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Director’s Column

MAC Executive Director Malcolm White

 

March-April 2017

 

Look around the state, and you'll find events and programs proudly supported by the Mississippi Arts Commission. Last month, the Whole Schools Institute in Tupelo trained educators on how to integrate arts into their classrooms. The Oxford Film Festival brought thousands of visitors to Oxford and saw a $6,000 increase in ticket sales over last year. MAC, in partnership with the governor's office, honored six world-class contributors to the arts in Mississippi at the 2017 Governor's Arts Awards. We also published the new edition of the MAC Artist Roster, a juried directory of performing and teaching artists who have shown mastery in their fields. 

Last fall, we provided funding for eight counties that had not received MAC grants in ten years to host arts presentations and grant information sessions. The news story "Commission revives arts in 8 counties" shares the positive impact reported by community members, who may not have otherwise visited their local libraries, where the gatherings were held, nor engaged with the arts. 

I also had the great privilege of speaking at a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Placemaking workshop and training in Clarksdale, and a Building Creative Economy Assets workshop at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in my hometown of Perkinston. MAC continues to help equip members of Mississippi's creative economy with the tools and networks they need to thrive. 

We encourage you join us at our annual Arts Day at the Capitol on March 29, an opportunity to share our stories with legislators and community members at the Mississippi State Capitol. This will be followed by an evening event at Cathead Distillery. We look forward to seeing you and celebrating the good health of the arts in Mississippi.

Best,
Malcolm White, MAC Executive Director

 

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January-February 2017

 

We're in for an exciting year at MAC, having launched a strategic planning process that will shape our work for the next five years. Already, several hundred of you have shared in surveys and interviews how you think MAC can best promote and support the arts.

Here are just a few of the arts opportunities and events that are on the horizon. Next week we begin accepting spring grant applications to support individual artists and arts organizations, including Artist Fellowships and Folk Art Apprenticeships.  This month  we recognize six outstanding contributors to the arts in Mississippi at the 2017 Governor's Arts Awards.

Throughout the year, MAC will participate in projects that commemorate the Mississippi bicentennial, such as launching an arts education curriculum in partnership with the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Mississippi Department of Education.  We continue to champion the Mississippi Creative Economy, hosting roundtable discussions to understand the needs of artists and arts entrepreneurs.

Read on to learn more. As always, we thank you for supporting the thriving culture of the arts that defines us as a state.

Best,
Malcolm White, MAC Executive Director

 

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December 2016

Dear Mississippi Arts Commission supporters, partners, and friends,


We hope that this note finds you well. As we close out 2016, we’d like to share with you some big changes at MAC this year, from the members of our staff to the way we communicate with you.

I returned as Executive Director in March, which I describe as going “back to the future.” As most of you know from my 2005-2012 tenure at MAC, I am a big fan of change and enjoy the role of change agent. 

Since then, both the organization and I have continued to learn and grow. As I traveled the state for the past three years as Director of Visit Mississippi, I saw firsthand the impressive artists and arts organizations at the heart of our creative economy. This experience inspired new ideas about how to better manage, connect and share the power of the arts as a creative force, an economic and education tool and a way to improve civic pride in our communities. I look forward to drawing on this experience as MAC continues its work as an active supporter and promoter of the arts in community life and education. I’ve always known that the arts are my home, and it’s good to be back. 

We have launched a new e-newsletter and look forward to sharing monthly updates on MAC program activities, notable arts news and events, and grant announcements. Let’s envision a better Mississippi together. 

Best,

Malcolm White, MAC Executive Director

 

 

Archived columns from former MAC Executive Directors Tom Pearson, Sallye Killebrew, and Malcolm White (who first served as MAC's Director from 2005 to 2012).