We are already halfway through the year, and it has truly been remarkable to meet with artists and arts supporters at events within the state and across the globe. I had the pleasure of recently traveling to Helsinki, Finland for the International Ballet Competition. I’m truly delighted to have been a part of this unique experience and to witness such amazing talent on stage. We are thrilled that the next USA International Ballet Competition will be coming to Jackson, Miss. in June 2023.

In addition to selecting and preparing to announce our recent Mini-Grant recipients in July, we have received additional funds for the Building Funds for the Arts program. The Mississippi Legislature recently approved $3 million in bond funds to support the repair, renovation, and expansion of facilities that serve as sites for arts programming in communities across the state. Eligible organizations are asked to submit a letter of intent by Aug. 5. Nominations for the 2023 Governor’s Arts Awards will also close on Aug. 5. If you would like to recognize an artist who has made a significant contribution to the arts in the state, we encourage you to nominate them today!

If you haven’t already, we welcome you to register for the Mississippi Whole Schools Summer Institute. This event will be held on July 12-14 in Hattiesburg, Miss. at the Thad Cochran Center on the campus of The University of Southern Mississippi. The keynote speakers will be Steve Bollar, leadership coach at Stand Tall Leadership and Monique Davis, managing director of the Center for Art and Public Exchange (CAPE). In August, don’t miss the Mississippi Book Festival which will be held on Aug. 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.  

At MAC, we are welcoming a new member of our staff. Ellie Banks will be joining MAC as Communications Director in July. We are thrilled to have a full staff and look forward to getting a start on planning next year’s arts events.

My best,

Sarah Story
MAC Executive Director