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USM Arts Institute Opens Call for 2020 AIM Award Nominations: Celebrating Excellence in Arts Education

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 13:30pm | By: Van Arnold

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

“Each year we invite members of the community to nominate candidates for the AIM Awards to celebrate their contributions to arts education and share their success stories,” said Dr. Jay Dean, executive director of AIM. “By submitting a nomination, you will help us recognize and honor those who are fostering the arts and preparing the next generation of artistic leaders.”

The 2020 AIM Awards mark the 3rd year in which those who epitomize the highest standards in arts education will be honored for commendable service to students and the community as a whole. Last year’s award recipients included:

  • Catherine Williams, English Teacher at West Marion High School in Foxworth, Miss.
  • Tammy Stanford, Dance/Theatre Movement Specialist at the Mississippi School of the Arts (MSA) in Brookhaven, Miss.
  • Terry Walker, Director of Choral Activities at Long Beach High School in Long Beach, Miss. 
  • Travis Coakley, Fine & Performing Arts Director/Director of Bands at Biloxi High School in Biloxi, Miss.
  • Daniela Pardo, Teacher of Strings; Education Outreach Coordinator at USM Symphony Orchestra in Hattiesburg, Miss.; and Education Director and String Faculty at Mobile Symphony Orchestra in Mobile, Ala.
  • Dr. Robert Brooks, Theatre Instructor, Mississippi School of the Arts in Brookhaven, Miss.
  • Karli Corr, Art Teacher at Our Lady Academy High School in Bay Saint Louis, Miss.

About the Nomination Process

  • Any member of the public can nominate high school level arts teachers, schools, or organizations for this award, or they can nominate themselves.
  • Qualified nominees include those who have enhanced education in, and through the arts; made significant contributions to students, school, or community; and improved Mississippi through teaching, performance, or other exemplary service.
  • Those eligible to receive the award are involved in the arts disciplines, including creative writing, dance, media and entertainment arts, music (bands, orchestras, choirs, and other musical ensembles), theatre, and visual arts. In addition, private teachers can be nominated.

The judges will select recipients, from each discipline, who best meet the eligibility criteria. Nominations must be submitted by March 3, 2020. Judges will evaluate the materials and notify the recipients by March 27, 2020. The Award recipients will be recognized at special events, either at their high schools/organizations or at Southern Miss, where they will be presented with the award.

To learn more about the award criteria and to submit your nominations visit