History and Structure
The Meridian Council for the Arts, Inc. was designated the local arts agency for Meridian and Lauderdale County by the Meridian City Council and the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors in 1978. The MCA is staffed by an executive director and a secretary, and governed by a 28-member board of directors with an executive committee made up of the president, first vice president, second vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and the immediate past president. Standing and ad hoc committees oversee all aspects of the operations of the organization and are given specific goals and responsibilities.
In a county with a population of more than 76,000 the council serves more than 100,000 people a year through its Community Art Grants Program, the annual Threefoot Festival, workshops, and other co-sponsored special events each year.
Major sources of financial support include the Mississippi Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Meridian, Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, the Threefoot Festival, special fundraisers and YOU! MCA scope of work includes cultural heritage organizations and tourism events, as well as support for our partner art organizations and educational programming. This expands the scope of our grant writing and fund raising enabling us to offer project grants to local organizations. We apply to foundations and the federal government for additional funds dedicated to the Community Art Grant Program.
The Arts Council's Re-Granting Program will continue to be a large part of Meridian Council for the Arts' community outreach. It has funded more than $166,000 in matching grants to art organizations, schools and individual artists since 1992. Our plan to add matching project grants and the broadening of the scope of the arts council to include cultural arts and cultural heritage enlarge our economic impact on the community and the reach of arts into even more segments of our population.
Betty Lou Jones
1st Vice President
Holley Speed Davis
2nd Vice President
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Vel Young Graham
Shea Brewer Leake
Mary Catherine Pogue
Holly G. Triplett
WHAT WE DO
The Mission of the Meridian Council for the Arts is to foster and promote diverse art and cultural organizations, events, education and individual artists in Meridian and Lauderdale County, Mississippi, through leadership, partnership, collaboration, grants and services.
MCA promotes and provides information.
• Maintains a website, including a list of partner arts organizations with links to their websites and a calendar of events
• Publishes ArtsyFacts, an e-message newsletter
• Provides arts information to organizations and individuals via phone and e-mail (e.g. funding opportunities, available workshops, promotional opportunities)
• Stages the annual Threefoot Festival, a juried fine arts show
• Serves as an advocate to city, county and state governmental bodies and the public and private school systems
• Represents Meridian in state and national organizations
MCA develops and coordinates programs
• Sponsors professional development workshops for teachers
• Conducts workshops, seminars and conferences for artists and art organizations
• Provides funding for projects based on an annual competitive application process
• Provides in-school programs
• Sponsors and co-sponsors a variety of community arts programs
• Convenes formal and informal meetings of people involved in or interested in the arts
MCA provides technical services to arts organizations
• Acts as consultant (e.g. on grant writing, public relations)
• Acts as coordinator for organizations working together
• Acts as a non-profit clearinghouse for information and organization