Posted in Arts Experiences, GAP News, Greenville Public School District

Meet the Judges: Dr. Dina Bennett

We’re getting excited that Poetry Out Loud is right around the corner! To lead up to the competition next week, we will be featuring a biography of each of the three judges, information about the poems being presented, and the history of Poetry Out Loud. Read more about POL judge Dr. Dina Bennett after the jump!

Meet Dr. Dina Bennett

New to the Delta, Dr. Dina Bennett has recently joined the B.B. King Museum to head the education and outreach efforts of the Museum.

Dr. Bennett received her doctorate degree in Folklore and Ethnomusicology with a minor in African American & African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. Her recent work experience includes teaching music education at the university level, teaching in public schools, and contributing biographical articles of African American blues musicians to The Grove Dictionary of American Music.

“We are so glad to have Dr. Bennett join our professional staff here at the Museum,” said Dion Brown, executive director. “She brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to our work here. Education has always been at the heart of our mission, and the addition of Dr. Bennett renews this commitment.”

Dr. Bennett’s experience in the museum field has been both academic and practical. She did archival work at the Kansas Historical Society, worked in the Archives of African American Music & Culture at Indiana University, and as manager of collections and exhibitions at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Missouri where she developed exhibits as well as educational and public programs.

“My love of the Blues drew me to the B.B. King Museum,” Dr. Bennett said. “As an ethnomusicologist, one who studies music and culture, I hope to help enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of the rich cultural and musical legacy of the Delta and its contribution to the American musical landscape.”

Dr. Bennett recently moved to Indianola from Topeka, Kansas. She looks forward to becoming a part of the Indianola community and contributing to growth in the Delta.

via B.B. King Museum



The mission of the Greenville Arts Council is to promote the rich cultural heritage of the region and stimulate and encourage cultural activities, arts appreciation, arts education, and the creative works of artists. Some of the responsibilities that help define the Greenville Arts Council as the primary promoter of the arts in our area include offering art classes to children and adults, organizing community events, presenting an ongoing series of free exhibits featuring visual artists from the area and the state, and coordinating educational programs which teach arts-integration in local schools. The Greenville Arts Partnership between the Greenville Arts Council, the Greenville Public School District and our three community arts partners, Delta Center Stage, Delta Symphony Association and the Delta Children’s Museum, is focused on full arts integration in the GPSD elementary schools. Plentiful research documents the value of the teaching in and through the arts to help students understand core academic concepts on a deep level. The partnership was the first in the state of Mississippi accepted into the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program in 2003, joining over 100 other partnerships between school districts and arts organizations across the country. The partnership provides professional development for teachers, arts experiences for students and resource and referral on arts integration issues. Professional development has been provided in two ways, through workshops with Teaching Artists from the Kennedy Touring Roster and grade-level and/or discipline-specific professional development with our local staff. We present a series of model demonstration lessons to teachers in grades K to 6, demonstrating connections between Partnership free arts programming and required state frameworks. The partner arts groups present a series of live performances allowing each elementary child in the GPSD to attend at least once each year. The groups work with the Arts Council staff to develop accompanying curriculum-based educational material for distribution to teachers prior to each performance. Over the years, we have succeeded in providing basic arts integration training district-wide as well as in-depth professional development to allow groups of teachers to increase their level of mastery.