Grants bring out community's artistic side

May 19, 2012 4:49:52 PM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]




[email protected] 


Grants can often make the difference between a project coming to fruition or languishing unfulfilled. This academic year, the Starkville Area Arts Council has awarded more than $5,000 in grants in Starkville schools to support artistic pursuits. 


"Grants are used for projects incorporating the visual arts, music, theater, dance or literature in the curriculum," said SAAC Education Committee Chair Ellen Boles. Other members of the committee include Barb Adkins, Joe Evans, Nancy Hargrove, Paula Mabry and Linda Morse. 


Classroom grants of up to $200 were awarded to teachers for projects that affect only one class of students. General grants of up to $500 were awarded for projects affecting multiple classes or whole schools, or that will impact students for many years. 


SAAC grant recipients for the school year included: Robin Dibble and Marcia Neal (Poetry Out Loud-or Bust!); Terrie Kinnett and Joy Dill (Bookless Books for Bookless Bookworms); Carol Hairfield (Starkville High musical); Amy Dearman (How great Thou ART); John Staggers (music, drumming, dance); Beverly Doremus (Express Yourself); Patricia Collins (clay/sculpture); and Libby Pollard (an Artistic Welcome);  


Additional grants went to Susan Allen (expanding drawing book collection); Donna Norris (African art project); Cindy Gilmer (art table); Krista Vowell (spring musical production); Robin Pigg (stained glass); Cheryl Andrew (alphabet photos); and Clifton Taylor (International Fiesta of Music). 


"The arts council is happy to help support the programs and activities of gifted teachers, students, artists, community art educators and entertainers," said Boles. 


The next application process for Arts in Education grants begins in August. Applications will be available at, or by contacting the SAAC at 662-324-3080. 


The work of the organization is supported through membership dues and events including the annual gala, Everything Garden Expo, Art in the Garden and Cotton District Arts Festival, as well as grants from the City of Starkville, Oktibbeha County, the Mississippi Arts Commission and the National Endowment of the Arts.

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.