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AIM Awards

The Arts Institute of Mississippi (AIM) at Southern Miss is now accepting nominations for the 2020 AIM Awards, which seek to recognize and honor high school level arts teachers, schools, and organizations that are making an impact through exemplary achievements in arts education throughout the state of Mississippi. 

Congrats to our 2020 AIM Award Recipients


Photos from 2019 AIM Award Recipients

Ms. Daniela Pardo, 2019 AIM Outstanding Arts Educator Award in the Strings category. Seated left to right with the students: Ms. Connie Hudson, District 2 Commissioner; Mrs. Valerie Johnson, Semmes Elementary School principal; Dr. Michael Miles, Interim Director of Orchestral Activities at USM; and Ms. Daniela Pardo, 2019 AIM Award Recipient.

Ms. Catherine Williams, 2019 AIM Outstanding Arts Educator Award in the Creative Writing category. Ms. Williams is the English Teacher at West Marion High School in Foxworth, Miss.

Ms. Karli Corr, 2019 AIM Outstanding Arts Educator Award in the Visual Arts category. Ms. Corr is an Art Teacher at Our Lady Academy High School in Bay Saint Louis, Miss.

Dr. Robert Brooks, 2019 AIM Outstanding Arts Educator Award in the Theatre category. Dr. Brooks is the Theatre Instructor at the Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven, Miss.

Mr. Travis Coakley, 2019 AIM Outstanding Arts Educator Award in the Bands category. Mr. Coakley is the Fine & Performing Arts Director/Director of Bands at Biloxi High School in Biloxi, Miss.

Call for Nominations

Any member of the public can nominate high school level arts teachers and directors, schools, or organizations for this award or they may nominate themselves for the awards. In addition, private teachers, including studios, can be nominated.  These awards may be received more than once, so if your nominee is a previous recipient, they are still eligible to be nominated again. However, a new form, along with supporting materials, must be filled out each year and resubmitted. 


  • Online nomination submission deadline is Tuesday, March 3, 2020
  • The recipients will be notified by mid-April, and must agree to receive the award in person, either at their high schools/organizations,  or at a special discipline event at Southern Miss on date(s) to be determined in the spring of 2020. 

Evaluation Criteria

Awards are made for outstanding work in arts education in the disciplines, including creative writing, dance, media, music (bands, orchestras, choirs, and other musical ensembles), theatre, and visual arts.

The judges will select recipients who best meet the following criteria:

  • Excellence in Arts Education;
  • Extent to which this person or organization has had a profound and enduring effect on arts education;
  • Extent to which this person's or organization's work enhance(s) the school’s and/or community's image.

3  Steps for the Nomination

 1. Consider the achievements of your nominee:

  • Are you nominating a Mississippi high school arts teacher/individual or a Mississippi high school arts organization that has made an outstanding contribution to a school, a community, or the state?
  • Has your nominee (individual or organization) enhanced education in, and through the arts?
  • Does your nominee represent the best of Mississippi’s cultural traditions?
    Has your nominee enhanced Mississippi through teaching, performance, or exemplary service?
  • Has your nominee made lasting and significant contribution to students, school, or community?
2. Prepare/collect the supporting materials:
  • A one-page narrative describing why the nominee is outstanding and expanding on the qualities and achievements that contribute to this;
  • A resume (if individual);
  • A short biography (if individual) or organizational description (Approximately. 100 words);
  • A photo of nominee or photo of group.
    • Not required, but you may also attach media, audio recordings, video recordings, photographs, or writing samples (for writers/poets only)
    • Two recommendation letters.
    • We would appreciate the submission of any media to help us promote and share their success stories.

3. Submit the online nomination form by Tuesday, March 2, 2021.


Submit a Nomination


For questions, please e-mail: aimFREEMississippi