The Mississippi Artist Roster program is a listing of professional Mississippi artists who have been reviewed and approved by a panel of experts and are available to do performances, workshops, and other presentations in a wide range of settings around the state. Schools, community arts groups, libraries and other organizations use the Roster to identify potential artists who can present at their venues. These groups can also apply to MAC’s Minigrant Program to receive partial funding for a Roster Artist performance or workshop.

Roster Artists utilize the program as a way to promote themselves to groups around the state. Artists who are approved for the Roster are part of the program for three years. Acceptance to the Roster does not guarantee its members bookings or contracts to perform. MAC promotes the Roster as a whole. The agency does not promote individual Roster Artists or handle booking or contract arrangements for them. However, the Roster can be a useful tool for artists to use in promoting themselves and expanding their performance or workshop opportunities.

Application Deadline: March 1

Before submitting an application, MAC recommends you thoroughly read the Frequently Asked Questions.

Please Note: Roster applicants who are also interested in becoming part of the Teaching Artist Roster must submit a separate Teaching Artist Roster application in order to be considered for that program.

Who May Apply

You (or your performing group) may apply to the Mississippi Artist Roster if you are

  • a professional artist. Individuals are considered to be professional artists if they
    • earn at least part of their annual income in their artistic disciplines;
    • consider their artistic endeavors as a career;
    • maintain a high level of artistic quality; and
    • make a significant time investment in their artistic disciplines through practice, performance, and production;
  • not a full-time student*;
  • more than 18 years of age*; and
  • a permanent, legal resident of Mississippi at the time of application and throughout the grant period. Applicants may be required to show proof of residence (such as driver’s license, proof domicile, homestead, utility bills).

*Full-time students and/or those artists under 18 years of age may apply to the Mississippi Artist Roster if they are a part of a performing group applying to the roster, provided that the majority of the group’s membership is more than 18 years of age and not full-time students.

Review Criteria

Artist Roster applications are reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Mastery of your artistic discipline and quality of work (40 points)
  • Ability to demonstrate or interpret your artistic discipline or tradition (10 points)
  • History of successful performances or presentations and an ability to tour (25 points)
  • Quality of promotional materials (including electronic and printed) and the ability to develop resources for presenter use (25 points)

Responsibilities Of Roster Artists

Artists accepted to the Artist Roster are required to provide MAC with their current contact information. They are responsible for securing and arranging their own bookings, as well as providing presenters with adequate publicity materials. Roster Artists should also be familiar with the MAC’s grant programs in order to inform potential presenters about them.

Responsibilities Of MAC

MAC updates the Artist Roster annually by producing a printed version of the listing and posts it on its website. The agency provides advisory assistance to organizations that are looking for a specific type of artist, but it does not actively promote or seek bookings for individual artists or groups on the Roster.

Re-Evaluation Of Active Roster Artists

Artists who are currently members of the Roster are required to re-apply every three years in order to maintain their membership in the program. The reapplication process is the same as the initial application process.

How To Apply

Apply online using MAC’s eGRANT system or submit an application via postal mail or hand delivery to  MAC’s office by the due date. Faxed or emailed applications are not accepted.

Please submit one original and one copy of the following items:

  • Artist Roster Application Form
  • Narrative (two-page maximum) in which you describe the programs you offer, such as performances, workshops or master classes. Please also include your technical requirements, fee structure, and how you promote yourself or your group.
  • Your current artistic resumé for you and the key personnel in the group. This document should detail your work as a professional artist only. Please include information on any college-level or other advanced training in the arts that you have completed. Do not include information about your non-arts work.
  • A list of your (or your group’s) recent performances, exhibitions, workshops, or other presentations. Please include the date and location of each performance. The list does not need to go back more than three years.
  • A list describing your work samples. These descriptions should include the titles and completion dates of each sample. If appropriate for the art form, please also include the medium and the approximate dimensions of each work.

Please submit, in addition to the above information,

  • One CD-R disc containing the following:
    ◦ one digital promotional image of you or your group. The image should be high quality and suitable for printing in the Roster booklet.
    ◦ a document containing your (or your group’s) name and contact information, followed by a short description of your group and the types of programs you offer. The description should not exceed 200 words in length. When writing your description, please review the current Roster for examples. Save this document as a Microsoft Word or text file on the disc.
  • One set of your current promotional materials. This can include copies of newsletters, current brochures, flyers, or links to websites or other web-based items.
  • A set of work samples (see the formats list below for specific requirements) that have been completed within the last three years.

Work Samples

Please note: your samples should reflect the type of performance or workshop that you will present if accepted to the Roster.

  • Literary Artists: 10-15 pages of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, playwriting (original or adaptation), or a screenplay completed within the last three years. If your submitted work sample is an excerpt from a longer work, you may include a one-page synopsis of the work as a whole. Published work must be submitted in typed manuscript rather than published form. The sample must be formatted using a 12-point font size with one inch margins on all sides of the page.
  • Media Arts: Three copies of a DVD with 5-10 minutes of excerpts of your work completed within the last three years. The list of work samples should include, for each excerpt, the title, length, and date completed, technique, original format, genre (documentary, experimental, etc.) and the specific role of the applicant in creating the submitted work.
  • Performing Artists: Three copies of a DVD or CD containing 5-10 minutes of representative work completed within the last three years. Musicians should include at least three songs in their sample. On the list of work samples indicate the title, names of the artist(s), date, and location of the recording. Please note: storytellers, actors, dancers and other theatrical artists are required to submit their samples on DVD.
  • Visual Artists: One set of digital images that feature six different samples of work (up to three views of the same work are permissible) completed within the last three years. The images should be saved in JPEG format at 72dpi, with no image wider than 1240 pixels. They should be saved on a CD-R disc with each image numbered to correspond with the work sample listing. Only the required images should be included on the CD-R. They should not be saved as part of a presentation program file (like PowerPoint).

Return Of Work Samples

For applicants submitting work samples through the mail, please notate on the disc case whether or not you would like it returned. Applicants who want their work samples returned by mail must send a self-addressed mailer with sufficient postage attached to it. Work samples may also be picked up July 1st through 31st at MAC’s office during regular business hours. Please make arrangements with the program director managing your application before visiting MAC’s office. All work samples will be discarded after July 31st if no instructions are given for their return.

Application Timeline

January 15, 2018 – Draft Application Deadline (if submitting a draft)

March 1, 2018 – Artist Roster application deadline

April 2018 – Review of applications by the grant panel (the specific panel date will be available by late March. Applicants are allowed to attend panels.)

June 2018 – MAC Board meets and makes final funding decisions on all applications

July 2, 2018 – Applicants are notified whether their application was funded or not. No information on the grants (including whether or not an applicant will be receiving an award or the amount of the award) will be available from MAC prior to this date.

For more information about the Mississippi Artist Roster, contact one of the Commission’s Program Directors:

Charlotte Smelser, Performing Arts, 601.359.6037, csmelser@arts.ms.gov

Turry Flucker, Visual Arts and Crafts, 601.359.6075, tflucker@arts.ms.gov

Melody Moody Thortis, Literary Arts, 601.359.6035, mthortis@arts.ms.gov

Maria Zeringue, Folk and Traditional Arts, 601.359.6037, mzeringue@arts.ms.gov