The couple met at Yale University, where they were both pursuing master’s degrees in the divinity school, though Townsend was also working on a law degree. Phelps is a professionally trained singer, and she travels

with a jazz collective group that met at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale, where she got her master of arts in religion. The duo’s interests in religion and their rural upbringings (Phelps is from a rural Nebraska town; Townsend is from Kosciusko, Miss.) brought them together. They agree that embracing one another’s differences has been crucial in their relationship. “Don’t think you can be all things at all times to your spouse,” Townsend says. “I am not musically inclined, for example.” “And I hate academic debating,” Phelps adds. The couple officially met at a wedding where Phelps was performing, and they started

dating soon afterward—in the summer of 2009—and were engaged by Christmas. The summer before they finished at Yale, the couple worked in Washington, D.C., for a summer. After D.C., they decided they preferred a more

relaxed work environment. “We wanted to be at a place that’s more about community and cooperation than competition,” Phelps says. “And Jackson is a really good place for that.” They moved to Jackson

after graduating from Yale. The couple lives in Belhaven, and Townsend is a political-science professor at Millsaps. Phelps is the community engagement director at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. —Arielle Dreher

Power Couple:

Samantha and Mack Woo


amantha and Mack Woo are so effortlessly in sync that one might assume they’ve known each other for the entirety of their respective lives. The couple met through friends at a party almost 10 years ago. “We kind of ran into each other on and off until we finally got together,” Samantha says. Mack, an anesthesiologist and interim director of the day surgery center at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, is a native of the state. “My parents are from Hong Kong; they came over to the Delta, in Belzoni,” he says. His dad came over in the 1940s, and his mom in the 1960s. “I’m pretty much a Delta boy,” he adds. After attending the University of Mississippi for his undergraduate studies, Mack received his doctor of medicine (2001) and doctor of pharmacy (2005) at UMMC. Samantha came to the U.S. through Catholic Charities in Jackson as one of the refugee children the organization used to sponsor from Hong Kong, although she is from Vietnam. At UMMC, Mack is also the director of medical students for anes-


January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

thesiology, so students follow and rotate with him throughout the day. “I get to teach a little while I do my other clinical work,” he says. Samantha, owner and founder of Woo Couture, loves weddings and has always had a passion for design. But it was not until after graduating from Belhaven College, now Belhaven University, with a bachelor’s degree in history and political science in 2005, that she felt confident enough to pursue her passion professionally. “I’m the third generation (member of my family) that makes clothes,” Samantha says. “I grew up with a mother who made clothes for a living. As a child growing up in a third-world country, you don’t have much. I would design even as a child—finding whatever fabric I could and making clothes out of it.” Woo Couture gives brides the opportunity to design their own wedding gowns, instead of having to settle with a gown off the rack. A bride can also select a gown that she or another designer designed. During Mack’s days off, he and Samantha make a concerted effort to spend time together. They have two sons, Matthew, 3, and Samuel, 5. —Adria Walker

HITCHED // love

Tulle and Trains

Local Wedding Bliss // by Amber Helsel

What You Should Know // by Amber Helsel


he planning process for a wedding can seem daunting, especially when it comes to picking out the perfect dress. To help you on your big day, BOOM Jackson sat down with Gail Savage, who owns The Bridal Path (4465 Interstate 55 N., 601.982.8267), a local shop that has been in business since 1970, to talk about what brides should know when finding a gown.

What’s better than shopping local for unique wedding (or Valentine’s Day) gifts? Here are a few ideas to get the lovers in your life.

2016 Trends

Mugs $10, Swell-o-Phonic


Dresses: Floral, watercolor, blushes and champagne colors, dresses with blue undertones Veils: Short and sassy How long does it take to get a dress? Four to six months. Savage says that when brides order, they should know their time frame for getting the dress.

Banana leaf serving plate $119, Interiors Market

Monogrammed wine glass $12, Fresh Ink

Dress trends for brides this spring include floral patterns and watercolor dresses.

How many people should brides bring to find a dress? Two to three, because more than that can be overwhelming. “Too many opinions,” Savage says.

Picture frame $28, Interiors Market

Picture frame $35, Interiors Market

How should brides approach find the perfect dress? While many brides may agonize over choosing the one, Savage suggests that when a bride finds a dress she likes and that fits in her price range, she should get it and move on. Don’t overthink it. What about a seamstress? The Bridal Path, unlike some bridal boutiques or dress stores, has an in-house seamstress. That means that Savage and her staff can be with you through the entire process, from picking out a dress, to getting it fitted, to the day when you pick it up for your wedding. Happy planning!

S’well wine bottle $49.95, Fresh Ink

Where 2 Shop

Swell-o-Phonic (2906 N. State St., Suite 103, 601.981.3547) Fresh Ink (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 205, 601.982.0235) Interiors Market (659 Duling Ave., 601.981.6020)



e like pastries. How about you? If you do, La Brioche Managing Partner Cristina Lazzari, who co-owns the patisserie with Alejandra Sprouts, has you covered. Recently, the Sweden native let us peek inside her bag. Here’s what we found.

Imani Khayyam


1. Keys

5. Lipstick

8. Wikki Stix

10. Tissue

2. Coin purse

6. Whole Foods Market grocery bag

9. Planners

11. iPhone

3. Clutch 4. Ibuprofen

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.

7. Lozenges

Can we peek inside your work bag? Write


Floral Catering Rentals Venue Space at The South or Railroad District both located in the heart of downtown Jackson.

We appreciate you including us!

WENDY PUTT | FRESH CUT CATERING & FLORAL 108 Cypress Cove, Flowood, MS 39232 | 601-939-4518 | freshcutcateringand

Voted Best Caterer in Best of Jackson


January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

ARTS // short

The Lowdown on Making

‘The Beatdown’ // by Genevieve Legacy


courtesy Blazewalker Productions

The humor and easy rapport between ne night, Jacob Purvis was the two have developed over the last on the Natchez Trace when two years. Their first project, “Captive,” an idea popped into his head. is another film Patterson wrote and diIn his vision, an unknown rected. man who was driving saw a body in “We made ‘Captive,’ and it was the road. The man stopped to check a really positive experience,” Paton the body. terson says. “When Jacob came up While the man was looking, he with the idea for ‘The Beatdown,’ he was hit over the head. When he woke brought it to me, and we decided to up, he was in the back of a truck. collaborate again.” He threw himself over the side, and When the three-day shoot schedWade Patterson is directing and someone he didn’t know chased him writing “The Beatdown.” uled for late January begins, Patthrough the woods. terson will return to the director’s “The Beatdown” is a new short chair, and Purvis will play the role of film from Blazewalker Pictures, “The Man” he envisioned on his latewriter-director Wade Patterson’s night drive. Fondren-based production company. Other actors are Doug Lacy (“TerWorking with actor Jacob Purvis, the minator Genesis” and “Jurassic World”) two are creating a 15-minute action and Jackson indie-film actor Michael film that should be finished and ready Randall. Lenita Henderson will make for film festivals in 2016. her film debut. The screenplay is written, and In the meantime, Patterson and the parts are cast. They have a soundPurvis are raising money to offset the man, locations and a small budget to costs of making a festival-worthy film. work with. Most of all, they have an Blazewalker Pictures is currently working on an independent film called “The Beatdown.” They raised $1,705 with a recent Indiabundance of passion—a key ingrediegogo campaign that ended Oct. 12. ent of independent filmmaking. Unlike some crowd-sourcing plat When he heard the idea for forms, flexible funding ones such as Inthe film, Patterson encouraged diegogo allow the filmmakers to receive Purvis, 29, to write the screenthe money they raised without reaching play himself. Eventually, Patterson their $4,000 goal. “My philosophy is, intervened. we’ll make the film with whatever we “I think he loved the story so get,” Patterson says. “Everything we much, he just couldn’t help himself,” raise will go to making a better film. Purvis says. We’re not just looking for monetary do Patterson, also 29, is quick to nations; anyone who wants to help out agree about his affinity for a story on the film can volunteer.” “about the struggle to live.” Jacob Purvis stars in Wade “If anyone wants to cater our shoot, “The DNA of Jacob’s idea Patterson’s “The Beatdown.” that would be great,” adds Purvis, who is really present in the script,” will be doing a lot of running for the Patterson says. chase scenes. “He was more involved in the In addition to food and social capiwriting process than he realizes. We walked through the rough outline together, and I scripted it. It’s tal, they’re looking for an outdoor location, ideally between Jackson and Laurel, as well as a convenience store for the end of the film. collaborative—he just tries to give me all the credit because he’s so To volunteer or discuss a location, call Wade Patterson at 601-214selfless. When he starts acting for the film, he’s going to be a diva. 9108 or email Right now, he’s very humble.” Work. Live. Play. Prosper.


MELODIES // harmony

Stace & Cassie: A Family Business // by Micah Smith


January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

“The easiest part is we’re together,” Cassie says. “We don’t have to be away from each other at night, you know, with our family time and one of us not being here. When we’re not playing, we can just be here as a family, and that’s important to us.” Like any home business, she says, they can’t let the work slip just because they don’t head into an office each morning. “It’s being at home during the day and still looking at it like a business—sitting down and writing music, working on music, and treating that just like you’re getting up and going to work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at a regular job,” Cassie says. Having recently penned a deal with Malaco Records, the Shooks are recording their debut album, which they hope to release in spring 2016. But to their two sons, ages 17 and 10, and daughter, age 11, from previous relationships, Stace and Cassie are just boring, old parents. “They’re just over it. ‘So what? Mom and Dad are musicians. Who cares?’” Stace jokes. JB LAWRENCE


Stace, 42, left his job as a delivery driver for any Jacksonians are on a first-name basis with Brandon musicians Stace AAA Cooper Transportation in May 2014, and and Cassie Shook. It comes with the Cassie, 35, exited her position as bookkeeper for territory when their forenames are also their band name. However, both singer-songwriters performed for local audiences before becoming “Stace and Cassie.” The musicians first met in 2012 while playing with other acts. Stace was a guitarist and singer for the Dirty Laundry Band, and Cassie, whose maiden name is Taylor, was half of the King-Taylor Duo. The two began dating and married in 2013, playing gigs together when not focusing on home life and full-time jobs. Then, the Shooks were able to turn their music into their business. “We were looking at the fact that we Cassie and Stace Shook have made playing music started booking more and more, and we their sole source of income since 2014. were able to piece together enough gigs each month to pay the bills,” Stace says. “We Brandon Elementary School that fall. Now, the try to keep our bills pretty minimal, but we’re a couple performs original and cover songs at vennormal family. ... It was scary at first to jump out ues around the metro area, such as Kathryn’s there. But we saw the opportunity and believed Steakhouse in Ridgleand and Georgia Blue in Madison and Flowood. in each other enough to put forth the effort.”

You’ve Set the Date. Let us Set the Plate.

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.


Events // culture



The Harlem Globetrotters Jan. 15, 7 p.m., at Mississippi Coliseum (1207 Mississippi St.). The basketball team celebrates 90 years of entertaining audiences with an exhibition game. $18-$80; call 800.745.3000;

5 “Jersey Boys” Jan. 5-7, 7:30 p.m., Jan. 8, 8 p.m., Jan. 9, 2 p.m., Jan. 9, 8 p.m., Jan. 10, 1 p.m., Jan. 10, 7 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The award-winning musical is based on the life of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. $22-$87; call 800.745.3000;

An Unconventional “Unframing” Jan. 15-17, 7:30 p.m., at Warehouse Theatre (1000 Monroe St.). New Stage Theatre’s Unframed Series presents experimental one-act plays “The Gas Heart” and “A Mouthful of Birds.” Admission TBA; call 601.948.3533, ext. 222;


2016 BankPlus Racing Vehicle Extravaganza Jan. 9-10, 9 a.m.5 p.m., at Mississippi Trade Mart (1200 Mississippi St.). More than 175 cars compete for awards. Includes appearances by drivers Kyle Kelly and Al Suggs and more. $12, $5 ages 6-12, age 7 and under free, $4 tickets at all O’Reilly Auto Parts Stores, free kids’ passes all BankPlus locations; call 601.832.3020;


10 12

The Premier Bridal Show: Weddings and Celebrations Jan. 10, 1-5 p.m., at Jackson Convention Complex (105 E. Pascagoula St.). The event includes door prizes, samples and consultations with wedding professionals. No strollers allowed. $22 in advance, $25 at the door; call 601.957.1050;


“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Jan. 26-29, 7:30 p.m., Jan. 30, 2 p.m., Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 2-6, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 7, 2 p.m., at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). The play is about the breakdown of a marriage at a social gathering. $28, $22 seniors and students; call 601.948.3533, ext. 222;

30 20

The Chippendales’ 2016 Break the Rules Tour Jan. 20, 8 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). The provocative all-male dance troupe has been performing since 1975. Doors open at 7 p.m. For ages 21 and up. $40-$75; call 877.987.6487; email;


Millsaps Arts & Lecture Series: A Solo Acoustic Evening with Paul Thorn Jan. 12, 7 p.m., at Millsaps College, Ford Academic Complex (1701 N. State St.). The roots and rock singer-songwriter from Tupelo performs songs from his latest album, “Too Blessed to be Stressed,” and earlier works. $10; call 601.974.1130;

Marta Szlubowska Ensemble Jan. 24, 3 p.m., at Fondren Presbyterian Church (3220 Old Canton Road). The professional ensemble performs music from around the world including selections written for violin solo, accordion and strings. Free; call 601.362.3235 or 601.982.3232.

Monster X Tour Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m., Jan. 23, 1:30 p.m., Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m., at Mississippi Coliseum (1207 Mississippi St.). The event includes motorcycle races and monster truck shows. Pit Parties take place 90 minutes for each show (sold separately). $17-$28; call 800.745.3000;

Chinese Cultural Spring Festival 2016 Jan. 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Jan. 30, 2-3 p.m., Jan. 30, 6:458 p.m., at downtown Jackson. At the Mississippi Museum of Art and Thalia Mara Hall. Includes a food fair, children’s activities, a parade and a gala. Free festival and parade, gala price TBA; email;

Success Master Class Event Jan. 30, 10 a.m.-5:15 p.m., at The Church Triumphant Global (6531 Dogwood View Parkway). Speakers include author Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul”), Bishop Adrian Ware and Pastor Tonya Ware. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Registration required. $299, $199 group rate (10 or more), $599 VIP (includes 9 a.m. power breakfast); call 601.260.1848; email events@;


Jackson area events updated daily at

Post your own events or send info to


January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

Flickr/Andrew James; flickr/ Ian McWilliams; flickr/ Whoalse by Allen; courtesy Paul Thorn; flickr/Battle Creek CVB; flickr/ Paulius Malinovskis; flickr/ Thomas Crenshaw; flickr/ Richard TWeney; flickr/Spratmackrel; flickr/Thomas Depenbusch



let the music

Bringing The Community Together:

Promoting Racial Harmony and Facilitating Understanding

DANCE Featuring Claire Holley

february 6, 2016 | duling hall

Monthly Discussion Luncheons Second Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Join us to “lunch and learn” with provocative speakers and discussions held at the Mississippi Arts Center in partnership with the City of Jackson.

2015 Dialogue Circles Ongoing for adults and youth see website

Jackson 2000 presents dialogue circles, a series of facilitated, curriculum-based discussion sessions that can open minds, change hearts and build lasting friendships. Thanks to The Nissan Foundation for their generous support.


2015- 2016 Season

The Mississippi Chorus

2016 Friendship Ball Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Friendship Ball honors two individuals who have made a difference in race relations and understanding in the Jackson community. Come join us at the Missisisppi Museum of Art for food, drink, dancing, live music and to honor these individuals.

More information:

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.

601-278-3351 TICKETS & Informa on


Saturday, March 19, 2016

M.Lauridsen's serene Lux Aeterna ST. COLUMBS EPISCOPAL CHURCH

CANTO CHROMA A soundscape of Choral color


Events // transformation



Schoolhouse Rock Live! Feb. 18-20, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 21, 2 p.m., Feb. 25-27, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 28, 2 p.m., at Madison Square Center for the Arts (2103 Main St., Madison). See classic educational cartoons such as “Conjunction Junction,” “Just a Bill” and Interplanet Janet” come to life on stage. Admission TBA; call 662.347.6248;

“Disney’s Beauty & the Beast” Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The musical is based on the award-winning feature film. $25-$100; call 800.745.3000;

Let the Music Dance Featuring Claire Holley Feb. 6, 7 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Holley presents new compositions written specifically for Ballet Mississippi and performs her own songs. Refreshments included. $50, $75 couples; call 601.960.1560; email;



Mississippi Academy of Ancient Music Concert Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m., at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (5400 Old Canton Road). Vox Luminis, a choral ensemble from Belgium, presents a covert entitled “150 Years of Choral Masterpieces” from the Bach family, culminating with J. S. Bach. $30, $5 students; call 601.594.5584; email info@;



“Annie” Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The musical is based on the classic comic strip about an orphan who goes from rags to riches. $25-$85; call 800.745.3000;


AIDSWatch Mississippi 2016 Feb. 25, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at Mississippi State Capitol (400 High St.). My Brother’s Keeper, The Mississippi Center for Justice and Robin Webb of the Southern AIDS Coalition host the legislative event. Includes policy briefs, a luncheon, exhibitors and meeting with legislators. Registration encouraged. Free; call 662.545.1000 or 601.672.1882; email robintwebb@ or

Spaytacular Under the Sea Feb. 20, 6-10 p.m., at Table 100 (100 Ridge Way, Flowood). News anchor Andrew Harrison of WJTV is the emcee. Includes a buffet dinner, a silent auction and a costume contest. Proceeds benefit Mississippi Spay and Neuter—The Big Fix Clinic. For ages 21 and up. $50, $75 sponsor ticket, $500 VIP table of eight; call 601.420.4202;

Melissa Etheridge Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The award-winning singersongwriter performs songs from her album, “This Is M.E.” $39.5-$59.5; call 601.292.7121;

23 48


“Doctor Faustus” Feb. 24-26, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 27, 2 p.m., at Belhaven University Center for the Arts (835 Riverside Drive). In Flexible Theatre. The play is about a man who makes a pact with the devil to gain knowledge. Doors open 30 minutes prior to each performance. $10, $5 seniors and students, free for Belhaven students and employees; call 601.965.7026;

January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

25 It’s About You Film Festival Feb. 25-27. The mission of the film festival, which takes place at Jackson State University Feb. 25, Lanier High School Feb. 26 and Mississippi Museum of Art Feb. 27, is to display works that express the experience of people of African descent in a positive manner and offer networking opportunities. Free festival, Filmmaker’s Bash: $50, $100 VIP;

26 “The Lanier High School Bus Boycott” Film Premiere Feb. 26, at Lanier High School (833 W. Maple St.). NMHS Unlimited’s film is about Lanier student and World War II veteran Elport Chess, whose arrest led to the 1947 bus boycott. The event is part of the It’s About You Film Festival. Included with festival registration; call 601.960.5369; JACKSON AREA EVENTS UPDATED DAILY AT JFPEVENTS.COM.





Planet Deep South Colloquium Feb. 24-27, 8 a.m. The theme is “Speculative Cultural Production and Africanisms in the American Black South.” Scholars, artists and students participate in panel discussions to talk about the future of southern black and Pan African culture. Registration required. Free; call 601.979.1563; hamerinstitute.




- Pool Is Cool-

Best of Jackson Winner 2015

Best Place to Play Pool Industry Happy Hour Daily 11pm -2am

Daily Beer Specials 12pm - 7pm

Pool League




work. play.

5:30 10 PM



Embracing Mississippi’s creative community through collaborative pop

Same time every month.

up exhibitions,

Never the same thing twice.

dining experiences, live music, outdoor movies, games, and more.

@MSMUSEUMART.ORG The Museum Store and Changing Exhibitions open until 8 PM. C O S T : Free to the public; cash bar and food available for purchase.

Mon - Fri Night

• Drink Specials

January 26 - February 7, 2016

• Burgers • Wings • Full Bar • Gated Parking • Big Screen TV’s

New Stage Theatre presents

Edward Albee’s

Who’s Afraid of

Virginia Woolf?

League and Team Play

Directed by Francine

Beginners to Advanced Instructors Available

444 Bounds St. Jackson MS

601-718-7665 Work. Live. Play. Prosper.

Thomas Reynolds Sponsored by

For tickets: 601-948-3531or “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC. ns_BOOM_vw_.indd 1


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1. Spectacles (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 143, 601.398.4662) Dr. Rebecca C. Patton at Spectacles provides outstanding patient care and understands all our optical needs. 2. Jim’s Tire & Automotive Service, Inc. (4323 N. State St., 601.982.4462) We have serviced our vehicles here for more than 13 years. The mechanics there keep us up and running. 3. Zippity Doo Dah Parade It benefits the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children. It’s a great event held in Fondren with lots of fun for the kids—and kids at heart.




4. Parlor Market (115 W. Capitol St., 601.360.0090, parlor It’s our favorite place downtown and has divine cocktails, delicious appetizers and entrees, and OMG! desserts.

8. Seabrook Paint (various locations, seabrook—This is always our place to go for friendly service, excellent knowledge and reasonable prices.

5. Jackson Police Department Thank you for all that you do!

9. and 10. Animal Rescue Fund of Mississippi (395 W. Mayes St., 769.216.3414) and Community Animal Rescue and Adoption (960 N Flag Chapel Road, 601.922.7575) Our two favorite non-kill animal shelters are a tie. As animal lovers, we are so grateful for all the caring volunteers, who keep the city’s fur babies safe and off the street.

6. Cathead Distillery (422 S. Farish St., We’ve loved their products since they opened and are excited for their distillery downtown. 7. Fondren—Our neighborhood is friendly, and it has a lot of local businesses.

January - February 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

courtesy Jason Meeks; courtesy spectacles; flickr/RecStuff; Flickr/JOhn McStravick; Dwayne Jones; file photo; file photo; Imani KHayYam; flickr/ Luca Nebuloni; file photo


ZZZEFEVPVFRP Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, A Mutual Insurance Company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. 速 Registered Marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an Association of Independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.


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