Delta Arts Alliance Archives - Page 2 of 3 - News and Events

The Delta Center donates harmonicas to the Delta Arts Alliance to support musical classes.

Delta Center expands learning outreach

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The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University recently donated over 40 “Learn to Play Harmonicas” to the Delta Arts Alliance (DAA) for music classes.

As music and art are cut from school curricula, the DAA seeks to find ways to bring the arts to schools around the Delta, and with the donation of these musical instruments, the Delta Center is helping them reach that goal.

The donation continues the working relationship between the Delta Center and the Delta Arts Alliance. In the past, the Delta Center has provided interns from the Robertson Scholars program at Duke University and the University of North Carolina to help with summer programs at the DAA.

Both entities hope that this donation will enable students from across the Delta to experience our musical heritage. Lee Aylward and Heather Miller of the Delta Center presented the packets to Rori Herbison, executive director of the DAA.

The Delta Center is the manager of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, a partnership with the National Park Service.

The third annual Flight 2020: The Vision of Cleveland exhibit  opens Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Delta Arts Alliance and Studio 230.

Flight 2020 soars on

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In 2012, local artist and Delta State University art professor Cetin “Chet” Oguz, spearheaded a group of dedicated citizens through an exciting concept known as Flight 2020: The Vision of Cleveland.

The community-based art project, now in its third year, asks citizens to write their aspirations for Cleveland’s future, in hopes that they will come to fruition by the year 2020. Project leaders and artists then create visual representations of these visions, which go on display at the annual Flight 2020 exhibit at the Delta Arts Alliance in Cleveland.

This year’s opening is scheduled for Sept. 9 at 6 p.m., an event that doubles as the DAA’s annual membership meeting. Additionally, the exhibit will be co-hosted at Oguz’s brand new art gallery, Studio 230, just two doors down from the DAA.

The idea for Flight 2020 was inspired by Oguz’s desire to impact the community inclusively — and to increase community involvement across Cleveland’s diverse population.

“It started with thinking about art as a trigger for social change,” said Oguz. “Cleveland has so many good qualities, and I think 2020 is about being productive and creative with the assets we currently have, along with the positive changes we hope to see in the future.”

Oguz is quick to point out the project is not his alone. In the previous exhibits, contributions have come from elected officials, community members, Delta State faculty, staff and students, and multiple artists living outside Mississippi who support the concept.

“Flight 2020 has started the conversation and put a number of good ideas on the table,” said Oguz. “Now we want to see action, to see where these dreams can go.”

A number of visions focus on community development issues that would increase the quality of life for Clevelanders. From a splash pad water park, dog park, movie theater, skateboard and BMX park, improved bike lanes on city streets — these are just a few on the list of significant insights.

The Flight 2020 platform has caught the attention of Cleveland Mayor Billy Nowell, a proud Delta State alumnus who understands the importance of progression in Cleveland.

“The creative minds of Flight 2020 and the ideas of our citizens will continue to help lead our hometown,” said Nowell. “We want to keep Cleveland on the cutting edge when it comes to quality of life, and of course, all of these ideas will lead us down the right path.

“As long as I am mayor, I will sincerely listen to these ideas, as well as discuss them with our city board and city officials. The goal is not just discussion, but also action.”

The Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce has also supported the exhibit, understanding that many of the chamber’s initiatives align with the Flight 2020 premise.

“The efforts of Flight 2020 go hand-in-hand with many of our programs — from Cleveland Main Street, the Asset Mapping Development Group, Leadership Bolivar County, Young Professionals — the list goes on,” said Lisa Cooley, Main Street manager for the chamber. “We look forward to the ideas presented each year because they help us consider what’s best for the future of Cleveland.”

Community events have also been sparked by the exhibit, another goal of the project. Multiple “Ride the Line” communal bike rides around Delta State’s campus and historic downtown Cleveland have operated under Flight 2020. Delta State students, President William N. LaForge and community members have all participated in the event, which intends to bring awareness for cycling lanes, trails and community integration.

This year’s exhibit will also feature a collaborative project by the Teen Advisory Group program offered at the Robinson-Carpenter Memorial Library in Cleveland. TAG actively advocates for the rights of teens, along with fostering reading and library services. The group’s project will incorporate music, literature and dance.

Oguz continues to remain hopeful for positive change sparked by Flight 2020, just one motivation to open his new gallery Studio 230.

“It’s good to appreciate everything we have in Cleveland, but I think it’s beneficial to reevaluate what we can all do better,” he said. “The gallery was my personal way to bring together creative minds for community projects and create opportunities for educating youth through art lessons.”

For more information on the exhibit opening or to contact Flight 2020: The Vision of Cleveland, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Flight-2020-The-Vision-of-Cleveland/201134073300243.

Delta Arts Alliance Spring Program

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Delta Arts Alliance will present its SPRING PERFORMANCE – a culmination event of its 11 after school programs, including the School of Dance, Simplicity of Music, ARC of Success, Future Artists and DMI/DAA Digital Media Arts.

Mississippi Stories in Motion

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On Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 6:30pm in Jobe Hall, Front Porch Dance, a Jackson-based contemporary dance company, will present an evening of “Mississippi Stories in Motion,” displaying original choreography that aims to awaken and transform the audience’s awareness of the unique images, landscapes, and stories of Mississippi.

Admission is free.

This event is sponsored by the Delta Arts Alliance and Front Porch Dance.

For additional information regarding this event or the Delta Arts Alliance, contact Rori Herbison at (662) 588-3342.


Sundance Institute returns with Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, General, Students | No Comments

Click HERE to expand the festival schedule.

Delta State University will present “Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue,” a partnership between Sundance Institute and four U.S. federal cultural agencies. The event will feature free screenings of eight films with moderated discussions, panels and artist roundtables. The program comes to the state through the Mississippi Film Office and Crossroads Film Society. Following stops in the Magnolia State, the program extends to other states and international locations.

Screenings on campus will start Feb. 20 with the film “The Rocket,” which will be presented in Holcombe-Norwood Room 151 at 6:30 p.m.

For a full schedule of events, visit www.sundance.org/filmforward, or for more information, contact Michelle Johansen at mjohansen@deltastate.edu.

On Feb. 23-24, filmmakers Marta Cunningham (“Valentine Road”) and Nisha Pahuja (“The World before Her”) will be in attendance for Q and A sessions. On Feb. 23 at 1 p.m., “Valentine Road” will be showing in the Bologna Performing Arts Recital Hall, followed at 4 p.m. by “The World Before Her.” The following day at 10 a.m., “The World Before Her” will be played again.

“I was compelled to make ‘Valentine Road’ and use this film as an educational tool for schools to start dialogue around compassion,” said Cunningham. “Through Film Forward, I am excited to meet audiences in Mississippi to talk about the themes, challenges and issues that unite us all.”

Common themes explored in the films include communities in conflict, overcoming adversity and the transformative power of art. In each location, Film Forward seeks audiences that have limited access to independent film. In Mississippi, the program will explore the regional tradition of storytelling, blues music, literature and filmmaking, and delve into the topic of tolerance.

Also on Feb. 24 at 12:30 p.m., a panel discussion will be held on “The Power of Storytelling,” looking at how stories are used, from music to film, to expose issues and themes to a greater community. Panelists will include Cunningham, Pahuja, Alison Fast and Chandler Griffin from Barefoot Workshops, associate producer Thabi Moyo and Chasidy Buckley, a Delta State graduate and one of the subjects of “Prom Night in Mississippi.” Each will speak about his or her experiences and motivations.

Film Forward uses the power of cinema to promote broader cultural understanding, inspire curiosity and enhance awareness of shared stories and values across generations, religion, ethnicity and borders.

“The films in the Film Forward series are stories that absolutely had to be told — not that needed or wanted to be told, but that someone had to tell,” said Ward Emling, director of the Mississippi Film Office. “We all have stories — this series teaches us about passion and about vision, about acting on a belief and about the power of film.

“All of these films come from a very driving place and will have impact. Each of these films has the power to change us as a people and in our singular lives.”

A screening of “Dancing in Jaffa” is also scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on March 6 at the Delta Arts Alliance in downtown Cleveland.