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Bologna Performing Arts Center

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit opens BPAC season

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Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit will play the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Aug. 24.

Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit will kick off the Bologna Performing Arts Center’s 2017-18 season on Aug. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Opening the night is special guest Amanda Shires and her band.

The concert is locally sponsored by Wade, Inc.

Amanda Shires

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist Jason Isbell and his mighty band, The 400 Unit, are on a U.S. tour following the release of their highly anticipated new album “The Nashville Sound” on June 16. The album is the followup to 2015’s critically-acclaimed “Something More Than Free,” which won two Grammy Awards and two Americana Music Association Awards.

Isbell has become one of the most respected songwriters of this era, and when he steps onto the stage with the mighty 400 Unit, they become one of the strongest live acts on the road today, captivating audiences worldwide. The 400 Unit features Derry deBorja (keyboards), Chad Gamble (drums), Jimbo Hart (bass), Amanda Shires (fiddle) and Sadler Vaden (guitar).

In March, tickets for a five-night run at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium in October sold out in just two hours. Tickets to their Mississippi Delta performance are now on sale at www.bolognapac.com or by contacting the BPAC Ticket Office at 662-846-4626.

McAnally to perform album release and benefit concert at BPAC

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On Thursday, Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m., the statewide non-profit organization Extra Table will host country music star Mac McAnally along with the Mississippi Bicentennial Orchestra and members of the Coral Reefer Band in a benefit concert at the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State.

Now, in his fifth benefit concert to help fight hunger, McAnally joins Extra Table to help get healthy food to the hungry across the Mississippi Delta. All profits from the show will be used to purchase healthy food for area feeding agencies.

Extra Table, founded by chef, author and restaurateur Robert St. John, is a non-profit organization committed to ending hunger in Mississippi by providing food pantries and soup kitchens with the nutritious food they need to feed Mississippi’s hungry.

Through a partnership with Sysco, the nation’s largest food distributor, Extra Table uses 100 percent of donations given for food to purchase healthy food bundles from Sysco, which are delivered free of charge on a monthly basis to 27 food pantries and soup kitchens that Extra Table is partnered with throughout the state.

In addition to the profits from the concert, McAnally is also announcing a special album release of biggest hits and favorite songs set to orchestration, with a portion of proceeds also benefitting Extra Table.

McAnally’s peers have voted him County Music Association Musician of the Year for an unprecedented eight years in a row. He’s a member of the Nashville Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame and Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer band. He has been releasing albums since he was 20, and he’s written several No. 1 hits, beginning with Alabama’s “Old Flame.”

Scheduled to release Aug. 25 on Mailboat Records, “Southbound” is the first of his 14 albums to present all original material in McAnally’s newly arranged orchestral context. The album features 16 tunes from his catalog, each one spotlighting members of Hattiesburg, Mississippi’s FestivalSouth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jay Dean, accompanying McAnally’s performances.

To purchase tickets to the Sept. 7 performance, visit http://bolognapac.com or www.extratable.org.

BPAC unveils 2017-18 season

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The Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University recently released its 2017-18 season. The new lineup features a total of 23 performances across four series: the Main Stage, featuring evening public performances; Family Series, geared at theatergoers of all ages; Recital Hall Series, featuring classical music; and the School-Time Matinee Series, providing educational opportunities for preK-12 students and educators.

There will be 11 performances on the Main Stage lineup. This year, the season begins on Aug. 24 with GRAMMY award-winning Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with special guest Amanda Shires, sponsored by Wade Inc. One of the most recognizable voices in country music Tracy Lawrence will play on Sept. 21, sponsored by Robinson Electric. On Oct. 3, the Aaron Neville Duo will tell it like it is in a concert sponsored by Delta State’s International Conference on the Blues. On Oct. 19, the singer-songwriter siblings Brothers Osborne, who have won “Vocal Duo of the year” at the ACM and CMA awards, will perform live in concert. On Nov. 2, the talented dancers of Ailey II of New York will capture audiences in a performance funded in part by South Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. This year’s holiday program is Red and Green, a family-friendly tap extravaganza by the world-renowned dancers of Rhythmic Circus and their swingin’ seven-piece band.

A brand new production of The Sound of Music begins the 2018 schedule on Jan. 25, sponsored by Guaranty Bank and Trust. On Feb. 6, Aquila Theatre brings to life Hamlet, arguably Shakespeare’s greatest play. The five-time GRAMMY award winner Michael McDonald will perform on Feb. 22, sponsored by Cannon Motors. The 20th anniversary tour of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning rock musical RENT comes to the Mississippi Delta on March 1. The Main Stage season will conclude with the Tony Award winning Broadway musical Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA on April 17, sponsored by Planters Bank. The 2017-18 season’s producing partner is Bolivar Medical Center.

The Family Series features two performances appropriate for all ages. Don’t miss the latest theatrical sensation B – The Underwater Bubble Show, an interactive performance that appeals to children and adults alike on Nov. 16. On March 6, the internationally acclaimed percussion artists TAO present Drum Heart, an energetic and unforgettable production.

The new Recital Hall series will begin on Nov. 14 with the Attaca Quartet who celebrate the timeless beauty of the string quartet. On April 12, New York-based brass quartet The Westerlies will explore jazz, roots and chamber music.

The School-Time Matinee Series will feature “Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey” sponsored by AT&T on Sept. 27; “How I Became a Pirate” sponsored by Walmart on Oct. 16; a matinee performance by Ailey II on Nov. 2 is funded in part by a grant from South Arts and the NEA; “A Garfield Christmas” sponsored by Heidi’s on Dec. 6; “Go, Dog. Go!” on Jan. 19 sponsored by Monsanto; a special daytime performance of “Hamlet” on Feb. 7; “Petra and the Wolf” sponsored by Entergy on Feb. 20; and “My Father’s Dragon” on April 5.

Tickets are now on sale to all public performances. More information on all performances, including videos, can be found at www.bolognapac.com. To purchase tickets, learn about becoming an Annual Member, for information on group tickets, or any other questions, call 662-846-4625.

BPAC receives more than $5,000 in grant funding for summer arts programming

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The Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute at the Bologna Performing Arts Center was granted more than $5,000 in funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission for the 2017-2018 school year.

These grants are a portion of the $1.3 million in grants the Commission will award in 2017-2018 and will be used to present Chuck Galey, an award-winning Mississippi illustrator and children’s book author from Jackson at the 2017 PLUS Camp. Further funding will be used for the 2018 CORE Arts camp, which will open to 12-18 year old artists in June of next year.

The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Arts organizations throughout the state of Mississippi play a pivotal role in sharing the power of the arts with people from all walks of life,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “The arts are for everyone, and the Mississippi Arts Commission is pleased to support arts organizations committed to growing the presence of the arts in their communities.”

Now in its 20th year of operation, the arts programs at the Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute are held on the campus of Delta State University, and function as a significant draw to DSU and the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Each year, MSAI provides arts education opportunities for more than 175 participants ranging in age from 5 to 18. PLUS Camp is a week-long day camp for children ages 5-11 that began Monday, June 17. The 2017 PLUS Camp is currently at full capacity, but a final free performance that is open to the public will be held on Saturday, July 22, at 10 a.m. on the mainstage of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Countdown to CORE Arts camp

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Only seven spots remain at CORE Arts camp, a two-week residential performing and visual arts camp for youth aged 12-18, held on campus at Delta State University.

CORE Arts Camp, part of the Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute, is a camp where young and emerging artists take classes in multiple artistic disciplines, all in preparation for final showcases that are free and open to the public.The camp begins June 4, and the last day to apply for admission is May 26.

Classes at CORE Arts 2017 include: contemporary dance, web series production, mixed-media portraiture, class voice, ceramics, audition-preparation workshops, and many more.

Students will have the opportunity to build their own schedules and take classes led by artistic professionals, including several professors from the Delta State University Department of Art. They will visit the recently renovated Wiley Planetarium on campus and take a field trip to Memphis to see a local production of “Aida,” a Tony Award-winning musical. Campus events include scavenger hunts and cookouts, movies shown on the big screen at the Bologna Performing Arts Center, and the camp-wide talent show.

For more information about CORE Arts Camp, contact Cade Holder at the Arts Education Office at 662-846-4844, or visit bolognapac.com. Spots are also available for PLUS Camp, a day camp for 5-11-year-olds that will take place July 17-22.