Posted in GAP News, Mississippi Art News, Professional Development

GAC Receives Mississippi Arts Commission Grant

Greenville Arts Council has been awarded a $1,000 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC).  This grant is a portion of the $1.5 million in grants the Commission will award in 2012-2013 and will be used to host an intensive training for public school educators led by teaching artists Althea Jerome and Kathryn Lewis. The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The grants awarded by the Commission to arts organizations across the state provide funding for the staging of festivals, theatre performances, and many other arts-related activities. With these funds, the organizations work diligently to help tell the unique story of their community, and to reinforce the value of building a creative economy. These groups prove arts programs are vital to stimulate economic growth,” said Malcolm White, Executive Director of MAC. “Additionally, the arts provide a positive environment for learning, both in the classroom and in the community.”

The Greenville Arts Council promotes the rich cultural heritage of the Delta region and stimulates and encourages 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 the 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 Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, serves the residents of the state by providing grants that support programs to enhance communities; assist artists and arts organizations; promote the arts in education and celebrate Mississippi’s cultural heritage.  Established in 1968, the Mississippi Arts Commission is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, the Phil Hardin Foundation, the Riley Foundation, the Mississippi Endowment for the Arts at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and other private sources.  The agency serves as an active supported and promoted of arts in community life and in arts education.

For more information from the Mississippi Arts Commission, contact Susan Liles – 601.359.6031 or sliles@arts.state.ms.us

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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.