Area arts programs get $200,000 in grants

By the numbers
Here’s a breakdown of Mississippi Arts Commission grant money for Northeast Mississippi:
*Alcorn County: one grant, $20,750.
*Clay County: one grant, $4,750.
*Lafayette County: nine grants, $49,100.
*Lee County: nine grants, $58,865.
*Monroe County: one grant, $1,000.
*Oktibbeha County: nine grants, $46,851.
*Pontotoc County: one grant, $7,400.
*Tishomingo County: one grant, $250.
*Union County: three grants, $13,450.
*Total: 35 grants for $202,416.
By M. Scott Morris
Daily Journal
Northeast Mississippi has collected more than $202,000 for arts programs from the Mississippi Arts Commission.
On Monday, MAC announced that it distributed $1.5 million in grants across the state for the 2010 fiscal year.
Lee County received nine grants for a total of $58,855. Charles T. Smith received $2,000 to teach a fiddle music fellowship, while the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra got $21,165 for general operating support.
This was the first year for the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Mississippi Inc. to apply for a grant, and the organization received $4,250 to help 12 students who are taking ballroom dance lessons.
“This is our fourth year and we lost a local sponsor, so we really needed this to keep it going,” said K.C. Grist, the clubs’ marketing director.
Part of the money will be used to purchase costumes and shoes for the clubs’ “Dance Like the Stars” fundraiser.
“I just left the class a while ago,” Grist said Monday afternoon. “They were doing a waltz.”
Corinth Theatre-Arts got Alcorn County’s one grant for $20,750. Other counties to get one grant include: Clay, $4,750 to fund the Howlin’ Wolf Blues Festival; Monroe, $1,000 for Aberdeen Main Street; Pontotoc, $7,400 for the Whole Schools project at North Pontotoc Middle School; and Tishomingo, $250 to provide entertainment for the 2009 Iuka Heritage Festival.
“The Sparks Family singers said it would be $500, so this will cover half of that,” said Sandra Medlin, secretary-treasurer of the Iuka Heritage Committee. “This was our first year to apply. We didn’t know about the grant until this year.”
Lafayette County gathered nine grants that totaled $49,100. Oktibbeha County also collected nine grants for $46,851.
Union County earned three grants for a total of $13,450. Part of the money will pay for a Tupelo Symphony Orchestra concert in New Albany. The rest will support the Tallahatchie RiverFest and the Down from the Hills Heritage Music Series.
“We applied for three and got three,” said Bethany Dalton, director of tourism and community development for Union County. “Next year, we’re going to apply for more.”
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.

Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Jounrla