March 3, 2018 10:59:52 PM
A rose to Starkville Ward 2 alderman Sandra Sistrunk for placing on the agenda for Tuesday's board meeting a proposal to grant a parade permit for an LGBT group, Starkville Pride. The board rejected that proposal at its Feb. 20 board meeting by a 4-3 vote, opening the door for a suit filed by the group. By placing the matter back on the agenda, the board has a chance to avoid costly legal fees and damage to the city's reputation in a fight it cannot win. The board's denial of the parade permit, made without offering an "compelling governmental interest" required to refuse the request, is a legally untenable position. The board will be compelled to grant the permit. The only question is how much it will cost the city to continue its doomed effort before that happens. The board is not asked to make a moral judgment. It is required to comply with the laws they have sworn to uphold.
A rose to Mississippi University for Women for its excellent series of free concerts last week. The second annual Music by Women Festival was held Thursday through Saturday, highlighting the contributions of women composers of the past and present. The festival featured 12 concerts, along with lectures and presentation of academic papers. More than 200 renowned performers and scholars from different parts of the world gathered to celebrate the musical contributions of women. University faculty from top research institutions and conservatories participated in the program. This was a fitting way to kick off the celebration of Women's History Month, which will be celebrated throughout the month of March.
A rose to The Magnolia Arts Festival, another event celebrating women's contributions to the arts. More than 50 filmmakers, cast and crew from around the country and Canada participated in the 21st annual Magnolia Independent Film Festival in Starkville Thursday through Saturday. Festival-goers were treated to 29 features and shorts scheduled for screening at Hollywood Premier Cinemas. Saturday's schedule featured a "Women in Film" panel at the Holiday Inn Express conference room, led by Canadian director-producer Patricia Chica and Nashville-Tennessee-based actor, director and producer Wendy Kusmaul Keeling. The "MAG" as it is known, continues to grow and improve over the years. Kudos to MAG chairman Angella Baker, organizers, volunteers, filmmakers and movie-goers for making this year's event a success.