HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the Hattiesburg Arts Council
Hattiesburg Arts Council director Rebekah Stark Johnson announces a $14,850 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission for the year 2014-1015. "We are so excited! This funding helps make so many great things happen," said Mrs. Johnson. "Our programs are as broad as the community of Hattiesburg and as deep as our hearts. We work at capturing the vibrancy of our city and showing off the talent, energy and creativity of the people that live right here in Hattiesburg."
Building on the previous work of the Arts Council in getting art and music into the schools, holding performances for adults and children alike, the October Brown Bag lunch and concert series downtown on Thursdays, and hosting arts exhibits like the Emerging Artists, and photography exhibits, the Arts Council is poised to further expand. Last year, the Arts Council introduced smART Space and Studio on the Go, the Art Is Our Nature eco-awareness focus, and opened a gallery and educational outreach space in the America Building. City Hall is another venue with rotating exhibits of art by local people or with local interest.
The current season kicked off with a gala in September honoring Brian Blair, "With a Song in My Heart," at the Hattiesburg Cultural Center. Art education in the Hattiesburg Public Schools took place with students in the 3rd-5th grade classrooms, and continued with four productions of Peter and the Wolf, featuring USM orchestra and On Your Toes Dance Studio, to over 3600 school children in the Pine Belt region. At present we are hosting an exhibit of the Mississippi Arts Commission 2015 Visual Arts Fellowship Recipients from Oct 8-22nd at the Cultural Center, and we are calling for artists to apply for our Emerging Artists show in December, which includes a high school art loft, as well as and an amateur photography competition and "a day in my life" middle school creative writing and photo exhibit in January. We are excited to launch a community sculpture project of "Little Free Libraries" in February. These individually designed, little library boxes, will be created by local artists or welcome volunteers, and filled with donated books to be exhibited, auctioned, registered and distributed throughout the Hattiesburg area. "What makes it so much fun is the enthusiasm and participation of so many of our friends, old and new ones, in Hattiesburg," says Johnson. "Most of our programs are interactive, educational and inviting, and almost all are free and open to the public, thanks to the generous support of our community, both public and private, and the continuing support of the Mississippi Arts Commission, with funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.
We are always open to new ideas, and use social media as well as traditional sources for getting the word out to our community. To volunteer, learn how to become a member, or for more information, go to our website at www.hattiesburgartscouncil.org. We know you will find something that interests you.