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TFA Graduate Fellows partner with Rosedale Freedom Project

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The TFA Graduate Fellows Program at Delta State University partnered with the Rosedale Freedom Project to host a Spring Service Day in the organization’s garden on March 24.

For the the day of service, participating volunteers seeded over 100 plants, weeded the RFP Freedom Garden and built three raised beds.

“It was a truly special experience to have volunteers spend their Saturday helping serve alongside other people who are committed to the betterment of Mississippi,” said Lucas Rapisarda a fellow who works with the RFP.

The TFA Graduate Fellows Program is a two-year fellowship program at Delta State offered to Teach For America alumni, with the goal of retaining TFA alumni in Mississippi.

During the fellowship, selected fellows work to design and implement social entrepreneurship projects to find solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing Mississippi. Each year, the program hosts three service says across the state. Each opportunity is open to TFA Fellows, stakeholders, community members and students. Service says offer the chance to actively support nonprofits by donating time to the community and a showing a willingness to work for the betterment of others.

For more information on service opportunities and the TFA Graduate Fellows Program, visit www.tfafellows.com or find the program on Instagram @tfafellows and Facebook.

The program is funded through a grant from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. The principal goal of the foundation is to contribute to the overall economic advancement of the state of Mississippi by making funds available to four-year colleges and universities and graduate professional schools located in the state.

Michael McDonald Plays the Mississippi Delta

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Michael McDonald will take the stage Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bologna Performing Arts Center (BPAC) at Delta State University. The concert is locally sponsored by Cannon Motors.

Tickets start at $30 and are on sale at the BPAC Ticket Office, by phone 662-846-4626, or online www.bolognapac.com.

One of the world’s most distinctive singing voices, Michael McDonald is often imitated but never duplicated. He’s had enough humility over the years to freely blend that voice with others’, whether as a member of Steely Dan, a Doobie Brother, as a highly successful solo artist and songwriter, a member of the supergroup the Dukes of September or, most recently, reaching the Coachella generation as a celebrated co-star on Thundercat’s indie hit “Show You the Way.” Fans who’ve wanted to hear that 50,000-watt clear channel of a voice all by itself have had to bide their time—not just minute by minute, but year by year—waiting for McDonald to reclaim a solo spotlight.

Enter Wide Open, McDonald’s first new album in nine years, and his first set of all-original material since 2000. McDonald has nonetheless remained relevant through the early 21st century; he received his 13th Grammy nomination for Motown, a platinum-selling tribute to the greatest of all soul labels. He subsequently released a top 10-charting sequel, Motown Two along with a Christmas album, both of which certified as Gold Records. Following came Soul Speak, a collection of classic covers and a handful of original songs. But Wide Open finds him rediscovering his other voice—that is, his songwriting voice— in a big way, penning or co-writing 11 of the album’s 12 tracks. It’s a cogent reminder that he won Record and Song of the Year Grammys for co-writing as well as singing the Doobie Brothers hit “What a Fool Believes.” Wide Open marks a return to that classic’s emotional urgency alongside fiercer and fresher band arrangements than he’s ever created before.

With a career that encompasses five Grammys, numerous chart successes and personal and professional accolades, as well as collaborations with some of the world’s most prominent artists, Michael McDonald remains an enduring force in popular music. Hailing from St. Louis, McDonald arrived in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, honing his talents as a studio musician before becoming an integral part of Steely Dan. In the mid-’70s McDonald was invited to join the Doobie Brothers as the band redefined their sound with McDonald serving as singer, keyboardist and songwriter on such Top 40 singles as “Takin’ It To The Streets,” “It Keeps You Runnin’,” “Minute By Minute” and “What A Fool Believes.”
Throughout the ’80s and ’90s McDonald’s solo career took off with a string of hits including “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near),” “Sweet Freedom,” “On My Own” (with Patti LaBelle) and the Grammy-winning James Ingram duet “Yah Mo B There,” plus he co-wrote the Van Halen hit “I’ll Wait.” McDonald has performed with a who’s-who of critically acclaimed artists across a number of genres, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Vince Gill and Grizzly Bear.

Tickets to see McDonald start at $30 and are available at the BPAC Ticket Office, by phone 662-846-4626, or online www.bolognapac.com.

Spring Movie Series returning to BPAC

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Returning for its sixth year, the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State will show new releases of major motion pictures on its big screen in the Delta & Pine Land Theatre. All tickets are $5 for general admission seating and are available at the BPAC Ticket Office by phone at 662-846-4626 or online www.bolognapac.com.

All three films are rated PG and will be shown on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Popcorn and candy concessions will be available for purchase to enhance the movie experience.

The series begins Feb. 13 with the film “Wonder.” Based on the New York Times bestseller, “Wonder” tells the inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman. Born with facial differences that, up until now, have prevented him from going to a mainstream school, Auggie becomes the most unlikely of heroes when he enters the local fifth grade. As his family, his new classmates and the larger community all struggle to find their compassion and acceptance, Auggie’s extraordinary journey will unite them all and prove you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

Disney Pixar’s film “Coco” will be shown March 13. Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead. After meeting a charming trickster named Héctor, the two new friends embark on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

On May 1, “Peter Rabbit” makes the jump from beloved storybook character to the big screen in this irreverent, contemporary comedy with attitude. James Corden voices the character of Peter. Peter Rabbit’s feud with Mr. McGregor reaches new heights as both compete for the affections of a kind animal lover who lives next door.