John W. Bateman
SAAC Executive Director
Support for the arts may never be more critical than when resources dry up like a Mississippi creek in August. Gov. Phil Bryant recently released his 2019 budget recommendations. Did you notice what happened in the arts? The legislature develops its own budget, which means the Governor’s is indeed a “recommendation.” Still, this doesn’t mean we should ignore the discussions.
Take a look at some of these noted cuts:
These are, indeed, simply recommendations. It’s worth noting, however, when assets important to a community may not share the same level of support from the Governor’s Office.
In a time of austerity, how do we respond? How do we ensure the organizations and programs we value have what they need to weather the storm and make it to the next sunny day? What arts assets do you find important in Starkville? Where can we collaborate, fill in gaps, and create valuable partnerships in a time of need? Quite significantly, when and where does private funding come into play, particularly for programs that improve access to art and art-education opportunities?
Fortunately, in the Starkville area, there are a number of nonprofit arts organizations. On this #GivingTuesday, consider who you might support, whether literary arts, visual arts, or the performing arts:
Magnolia Independent Film Festival
MSU College of Art, Architecture, and Design
Starkville Community Theatre
Starkville Public Library
Starkville Strings School
Want to support Starkville Area Arts Council on #GivingTuesday? We have something potentially even more spectacular than memberships: help us compete for matching funds in the Newman’s Own Giving Challenge, by donating here.
Where would we use these #GivingTuesday funds? Public art. Art education programs. Murals. Workshops. Under 40 art shows. Artist awards. Help us make it happen. If not SAAC, then one of our partner organizations above. Let's show 'em what we've got.
For Immediate Release
STARKVILLE, MS -
Mark Wood, owner of Chalet Arts in Starkville, MS, is the 2017 recipient of the Award of Excellence in the Arts, given by Starkville Area Arts Council. This award, nominated by SAAC board members and not given every year, goes to the individual, group, or organization who has contributed the most to promote and build the arts in the Starkville area.
“Well-deserved and long overdue,” says SAAC Executive Director John W. Bateman. “I don’t think the general consumer is aware of how much help and thought Mark gives to artists... without any recognition. He truly cares about helping highlight the tremendous talent that exists in Starkville.” Past Board President Jon Turner says: "We are very excited to honor Mark in this way. I can't say enough about the support he has provided SAAC over the years. He is a perfect example of how much Starkville cares for its arts community."
Several local artists shared their input, as well. Walter Diehl, photographer (and current SAAC Board President) shared this: “I know firsthand of Mark’s enormous generosity when it comes to working with artists and their artwork. I appreciate Mark’s careful critique as well as his gifted eye in helping to make my photographs stand out. Whatever success that I have had in photography owes in part to my productive and positive interactions with Mark.” Joe MacGown noted, unequivocally, that Mark “has single handedly done more to promote the arts in the Golden Triangle region than anyone.”
Artist Laurie Burton (former SAAC Board President) noted that, across the board, artists who have worked with Mark find him helpful, generous, and enthusiastic. He often gives supplies and services to art students and artists at reduced or no charge: too many discounts to count. Burton described Mark’s thoughtful and sound advice when discussing presentation, printing, or framing. His critical and positive feedback motivates artists to excel and he is often thought of as the artist’s biggest supporter. Mark Wood’s relationship with art students and local artists goes beyond his bottom line and is an excellent example of a true supporter of the arts.
Thank you, Mark Wood!
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