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Area songwriter, performer is recipient of MAC grant


Big Joe Shelton

Big Joe Shelton
Photo by: Courtesy photo



Jan Swoope



Blues musician Big Joe Shelton of Macon has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC). This grant is a portion of the $1.3 million in grants the Commission awarded in 2017-2018 and helps with expenses incurred with Shelton's recent recording project, "Ridin' A Chicken." The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. 


"Mississippi is home to many famous artists and performers who have set high standards for artistic achievement in our state," said Malcolm White, MAC executive director. "Mississippi artists tell the story of our state and contribute to its cultural richness. The Mississippi Arts Commission is honored to support their outstanding work." 


Shelton said, "MAC grants aid Mississippi artists of all genres maximize our creative potential by assisting us with the costs associated with our particular artistic endeavors." In the case of "Ridin' A Chicken," the grant helped fund such things as studio time, replication and promotion of the record. 


Shelton is a 2012 Blues Music Award nominee and a member of the Mississippi Arts Commission's Artist Roster and Folk Arts Directory. He is also included on the Catfish Alley Mississippi Blues Trail Marker located in downtown Columbus. 


"Being awarded a Mississippi Arts Commission Fellowship inspires a sense of satisfaction and self-confidence knowing that I am contributing to Mississippi's illustrious heritage of artistic excellence," said the musician. 


"Ridin' A Chicken" is available online and in Columbus at the Columbus Arts Council's Rosenzweig Arts Center and the Tennessee Williams Home Welcome Center. 


MAC is a state agency serving residents of the state by providing grants that support programs to enhance communities, assist artists and arts organizations, promote the arts in education and celebrate Mississippi's cultural heritage. Established in 1968, it is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, National Endowment for the Arts, Mississippi Endowment for the Arts at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and other private sources.  


For information about the MAC, contact Communications Director Anna Ehrgott at 601-359-6546 or [email protected]


Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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