Each year, the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) and Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) offer grants that strengthen our state's arts and culture economy. MAC provides critical general operating funds, while MDA provides Visit Mississippi grants to promote tourism-oriented events like Cotton District Arts Festival and Forks & Corks. Thank you for your support of these two agencies. In addition, critical state and federal stimulus funds in 2020 and 2021 helped keep the lights on. As a steward of charitable resources invested in our communities, I'm writing on behalf of SAAC to share highlights and input with the hopes that it will further assist your work.
Here is a snapshot of how funds given to SAAC impacted Oktibbeha County. One-third of our community lives in poverty, which means access is vital. Although falling under various programs, collectively, in 2021, we:
1. Additional funding for essential organizations like the Mississippi Arts Commission means that they are able to award larger grants to keep arts programs going for the average Mississippian. MAC provides funding for countless arts organizations and presenters in the state. Without essential funding for these organizations, the gears that keep the arts going, programs and activities that sustain the arts in Mississippi would cease to exist.
2. Grant funds that can be allocated towards capital improvement and purchases are rare but allow organizations to grow exponentially. Although many arts organizations and presenters have their own facilities that would benefit from funds for capital improvements, many organizations do not own their own facilities, including SAAC. The growth potential is not limited to simply having more square footage. It would ultimately allow arts organizations to expand programming to allow for more low- to no-cost programs for the impoverished communities we serve.
Thank you for your service and support of the arts, the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Mississippi Development Authority, and other cultural programs across the state.Your support of these programs makes the difference of not just surviving, but thriving.
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