Message from the Director | February 2022

It’s nearly March and at the Mississippi Arts Commission, that means it’s crunch time for grant applications! Grants available include Artist Fellowships, Folk & Traditional Apprenticeships, Individual Project Grants, Organization Operating Grants, Organization Project Grants as well as inclusion in Mississippi Artist Roster and Teaching Artist Roster. Our grants staff has been busy answering questions through calls, emails, and Zoom meetings. With the grant deadline of March 1, we encourage you to finalize your application so you can hit “Submit” as soon as possible.

March will also bring opportunities for arts advocacy. On March 10 at 11 a.m., we’ll host “Arts Advocacy for Mississippi” webinar, where we’ll talk about how to tell the story of the arts in your community to state and national lawmakers. Many thanks to sponsors South Arts and Americans for the Arts for their generous support of this effort. Also, Arts Day at the Capitol returns to an in-person event this year, albeit with a few modifications from years past. We encourage you to join us on March 23, from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the State Capitol building in downtown Jackson.

Soon, we’ll have another opportunity to convene the Mississippi arts community. Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 12 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. for the State Arts Conference. Registration for the conference will open in early March.

Just a couple of short weeks ago, we celebrated the recipients of the 2022 Governor’s Arts Awards at the inaugural Art Crush Party and at the Awards Ceremony at the Two Mississippi Museums. It was a fun and inspiring two days of events, and we were overjoyed to welcome some of the 2021 recipients to these events as well. Thank you to our many sponsors and supporters for another successful year of celebrating the arts.

Last but certainly not least, in February, we celebrate Black History Month. At the Governor’s Arts Awards, we celebrated the accomplishments of four Black artists this year. Mississippi’s rich artistic legacy, in large part, stems from the talents of Black artists, and we encourage all to learn more about the history of Mississippi’s artists of color who helped shape modern music and have made significant contributions to every artistic field. If you haven’t had a chance yet, please check out Mississippi Folklife’s online exhibit on the Civil Rights Movement.  

I look forward to seeing each of you at our upcoming events this spring!

My best,

Sarah Story