As MAC’s grants director, Melody Moody Thortis provides oversight of the agency’s grant programs and program staff. Prior to her role as grants director, she served as MAC’s arts-based community development and visual arts program director and executive director of Bike Walk Mississippi. Melody has over 15 years of experience working with nonprofits and municipalities across Mississippi as a professional fundraiser, advocate and consultant specializing in the fields of nonprofit management, advocacy and community engagement. In her career as a professional grant writer, she has secured over 2 million dollars in grant funding and as a facilitator, has led over 100 workshops, seminars and trainings.

A native of Kingsport, Tennessee, Melody moved to Mississippi to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Belhaven University in 1999 and went on to receive a master’s degree in International Development, Advocacy and Human Rights from Eastern University in 2009. She also holds a post-graduate Certificate in Creative Placemaking from the New England College Institute of Art and Design. Melody is an acrylic painter as well as a vocalist and musician who plays claw-hammer banjo, guitar, percussion and washboard.