Hattiesburg native Tom Pearson will return to Mississippi to head the state arts agency after a quarter-century in arts education and leadership in Florida. He starts Aug. 1. The Clarion-Ledger reports the 58-year-old Pearson has been named the executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission following a six-month search that netted 174 applicants nationwide.
Pearson’s most recent position is arts education administrator for the school district of Palm Beach County, serving arts teachers and students at 187 schools.
The top arts spot has been vacant since Malcolm White left to become Mississippi Development Authority’s tourism director in January.