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Released August 26, 2003

SOUTHERN MISS RECEIVES STATE AND REGIONAL SUPPORT FOR ARTS

HATTIESBURG - Faculty in The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Theatre and Dance, School of Music, Museum of Art and the Family Network Partnership in the School of Social Work submitted seven grant requests for arts projects for the 2003-2004 academic year.

Suzanne Hirsch, development officer for the College of Arts and Letters at Southern Miss, has received "approved" status on each grant submitted.

The Mississippi Arts Commission, the state's arts granting agency, and the Southern Arts Federation, the southeastern regional granting agency, have awarded funds to support Southern Miss students through public performances, student training and community outreach programs. These arts programs benefit all of south Mississippi through school matinees, public lectures and performances intended "to bring the world to south Mississippi," Hirsch said.

"Our programming is valuable to the community, which is reflected through these awards," she said. "To receive these grants - all of them, as a matter of fact - in light of a national budget crisis is a true reflection of the importance of our arts programs at Southern Miss."

Totaled, the governmental grants topped $35,000 in external funding for the university.

"The faculty took advantage of every state and regional grant opportunity available to us. We were able to apply for project support is so many areas because our budgets are all separate within each college on the departmental level," Hirsch said.

The Southern Arts Federation awarded the Department of Theatre and Dance a grant to bring The Actors Gang of Los Angeles to Hattiesburg's Saenger Theatre Sept. 5 for a public performance of Anne Nelson's "The Guys." In addition, the ensemble will give an acting workshop for local schools and the community.

The department also received three additional grants from the Hattiesburg Arts Council, Mississippi Arts Commission and the Southern Arts Federation for a two-week residency in September with the Shapiro and Smith Dance Company of New York, N.Y. Included in the package will be a new work for the Repertory Dance Company at Southern Miss, master classes, school matinees and a public performance Sept. 18.

The School of Music received a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission for a three-day residency with Jazz Reach, featuring the Metta Quintet, a jazz ensemble from New York City, in spring 2004. This program will bring matinee performances to local schools and public performances to Hattiesburg and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The Museum of Art at Southern Miss received support from the Mississippi Arts Commission to fund one-week residencies with Department of Art alumni Ed McGowin and Thornton Willis during the 2003-2004 academic year. Each will present lectures to art majors, to public schools and to the community.

The School of Social Work's Family Network Partnership received funding to build a public art project and the Community Arts School, an educational program supported by Partners for the Arts at Southern Miss, received funding to support its student training fellowship program.

Hirsch emphasized how important grant awards like these have become to Hattiesburg and surrounding communities. "These projects offer the community world-class activities to experience while offering faculty increased opportunities for recruitment, professional development, and support for what they are offering students in their classrooms and studios.

"To continue receiving support, our patrons need to keep their local representatives informed on how much they appreciate these opportunities," Hirsch said.

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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM

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