JACKSON— After an almost seven-years of fundraising, the Markay Star Campaign is coming to completion. One of the last pieces was raising the needed funds for the last star before the installation of bronze sidewalk stars could occur.
The stars will greet those entering the Markay Cultural Arts Center, located at 269 E. Main Street, Jackson.
The installation project was put out to bid in late April, and awarded to Stockmeister Enterprises. Stockmeister crews have been on site clearing out the previous sidewalk to make way for 12 bronze stars to be installed. Masterworks Plaques of Brooklyn, New York cast the 12 bronze stars.
On May 23, new concrete was poured and finished. The bronze star plaques will be permanently installed on May 24. The plaques will remain covered however, and will not be unveiled to the public, until Sunday, May 28 at 2 p.m., where an unveiling ceremony will take place.
“The Southern Hills Arts Council is eager for the public to see the completion of this project,” said Jennifer Hughes, Director of Operations. “Without these generous donors, and those who helped fund the God Star, we still may have been in the renovation phase of the Markay,” Hughes said. “It was these funds that helped to complete the final phase of the 20-year renovation of the Markay Cultural Arts Center and finally open the theater for performances,” she added.
“We appreciate the steadfast support that Nea Henry and the late Bernadine Stockmeister gave to the star campaign, along with Lee Hamilton for helping to kick off the campaign and former Southern Hills Arts Council Executive Director Barbara Summers. Their work in gaining donors and promoting the Markay helped lead us to this finished project,” Hughes explained. “I think Bernadine would be very pleased with this accomplishment,” Hughes added.
Southern Hills Arts Council (SHAC) works to enhance the quality of life in the region by encouraging and stimulating the practice and appreciation of the arts. The Markay Cultural Arts Center, which is operated by SHAC, is an engaging environment offering a wide range of artistic experiences and quality performances. The Markay, a 1930 Art Deco movie house is owned by the City of Jackson, and leased by SHAC for $1 per year with the proviso that SHAC renovate, maintain, and operate. The Markay also houses an art gallery that showcases area artists. SHAC is actively seeking funding to transform their dated meeting room into an arts classroom, where students of all ages can come to practice and appreciate the arts.
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