Politicos to pageant royalty see value in arts education

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, July 19, 2005

As Lincoln County – and the Mississippi School of the Arts, inparticular – loses one advocate in the form of retired state Rep.Charlie Capps, it is gaining another supportive voice from new MissMississippi Kristian Dambrino.

Capps, D-Cleveland, retired last month after 34 years in thestate Legislature, including a long run as chairman of the powerfulHouse Appropriations Committee.

District 92 Rep. Dr. Jim Barnett said Capps was a personalfriend who helped look out for Brookhaven and Lincoln County.Barnett mentioned Capps’ assistance with a new National GuardArmory, a new Mississippi Highway Patrol substation, Lake Lincoln’sconversion to a state park and, of course, the Mississippi Schoolof the Arts.

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“He was very supportive of Lincoln County,” Barnett said. “Henever wavered on the school of the arts and he supported it all theway.”

While Capps was among a number of Legislative shepherds for thearts schools, Dambrino will be looking to steer funding toward artseducation.

Dambrino, of Grenada, said her platform as Miss Mississippi ispromoting creative and fine arts in schools. During interviewsafter her crowning, Dambrino specifically mentioned her hopes toraise money for MSA.

While many in this area already appreciate and understand theimportance of MSA, that same enlightenment is only beginning totake root in many other parts of the state. Having someone with thestature of Miss Mississippi promoting MSA and arts education duringher travels can only help to boost MSA’s visibility and,potentially, its financial bottom line.