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Grants Fund Opportunity for Arts in the Delta

By July 18, 2013General



PHOTO: Pictured are campers at the 7th annual Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute.

The Bologna Performing Arts Center (BPAC) and Delta Music Institute (DMI) at Delta State were both recently awarded  grants for $3,800 from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC).  In partnership with the BPAC, the Cleveland School District received a $2,300 grant for the Link up! program.  These grants are a portion of the $1.27 million in grants made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The creative economy has never been more vibrant than it is today in the communities across Mississippi,” said Sallye Killebrew, interim executive director for MAC.

The grant provided the opportunity for the BPAC to host the 16th annual Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute (MSAI). The program provides two camps: the PLUS camp for ages 5-12 and the ARTS camp for ages 12-18. Both camps are packed with events that foster artistic development and utilize highly qualified instructors to work with all of the participants.

“The Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute was established in 1998 to provide exceptional arts instruction and enrichment for the young people of the Delta and the state of Mississippi,” said Whitney Cummins, arts education coordinator at the Bologna Performing Arts Center. “Since then, more than 2,700 young people from across Mississippi and the Southeast have studied both fine and performing arts at the Institute."
Executive Director of the Bologna Performing Arts Center Laura Howell said, “We are so appreciative of the Mississippi Arts Commission’s continuous funding. Their support enables us to present a higher quality residential arts experience that is unparalleled in the Delta."

The grant money awarded to the Cleveland School District and BPAC partnership for the Link Up! program will allow elementary students to participate in a comprehensive music curriculum. It will also allow the them to have the unique opportunity to perform with the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in a public performance at the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

“The BPAC is excited to partner with the Cleveland School District to implement a nationally acclaimed music education program for elementary students,” said Cummins.  “Link Up! will provide children with a well-rounded music curriculum, as well as an opportunity to perform with a professional symphony orchestra.”

The DMI Summer Residency Camp recently completed the 7th summer program allowing 20 students from the south, ages 15-18, to experience a full six days’ worth of class sessions involving three music career tracks: audio engineering, band performance, and songwriting. The funding for the camp is attributed to the MAC grant.

“DMI Summer Camp is extremely appreciative to the MAC for their support. Through the arts, these gifted and talented young people are nurtured and developed, enabling them to become a part of the larger creative community,” said Delta Music Institute Director Tricia Walker.

For more information about BPAC’s Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute camp or the Link Up! program partnership, call Whitney Cummins at 662-846-4844 or email For information about the DMI Summer Residency Camp, please contact or visit