Julia Reed has worked for Newsweek, Vogue, has appeared regularly on CNN, is a contributing editor for Garden and Gun Magazine, and is an accomplished author. She’s been in the national spotlight, but she’s a Mississippi native from the Delta and is proud to be a part of the Mississippi story. Reed says, "We have people that have gone out in the world and do show the best face of Mississippi, and a lot of them are coming back home, like me. I keep getting drawn back and back and back to the Delta."
People like Reed help get the word out about the many hidden treasures our state has to offer. The Governors’ Conference was held so people could band together and come up with new and better ways to project these positive images and messages about Mississippi throughout America. Rick Taylor, the President of the Mississippi Tourism Association, says, "Culture is what ties us all together. Here in Mississippi, culture runs deep in our veins, but it’s unique in the Pines. It’s unique in the Hills Region. It’s unique here on the Coast as well."
Mississippi has such a deep heritage and a story that’s begging to be told, and conferences and magazines help tell that rich, cultural story. Malcolm White, Tourism Director for the State of Mississippi, says, "We are the birthplace of America’s music, the blues was born in the Mississippi Delta, but music, food, literature, architecture, the arts, history, these are gigantic pieces of our cultural story and this is what is unique about Mississippi."
Mississippi currently has the smallest budget in the nation: $3 million. Tourism leaders plan to ask for a historic $5.1 million increase so people across the nation can see our state through our lens.