- Since 1997, Partners for the Arts has supported wholeheartedly
the arts programs at The University of Southern Mississippi.
At a press conference Thursday at the Polymer Science building
on campus in Hattiesburg, the chair of the advisory board
for the organization announced a plan to provide even greater
support and stability to this highly visible arm of the university.
our inception, the Partners' role was limited to supplying
funding for events and programs that mainly benefited its
members and the community-at-large," said Nancy Guice,
chair of the advisory board for Partners.
seen firsthand the exceptional programs offered here and having
been privy to the many talents of the faculty and students,
we have adjusted our role to better serve the arts and their
educational outreach needs."
Hirsch, assistant to the dean for development for the college,
describes the current process for fund raising as a "free-for-all"
have held individual annual fund drives to support themselves,"
Hirsch explained. "Thus, one arts patron may receive
numerous requests for financial backing of different programs."
said the new plan allows for a more streamlined approach for
fund raising that will "provide better visibility for
all arts programs and relieve the community of the constant
pressure to support numerous projects annually."
12 months of planning, the Partners advisory board voted on
April 9 to approve the plan, thereby becoming the umbrella
fund-raising organization for Southern Miss' arts programs.
Freedom of choice played a crucial role in the adoption of
this means is that Partners for the Arts will serve the arts
as the Eagle Club serves athletics," Guice said during
the news conference. "Any sponsorship to the arts during
the academic year of August to May will automatically make
the donor a Partner at levels designated by the amount of
may designate their contribution to any arts area they would
like to support. This restructuring plan will better support
what many of us take for granted every day."
its first seven years of operation, Partners has sponsored
such events as concerts by Marvin Hamlisch, Ray Charles, and
B.B. King; professional dance companies like Ballet Florida
and Jane Comfort; lectures by renowned artists and museum
curators; and theatrical productions from the Alabama Shakespeare
Festival and the Shenandoah Shakespeare Company.
2003-04 membership year, Guice also announced a Partners gala
event October 24, 2003, featuring Grammy Award-winning artist
Kathy Mattea in concert. In addition, Partners will collaborate
with the Southern Miss arts areas in hosting guest artists
such as The Actors Gang of Los Angeles, the Shapiro and Smith
Dance Company, visual artists Ed McGowin and Thornton Willis
and the Jazz Reach Metta Quintet.
only will these events be great arts events for all of us
to attend, but will include performances and educational opportunities
for local K-12 schools and our own University students,"
Partners for the Arts membership campaign will begin immediately
and will continue through August. For more information, contact
Suzanne Hirsch at (601) 266-5922 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.