Lewis. Image: D. Lewis

As an architecture student, Jackson native David Lewis dreamed of moving away to a big, bustling city to build buildings.

“Architecture school afforded me the opportunity to travel to some remarkable places and cities,” he says. “The more I traveled to these places, the more inspired I became to take Jackson’s innate potential and bring the city to a place of flourishment.”

Lewis went on to work as an architect in Jackson and earn his master’s degree in Urban Planning from Jackson State University.

He soon joined the Greater Jackson Arts Council, where he oversaw a significant amount of public art projects, like the many vibrant murals seen throughout the city. He has worked on the Mississippi Light Festival, the Bicentennial Storytelling Photographic Gallery project and served as Vice Chairman of the Board for Team JXN.

Now, in his role overseeing the Cultural Division of the City of Jackson, he has been instrumental in creating new and innovative opportunities to elevate the five cultural institutions and facilities owned and run by the City of Jackson, including Thalia Mara Hall, the Arts Center of Mississippi, JXN Planetarium, the Smith Robertson Museum and the Municipal Art Gallery.

“Our city has so much energy and excitement around arts and culture,” explains Lewis. “What’s happening that is new and innovative drives much of the conversation—‘Have you seen the new mural?’ ‘Have you eaten at that new restaurant?’ Hearing and seeing the city all abuzz is electrifying.”

David credits much of the excitement in the city to Mayor Lumumba. “Having a young and visionary mayor has allowed for new blood and young talent to enter the workplace for the city government,” he says.

“That group of young people is intricately woven into the fabric of the young community at-large of our city. Having that voice present in so many spaces where change is and decisions are made is powerful and exciting. It prepares our city for a remarkable amount of healthy and progressive change.”

Lewis is featured in the 2020 Visit Jackson Tour Guide