Posted in GAP News

GAC Staff Member wins Community Service Award

Megan Hines, the Greenville Arts Council’s Arts in Education Coordinator, was awarded the 2011 Deborah G. Moore Community Service Award presented by Mississippi Delta Service Corp/AmeriCorps *VISTA on February 21, 2012 at their annual banquet. This award is given annually to one AmeriCorps *VISTA who has completed their service commitment and has gone above and beyond while they are in service at their host site.

“We are so proud of Megan and her accomplishments. We have been very fortunate to be a part of the AmeriCorps *VISTA program; they have assisted us in providing such talent to our organization,” stated MacKenzie Stroh, Executive Director of the Greenville Arts Council.

Megan was a 2011 AmeriCorps * VISTA at the Greenville Arts Council and was recently hired as the new Arts in Education Coordinator in December 2011. While serving as an AmeriCorps *VISTA, Hines assisted with a variety of education projects and programming.

The Greenville Arts Council is a proud host site of AmeriCorps*VISTA service members since 2010. VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is a federal anti-poverty program administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. VISTA provides full-time volunteers (VISTAs) to support projects at nonprofit, grassroots organizations, and local government agencies that operate programs to help alleviate poverty in the United States. VISTAs strengthen and support these organizations by improving their infrastructure, expanding community partnerships, securing long-term resources, training program participants, and developing other activities that help build long-term sustainability for overcoming poverty.

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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.