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Leaders mark site for arts center

By By Anna Wright and Ashley McPhearson / staff writers
May 29, 2003
State and local leaders on Wednesday marked the future home of the proposed Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center, including a state-of-the-art amphitheater whose backdrop will be Bonita's upper Lake.
The $50 million, statewide arts center is expected to attract visitors to Meridian and East Mississippi. Besides the theater, the project will include a hall of fame, two performance halls and artist studios.
Ott and about 150 people met at Bonita's upper lake to unveil a sign naming the area as the future home of the center. Ground-breaking for the first phase is planned for fall 2004 if fund-raising efforts are complete.
Ott said the development committee is seeking funds for the project. The Mississippi Legislature tabbed Meridian's Bonita Lakes two years ago as the statewide arts center.
When completed, some state and local leaders said, the project will be a major boost for the Meridian area. Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck called the new project a dream "that's becoming a reality."
Meridian City Councilman Barbara Henson said the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center would be an attraction that will lure visitors to the city and the East Mississippi area.

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