As MAC’s grants director, Melody Moody Thortis provides oversight of the agency’s grant programs. She previously served as MAC’s arts-based community development director, where she managed the agency’s community development and visual arts grant programs. Prior to her work at MAC, Moody Thortis worked with nonprofits and municipalities across Mississippi for more than 15 years as a professional fundraiser, grant-writer and consultant specializing in the fields of nonprofit management, advocacy, visual storytelling, facilitation and community engagement.

A native of Kingsport, Tennessee, Moody Thortis came to Mississippi in 1999 to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Belhaven University and went on to receive a master’s degree in International Development, Advocacy and Human Rights from Eastern University. She also holds a post-graduate Certificate in Creative Placemaking from New England College’s Institute of Art and Design, a partnership with the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking.

Moody Thortis is an acrylic painter as well as a vocalist and musician who plays claw-hammer banjo, guitar, percussion and washboard.