A good many things are blooming this time of year, including the arts in DeSoto County.

The DeSoto Arts Council's new home inside the old city hall building on U.S. Hwy. 51 has undergone a major transformation, including a new brick patio out front and an outdoor deck for parties and receptions, as well as all new indoor plumbing and electrical work.

Yet, more work needs to be done and donors are desperately needed, according to benefactors like Charles and Cindy Gordon, with Cooke Insurance and Fairway Mortgage Company, respectively.

A challenge gift of $10,000 from Fairway Independent Mortgage and Cooke Insurance has established the DeSoto Arts Council’s "Boost the Building Fund" at the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi.

It must be matched by a total of $10,000 from the community within four months.

“The Community Foundation is honored to manage the fund, but the real heroes are Charles and Cindy Gordon and their two local businesses,” said Community Foundation President Tom Pittman. “They not only have given their time and talents to improve the arts in DeSoto County but now have made a generous monetary gift. We hope others in the community who value the arts and historic Hernando will respond to their challenge gift.”

The donors believe in the work of the DeSoto Arts Council and its efforts to upgrade the former Hernando City Hall into a permanent home for the Council, according to Pittman. Cindy Gordon currently serves as chairman of the DeSoto Arts Council, and Charles Gordon has worked alongside her to make the transition to the new location this year.

“It is our pleasure to support the DeSoto Arts Council, DeSoto County and the City of Hernando with the establishment of this matching fund to upgrade and preserve the “old” City Hall building”, said Charles and Cindy Gordon in a joint statement. “We want to thank Mayor Chip Johnson and the Board of Aldermen of the City of Hernando for the lease to the DeSoto Arts Council. We believe the arts play a crucial role in the development of DeSoto County and the City of Hernando. The arts at DeSoto Arts Council, the schools, the library or any other venue play a vital role in the development of our children and our community. The strength of any community can be measured by their support of the arts. We encourage everyone to make a donation to the building fund, remembering that each dollar serves two purposes; support of the arts and preservation of a historic landmark.”

Improvements at the building at 2465 U.S. Highway 51 South in Hernando are already underway to provide both indoor and outdoor arts events.

The "Boost the Building Fund" is a dollar-for-dollar match through June 30, 2017. Anyone interested in donating to renovate and improve the DeSoto Arts Council building in downtown Hernando can do so online at DeSotoArts.org or at the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, 315 Losher Street, Hernando or online at www.cfnm.org.

“The DeSoto Arts Council has been a non profit organization serving DeSoto County since 1999, said Margaret Yates, DeSoto Arts Council Director. “The organization has been located in the historic Banks Mansion for several years and now have the opportunity to showcase local art in a much more visible location at 2465 Highway 51 S. in the old City Hall building.” The arts council exists to serve the citizens of DeSoto county, providing classes, exhibits and a place to gather to enjoy the arts. Our arts organization can draw new residents as well as enhance the lives of those who live in the area.  We encourage everyone to attend our grand opening Bloomin' Art reception on March 31 from 6-8 p.m."

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