MAC Awards New Public Art Grants to Eight Communities

JACKSON, MISS. – May 21, 2021 – As COVID-19 restrictions ease and in-person events resume, the Mississippi Arts Commission is helping organizations explore new ways to use the arts in their communities through the agency’s Community Response Grants. Eight organizations, through a competitive application process, were awarded funding from MAC to help communities produce high-impact arts events and other projects in a way that adapts to COVID-19 challenges.

Organizations eligible to apply for this grant included Mississippi-based non-profit organizations, municipalities, schools, libraries and other units of local government.  MAC’s Community Response Grants provide up to $10,000 for the creation of arts-focused, socially distanced events such as public art, art exhibits or performances, significant arts-related virtual programming and arts-focused community visioning.

Funds were awarded to the following eight organizations:

  • The Arts, Hancock County, Bay St. Louis, to produce “Wall to Wall,” a socially distanced public art festival in which artists will paint murals on local businesses in Bay St. Louis.
  • City of Laurel, to partner with the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and Laurel Arts League to hire visual artists to paint city traffic boxes focused on telling the story of Laurel.
  • Fred Carl Jr. Small Town Center, Starkville, to partner with an elementary school to design an arts-focused outdoor learning environment and to produce a statewide toolkit to replicate the project.
  • Friends of Thacker Mountain Radio, Oxford, to produce an outdoor production of “Thacker, Live” radio show with Jim Dees and the Yalobushwhackers.
  • Opera Mississippi, Jackson, to bring opera to new audiences through the production of “Opera in the Air,” a series of five free pop-up concerts across metro Jackson.
  • Pike School of Art, McComb, to produce the McComb Earth Day Festival, which will also promote the city’s new mural project and arts and entertainment district.
  • Piney Woods Country Life School, Piney Woods, to produce a concert featuring the Piney Woods School Choir and to produce a Summer Performance Arts Camp.
  • Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Ocean Springs, to support an outdoor concert by Luther Dickenson inspired by Walter Anderson’s 3,000 square foot murals and to support a masterclass for high school students about the process. 

“Congratulations to the organizations that are producing artful events and community projects through funding from Community Response Grants,” said Sarah Story, executive director of MAC. “Nearly all of the grants awarded through this program will use a portion of the funds to hire artists, creating opportunities for organizations and individuals who were hard hit by the pandemic. This innovative grant was made possible by MAC’s ability to re-distribute funds for similar projects and events that were returned to the agency as a result of the pandemic. The Community Response Grant program allows MAC to lead the way in fostering adaptive, impactful arts programming around the state.”

For more information on MAC’s grants programs and other services, visit the agency’s website at