What a jam-packed July we have had at MAC! Earlier this month, MAC hosted our 2022 Mississippi Whole Schools Summer Institute. The event was held on July 12-14 in Hattiesburg, MS., at the Thad Cochran Center on the University of Southern Mississippi campus. We had 224 attendees with 36 learning opportunities each day, including a lunch performance and learning component. Thank you to our speakers who brought their expertise to our educators. A special thank you to The Phil Hardin Foundation and the Mississippi Department of Education for making this event possible. A big thank you to Charlotte Smelser, Arts Education Director for MAC, and the work of her incredible team. They made this event a great success! 

MAC also announced this month that we are pleased to award more than $1.6 Million in grants to 260 organizations, schools, and individual artists. MAC is proud to provide nearly twice as many grants as last year, investing in Mississippi’s creative workforce, education, artists and organizations, and local communities. The funding for these grants is made possible by the National Endowment of the Arts and the Mississippi Legislature. Thank you for your continued support!

MAC is hitting the road at the beginning of August for four Listening Sessions throughout the state. The Arthur Alley team, a Mississippi-based consultant group, will guide a group conversation. I will be there asking questions and listening to your feedback. We will use the information we gather from the listening session for our new strategic plan. 

  • Tuesday, August 2, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Ocean Springs, at the Walter Anderson Museum Community Center
  • Thursday, August 4, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in Ridgeland at the Bill Waller Craft Center, Harbor View Room (upstairs)
  • Wednesday, August 9, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Oxford, at the Powerhouse’ Theatre.’
  • Thursday, August 10, from 1:30 to 2:20 p.m. in Indianola, at the B.B. King Museum & Delta Interpretive Center 

If you are unable to attend one of these sessions in person, please fill out our survey by visiting

As a reminder, the deadline for letters of intent for the Building Funds for the Arts program and nominations for the 2023 Governor’s Arts Awards is Friday, August 5. 

The Mississippi Traditions Exhibit will open on August 1, 2022, at the Carnegie Public Library in Clarksdale, MS! The exhibit features the work of five traditional artists around the state, including Alan Kolodny (tatter and jewelry maker), Janice Mitchell (quilter), Vish Shenoy (sitar player), Paul Gore (sign painter), and Sharde Thomas (fife player). The exhibit will be on display through the end of August. For more information about the exhibit and programs, visit

The Mississippi Book Festival is also right around the corner on August 20 at the State Capitol building and grounds in downtown Jackson. Some of the authors who will make an appearance include Alice Walker, Beth Ann Fennelly, Lee Durkee, Becky Hagenston, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Joshua Nguyen, Sadeqa Johnson, Robert St. John, Kiese Laymon, James Ransome, and William Dunlap. 

Meet the MAC is returning! We are excited to see everyone in person! Be on the lookout for more information coming soon!