The mission of the Starkville Area Arts Council is to build a strong, creative, connected community through the arts. The Starkville Area Arts Council was formed in 1996 after a group of art-loving citizens got together and held a small arts festival near downtown Starkville. That small festival evolved into the Cotton District Arts Festival - one of the largest public art festivals in the South. Over the years, SAAC has grown, developing other programs and events to continue building an arts community in the Starkville area. Now, more than 20 years later, the Starkville Area Arts Council sponsors the Cotton District Arts Festival, runs various outreach programs, and awards almost $25,000 each year in grants and scholarships throughout Starkville and Oktibbeha County in its mission to build a strong, creative, connected community through the arts. SAAC appreciates the support of the City of Starkville and the Greater Starkville Development Partnership, Oktibbeha County, National Endowment for the Arts, Mississippi Arts Commission, Mississippi Development Authority, Del Rendon Foundation, 4-County Electric Foundation, ATMOS Energy, and various local businesses and individuals.