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Arts-Based Community Development

“I would like to sincerely thank MAC for providing us with the operating funding to assist in continuing our mission of providing artistic excellence to the community.”


                                  Annette Kirklin, Director

                                  Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation


The Arts-Based Community Development (ABCD) program works to ensure access by residents in communities all over Mississippi to high-quality arts programs by supporting programs at the local level. Believing that the arts can be a highly effective tool for social and economic improvement on the local level, the Commission makes funds available to communities through the ABCD grants program.

Staff Contact:  Connie Souto Learman -

Grants for Organizations

Project Grants
Much of the work done to improve Mississippi communities through the arts is accomplished on a project-by-project basis in communities throughout the state. The Commission supports these efforts with its Project Grant category.
Operating Grants
Community arts organizations are critical partners in assuring access to the arts for all citizens. The Commission, therefore, offers Operating grants to organizations whose primary mission is community & economic development.
The Commission’s Minigrant category is designed to meet a wide variety of needs in Mississippi communities, neighborhoods, and arts organizations and to stimulate arts projects in rural and underserved communities. Minigrants help fund, presentations of artists; hiring consultants for organizational development; and conference registration and training.

Arts-Based Community Development Special Initiatives

Creative Mississippi Institute

CMI’s mission of building a stronger Mississippi through training, services, resources, research, policy and investment in creative economy and creative placemaking begins with you! We cannot support place-based economic and placemaking initiatives without first hearing from place. The work in creative community building is as broad as it is extensive, and we believe that it is essential we create our priorities and opportunities with your input as we shape and define our programs and investments.

Core Arts

The Core Arts Initiative supports programs that are developed with and within the juvenile justice system. Each program uses the arts as a tool to decrease incidences of violence; decrease recidivism; increase school attendance; and provide positive experiences with adult mentors.

There are currently no new Core Arts programs being implemented by the Mississippi Arts Commission, however Arts-based Community Development project grants can be used to fund at-risk youth programs in communities across Mississippi.

More about Core Arts »


Americans for the Arts is a national arts service organization for local arts agencies, community arts organizations, and individuals. Americans for the Arts provides resources such as an economic impact report and calculator to estimate the economic impact of the arts in your community, an annual national convention and other professional development opportunities for community arts leaders.

The Arts Extension Service, also a national arts service organization, offers a Peer Advisor Training Program, free online workshops in community arts, biannual arts management institutes, and an online Certificate in Arts Management program.

Alternate ROOTS’ mission is to support the creation and presentation of original performing art that is rooted in a particular community of place, tradition, or spirit.