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BPAC Awarded $5,000 from Mississippi Arts Commission to Present Teaching Artists

The Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University received two recent grant awards from the Mississippi Arts Commission and will contract several teaching artists and arts integration specialists as part of the Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute (MSAI) with the funding.

At MSAI this week, the BPAC will host more than 100 campers at PLUS Camp, a weeklong day camp filled with performing and visual arts classes, that culminates in a final exhibition and live performance on Sat., July 20 at 10 a.m. at the BPAC. The event is free and open to the public, and welcomes arts enthusiasts as well as camper parents, friends, and families.

Amanda Koonlaba, a teaching artist accredited by the Mississippi Arts Commission, will lead a self-portraiture course using mixed media, so each of the children will leave camp with a finished piece that represents aspects of their personality. Koonlaba was named the Elementary Art Teacher of the Year for the state of Mississippi in 2016 and received the Arts Integration Service Award from the Whole Schools Initiative, a program of Mississippi Arts Commission.

Returning faculty this year include music director Kathy Hull, a veteran teacher from the Montessori schools of Nashville who has led the PLUS Camp showcase for more than a decade. Joining her for choreography is Mandy Bell, owner and studio director of Charisma Dance Company in Grenada, MS. Other courses include dance technique, fiber crafts, and traditional music.

The BPAC’s grant awards from the Mississippi Arts Commission totaling $5,000 are a portion of the nearly $1.4 million in grants the commission will award in 2019-20. The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The Mississippi Arts Commission is proud to support arts organizations as well as arts activities and festivals around the state through grant-making,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “These funds help broaden the reach of arts by educating our communities about Mississippi’s enduring creative legacy and offering arts experiences and performances to people in nearly every area of the state.”

For further information on educational programming at the Bologna Performing Arts Center, contact the arts education office at (662) 846-4844. To connect with MAC, contact Anna Ehgrott, communications director at (601) 359-6546 or