Institute to serve as Advocate for the Arts

Institute to serve as Advocate for the Arts

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi

Jay Dean travels the great state of Mississippi and beyond every year meeting and talking with everyone from professional artists and arts teachers to leaders in government and business.

Each year he continues to spread the word about something we all know here in Hattiesburg — The University of Southern Mississippi is the flagship university for the arts in the state. The arts are vitally important to Southern Miss, an institution that attracts students who are incredibly talented in art and design, creative writing, dance, music and theatre.

With a mission to support the arts at Southern Miss, the new Arts Institute of Mississippi (AIM) was introduced to a capacity crowd of arts supporters at FestivalSouth 2016's finale event. Dean, executive director of AIM, made the announcement to a full house gathered to enjoy a concert by internationally acclaimed vocal artist Sandi Patty.

"The mission of the Arts Institute of Mississippi is to be a catalyst that allows and invites our arts departments to work together more closely, to promote arts programs at Southern Miss and to engage in global outreach," Dean said.

Working with the School of Music, Departments of Art and Design, Dance, English, Theatre and the Entertainment Industry program, AIM unifies the arts at Southern Miss under one umbrella, making a strong statement about the importance of the arts at the University. The message is one that will surely resonate with high school graduates considering an education and career in the arts.

Every year, Southern Miss presents significant arts events in which student artists are featured, and many of the University's arts graduates go on to achieve national and international success in their respective fields. Arts students are nurtured by faculty who are accomplished creative artists, and they too (as well as eager audiences) will be supported by AIM.

Dean, collaborating with arts department leaders, will facilitate and coordinate special projects, outreach activities and strategic initiatives in the arts.

"Through AIM I will have the opportunity to work with all of our arts departments on various projects. We will also be working on marketing opportunities and strategies for these departments. Sometimes they may work separately, and sometimes they may work together. It is important to invite all of these departments to participate and collaborate on projects that benefit the students, each department and the University as a whole," Dean said.

Many universities have the arts coordinated under one umbrella, which helps facilitate the development and execution of creatively diverse projects that surely enhance student experiences and faculty development. AIM, serving this goal at Southern Miss, will also seek to develop projects that will involve more students, faculty, staff and community members that will significantly improve the impact of our arts programs on the entire city, region and state.

"The idea of AIM came about as a result of a series of discussions about the importance of making the public more aware of the arts at The University of Southern Mississippi. AIM will work tirelessly to serve as a voice of advocacy and promoter of arts projects. Mississippi, and Southern Miss in particular, is rich in artistic talent, and we are ready to showcase this talent to the world," Dean said.

For more information about the Arts Institute of Mississippi, call 601.266.4315.