NEA Chairman Visits Mississippi
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Lauren Von Foregger, Public Relations, Mississippi Museum of Art (firstname.lastname@example.org / 601-965-9911)
JACKSON, MISS. – July 20, 2017 – Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), made her first official trip to Mississippi July 17-18. While in the state, she visited arts organizations in Jackson, Oxford, Clarksdale, and Indianola, Mississippi, funded by the NEA and the Mississippi Arts Commission.
Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), made her first official trip to Mississippi July 17-18. While in the state, she visited arts organizations in Jackson, Oxford, Clarksdale, and Indianola, Mississippi, funded by the NEA and the Mississippi Arts Commission.
“It was a pleasure to see first-hand how arts organizations, artists, and arts leaders are connecting to the lives of so many Mississippians through the arts,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Whether it’s fueling innovation and creativity, connecting people with their heritage, strengthening the economy, or revitalizing communities, you are showing us that the arts are a good investment.”
For the current fiscal year, the NEA awarded $874,200 to Mississippi organizations. Of that amount, $794,200 was awarded to the Mississippi Arts Commission in its state partnership grant. The Mississippi Arts Commission uses the majority of funds it receives from the NEA for grants to arts and cultural institutions throughout the state. These grants ensure Mississippi’s arts organizations continue to provide high quality programming that enriches surrounding communities.
“The support Mississippi receives from the National Endowment for the Arts is critical to Mississippi’s creative ecosystem,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “Through NEA funds, MAC proudly supports organizations that bring art and culture to the masses as well as programs like Poetry Out Loud and special initiatives in MAC’s folk and traditional arts program.”
In 2010, the Mississippi Museum of Art received an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to facilitate the first year of programming for the Art Garden, a 1.2 acre outdoor space that is affectionately known as “Jackson’s front porch.” With a lawn and a performance space, the outdoor park allows the museum to launch public performances and programs that engage the community with art.
In 2014, the Mississippi Museum of Art became one of 886 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant, supporting Mississippi Byways (Byways), a two-year research initiative intended to explore the deeply-rooted arts traditions that distinguish Mississippi’s visual arts. Byways combined traditional methods with grassroots, documentary-style research to produce primary research on artists, artist communities, and collections.
“The National Endowment for the Arts’ support of arts organizations, communities, and working artists continues to enrich the quality of life in Mississippi and across the nation,” said Betsy Bradley, Director of the Mississippi Museum of Art. “At the Museum, recent NEA support has translated into dynamic public programming in The Art Garden, new documentation of contemporary artists, greater access to arts experiences for students and underserved communities, and much more. Most important, the NEA represents our nation’s shared values of curiosity, imagination, and innovation.”
This year, the Museum was graciously awarded an NEA grant to support an interdisciplinary symposium supporting the Museum’s upcoming bicentennial exhibition, Picturing Mississippi. The sixteenth presentation in The Annie Laurie Swaim Hearin Memorial Exhibition Series, Picturing Mississippi, 1817 – 2017: Land of Plenty, Pain, and Promise commemorates and celebrates the 200th anniversary of statehood for Mississippi. Picturing Mississippi is on view at the Museum’s Jackson location December 9, 2017 – July 8, 2018. For more information, visit http://www.msmuseumart.org.