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Friday, November 4, 2016

Mississippi Arts and Library Commissions Partner to Bring Art to Unserved Communities

Da Terrance Roberts, storyteller
The Mississippi Library Commission is thrilled to partner with the Mississippi Arts Commission to bring artists from their roster to unserved counties in Mississippi. Libraries in counties that have never experienced arts programming were invited to apply for a mini-grant that would cover the cost of bringing a roster artist to their area. MAC generously waived the cash match requirement, virtually guaranteeing that these exciting programs would happen. These grants are a portion of the $1.5 million in grants MAC will award in 2016-2017. The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Organizations that support the arts play a pivotal role in growing Mississippi’s creative economy,” said Malcolm White, Executive Director of MAC. “The Mississippi Arts Commission is pleased to support their work, which reinforces the value of the arts for communities and for the economic development of our state.”

The following libraries and communities were awarded Library Outreach Mini-Grants:
  • Smith County Library Outreach
    Floyd J Robinson Memorial Library, Raleigh, MS
    Dianne Butler, storyteller, and Jason Mathena, percussionist
    November 7, 2016, 4:00pm
  • Chickasaw County Library Outreach
    Okolona Carnegie Library, Okolona, MS
    June Caldwell, storyteller, and Damein Wash, musician
    November 15, 2016, 5:00pm
  • Humphreys County Library Outreach
    Humphreys County Library System, Belzoni, MS
    Chuck Galey, visual artist, and Doris Jones, storyteller
    November 15, 2016, 5:00pm
  • Tunica County Library Outreach
    Robinsonville Public Library, Robinsonville, MS
    Patricia Carreras, storyteller, and Ricky Burkhead, percussionist
    November 16, 2016, 4:30pm
  • Perry County Library Outreach
    Richton Public Library, Richton, MS
    Da Terrence Roberts, storyteller, and Julie White, dance
    November 17, 2016, 3:30pm
  • Issaquena County Outreach
    Mayersville Multi-Purpose Building (Mayor Linda Short), Mayersville, MS
    Amelia Brame, dancer, and Jerry Jenkins, African drumming
    November 19, 2016, 1:00
  • Jasper County Library Outreach
    Bay Springs Municipal Library, Bay Springs, MS
    Annie McKee, storyteller, and Baba Asante Nalls, African drumming
    December 8, 2016, 10:30am
  • George County Library Outreach
    Lucedale-George County Library, Lucedale, MS
    Richelle Putnam, writer/songwriter, and Kim Whitt, visual artist
    December 12, 2016, 6:00pm
"This is a great opportunity for these unserved counties. Libraries are much more than just books. They are the heart of our communities," said Susan Cassagne, Executive Director of MLC. "Bringing artists to communities in Mississippi that have not had the opportunity to experience this type of programming is exciting and fulfilling for us. We appreciate the Mississippi Arts Commission partnering with public libraries to enrich the offerings for Mississippians."

The Mississippi Library Commission supports innovative programs and initiatives to strengthen and enhance library services for all Mississippians. The agency is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, with additional funding provided through the Institute of Museum and Library Services under provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), offering leadership in library services, advocacy, and training for library professionals and paraprofessionals.

The Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, serves the residents of the state by providing grants that support programs to enhance communities; assist artists and arts organizations; promote the arts in education and celebrate Mississippi’s cultural heritage. Established in 1968, the Mississippi Arts Commission is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mississippi Endowment for the Arts at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and other private sources. The agency serves as an active supporter and promoter of arts in community life and in arts education.

If you have the opportunity to visit these communities to attend their upcoming programs, you're in for a treat. We're so excited to see this focus on the arts in Mississippi libraries. Follow MAC and MLC in social media for follow-up posts on these programs.

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