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MAC offering stimulus-funded grants

JACKSON — The Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) has introduced Arts Reinvestment Initiative (ARI) grants to non-profit organizations statewide to provide support for jobs in the arts that have been lost or are in jeopardy of elimination due to the current national economic downturn.

The funding for the initiative comes through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is being awarded to the MAC by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

MAC received $315,927 that will be awarded to 21 arts organizations and/or schools through this one-time special funding program.

“The arts are a vibrant and important part of Mississippi’s economy, but the creative sector’s vitality is susceptible to the same woes as traditional economic trends,” said Malcolm White, MAC executive director. “Rightfully, the federal government recognized the importance of the arts to the national economy and the need to invest in its future. This grant program represents Mississippi’s contribution to that effort.”

The NEA is receiving $50 million to support the preservation of arts jobs. A portion of these funds is being divided among the states and U.S. territories for distribution at the state level. Mississippi’s share of the funds is being administered and distributed by the MAC through the ARI.

The grant applications were adjudicated by a group of panelists with artistic and managerial expertise. The agency’s Board of Commissioners reviewed the panelists’ recommendations before making final funding decisions.

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