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Arts Commission News

For Immediate Release

Contact: Charlotte Smelser, Arts Education Director ( / 601-359-6037)

State Commissions Partner

to Reach Underserved Counties with Art Grants

Jerry Jenkins, African Djembe Drummer, will perform in Issaquena County Nov. 19.

JACKSON, MISS. – Nov. 2, 2016 – The Mississippi Arts Commission, in partnership with the Mississippi Library Commission, is launching a special initiative to provide underserved counties with grants for local artists and art programs.

In order to share information about its services and highlight the artists who benefit from them, MAC will host a variety of artists at libraries and other community spaces in Chickasaw, George, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jasper, Perry, Smith and Tunica counties in November and December. After the artists showcase their work, in disciplines such as storytelling, music, and dance, MAC staff will discuss how organizations and individuals can apply for grants in the arts. All events are free and open to the public.

“We pride ourselves in serving all 2.9 million people who call themselves our neighbors, our family and our fellow Mississippians,“ said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “Over the decade past, we discovered that we had not funded a grant in a handful of counties. With that in mind, we have launched this special initiative in concert with the MS Library Commission so that we can accomplish one of our most important goals - to reach the underserved.”

All guest artists have been selected for the Mississippi Artist Roster, a juried listing of professional artists who have demonstrated mastery of their work.

For details about each of the events, see list below.

Smith County
Floyd J Robinson Memorial Library
Raleigh, MS
Artists: Dianne Butler (Storytelling), Jason Mathena (Percussion)
Date: November 7, 2016
Time: 4:00 p.m.

Chickasaw County
Okolona Carnegie Library
Okolona, MS
Artists: June Caldwell (Storytelling), Damein Wash (Music)
Date: November 15, 2016 Time: 5:00 p.m.

Humphreys County
Humphreys County Library System
Belzoni, MS
Artists: Chuck Galey (Children’s Publishing & Illustration), Doris Jones (Storytelling)
Date: November 15, 2016
Time: 5:00 p.m.

Tunica County
Robinsonville Public Library
Robinsonville, MS
Artists: Patricia Carreras (Storytelling), Ricky Burkhead (Percussion)
Date: November 16, 2016
Time: 4:30 p.m.

Perry County
Richton Public Library
Richton, MS
Artists: Da Terrence Roberts (Storytelling), Julie White (Dance)
Date: November 17, 2016
Time: 3:30 p.m.

Issaquena County
Mayersville Multi-Purpose Building, in collaboration with the City of Mayersville
Mayersville, MS
Artists: Amelia Brame (Dance), Jerry Jenkins (African Drumming)
Date: November 19, 2016
Time: 1:00 p.m.

Jasper County
Bay Springs Municipal Library
Bay Springs, MS
Artists: Annie McKee (Writing & Storytelling), Baba Asante Nalls (African Drumming)
Date: December 8, 2016
Time: 10:30 a.m.

George County
Lucedale-George County Library
Lucedale, MS
Artists: Richelle Putnam (Writing & Songwriting), Kim Whitt (Visual Art)
Date: December 12, 2016
Time: 6:00 p.m.


The Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) is a state agency serving more than two million people through grants and special initiatives that enhance communities, assist artists and arts organizations, promote arts education and celebrate Mississippi’s cultural heritage. MAC is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mississippi Endowment for the Arts at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and other private sources. For more information, visit

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