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Arts Commission News Program

"Mississippi Arts Hour" Radio Show & Podcast 

Each week, members of MAC's staff host "The Mississippi Arts Hour," a radio program broadcast on Mississippi Public Broadcasting's FM and digital radio networks. The show features interviews with Mississippi artists, musicians, craftspeople, and others involved in arts and culture from around the state.

Broadcast Schedule:

Mississippi Public Broadcasting's Think Radio (on the statewide FM network): Sundays, 3:00-4:00pm

Also: Mississippi Public Broadcasting's Music Radio (statewide digital signal): Saturdays, 11:00am-12:00pm
You can also listen online at the MPB Radio page

For artists or organizations who are interested in being considered for a guest spot on the show, please visit this page for more information.

For those who are unable to tune in for the live broadcast, MAC offers an edited version of the show as a download or a podcast. If you have an iPod or other mp3 player, you can subscribe to the show through iTunes or by copying and pasting our RSS feed into your mp3 player's software program.

You can also download the mp3 file of the show from this page (right-click with your mouse on the "Listen/Download" button, choose "Save Target As" and save it to your computer) or listen to it directly from this page by clicking on the "LISTEN" link following each show description.

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Upcoming Shows

  • April 27th - Joy Carino, state Poetry Out Loud winner
  • May 4th - Leland Thompson - Miss. Boychoir
  • May 11th - Creative Mississippi Edition

Recent Shows

Following is a list of "Arts Hour" shows broadcast within the last year. You can sort the list by the different categories listed below. If you are looking for an older show, visit the "Arts Hour" archive.

Holly Lange (April 20, 2014) Susan visits with Holly Lange from Jackson. She is a fund-raiser and event planner and has helped several non-profits across Mississippi with their work. She also shares her Easter ham recipe with Susan..
Sue Lobrano - Intl Ballet Competion (April 6, 2014) Diane talks with Sue Lobrano, Executive Director of the USA-International Ballet Competition. The IBC was the first ballet competition to be held in the Western Hemisphere, joining competitions in Varna, Bulgaria, Moscow and Tokyo. Lobrano talks about the Competition's time in Mississippi, as well as the upcoming competition this June.
Soul Singer Vick Allen (March 30, 2014) Larry visits with southern soul singer and producer Vick Allen. A native of Jackson, Allen got his professional start as a member of the gospel group The Canton Spirituals, but moved into secular music in the late ‘90s. He’s had a number of hit songs in the southern soul charts and has also written songs and produced for several other performers, including Mel Waiters and Willie Clayton.
Jazz Singer Cindy Scott (March 23, 2014) Tom visits with jazz vocalist Cindy Scott of New Orleans. A native of Mississippi, Scott is currently active as a performer in New Orleans. They talk about her musical upbringing in Mississippi as well as her current CD.
Laff Co - Oxford Improv (March 16, 2014) Jodie interviews Oxford-based improv group Laff Co. The group, which is celebrating their tenth anniversary, performs throughout the state. They explain the basics of improv and each member talks about how they got involved in the artform.
Water Valley's Mickey Howley (March 9, 2014) Allison speaks with Water Valley Mississippi Main Street Director and art gallery owner, Mickey Howley. Howley talks about how Water Valley is turning its creative assets into community development, economic development and a place the New York Times wrote about as "something special".
Musician Jimbo Mathus (March 2, 2014) Susan talks with Mississippi musician Jimbo Mathus. He shares some stories of his musical childhood in Northeast Mississippi and talks about his new CD, "Dark Night of the Soul".
USM Symphony's Jay Dean (February 23, 2014) Diane Williams visits with Jay Dean, the conductor for the University of Southern Mississippi's Symphony Orchestra in Hattiesburg. Dean talks about a number of his current projects, including the orchestra, the Hattiesburg Concert Association, the Natchez Festival of Music and the Mississippi Opera.
Blues Legend James Cotton (February 16, 2014) Larry talks to blues harmonica player and vocalist James Cotton, the Lifetime Achievement recipient of this year's Governor's Arts Awards. Cotton is a native of Tunica. He started in the blues at a young age. He played in Muddy Waters’ band for twelve years before going out on his own as a bandleader in the mid-1960s.
Lesley Silver of the Attic Gallery (February 9, 2014) Allison talks with Lesley Silver of the Attic Gallery in Vicksburg. She opened the gallery in downtown Vicksburg, Mississippi 41 years ago and has fostered the careers of hundreds of artists. Silver features a broad range of folk to contemporary artists from throughout the Southeastern U.S.
Songwriter Jim Weatherly (February 2, 2014) Tom speaks with songwriter Jim Weatherly, the Excellence in Music recipient for this year's Governor's Arts Awards. Weatherly led bands during high school and college and played dates throughout the South until he moved to Los Angeles with his rock band. During his years in L.A., Jim wrote songs which not only became pop and R&B classics, but also crossed over to country, gospel and jazz. In 2006, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame.
Actor/Playwright John Maxwell (January 26, 2014) Jodie interviews actor and playwright John Maxwell of Jackson. Maxwell has been called "Mississippi’s Acting Ambassador," and has performed the show at the Smithsonian and The Piccolo Spoleto Festival. His most memorable performance was at the Cultural Olympiad in Atlanta where nine Nobel Laureates were in the audience along with former President Jimmy Carter. Maxwell continues to tour with "Mr. Faulkner" as well as his new project, "The Religious Monologues."
Artist William Baggett (January 19, 2014) Diane visits with visual artist William Baggett, the Excellence in Visual Arts recipient for the 2014 Governor's Arts Awards. His paintings and his printmaking works are included in collections throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. He has worked with both French and American art publishers to personally execute fifteen original print editions in ateliers in Paris and New York.
Creative Mississippi Institute (January 12, 2014) This week, Larry Morrisey talks to Allison Winstead, the Community and Economic Development Director at the Mississippi Arts Commission about creative place making. It's the idea of giving people the tools and resources to make their communities a more vibrant place to live. They also talk about the creation of the Creative Mississippi Institute; a training initiative for communities in Mississippi to learn how to use their cultural assets to connect people to place.
Gospel Musician Leo Welch (January 5, 2014) Larry travels to Bruce, Miss. to talk with gospel guitarist and singer Leo Welch. As a young man, Welch started out in the blues, but later shifted to playing gospel. He's currently celebrating the recent release of his debut CD on Big Legal Mess Records out of Oxford.
Writer Richelle Putnam (Dec. 22, 2013) Jodie interviews writer and musician Richelle Putnam from Meridian. Putnam is an experienced presenter, conducting writing workshops in a variety of settings.
Music Promoter Arden Barnett (Dec. 15, 2013) Susan speaks with Jackson-based music promoter Arden Barnett. Barnett produces a wide range of live music events in Jackson and other communities around the state through his production company Ardenland. They talk about his years in the music business and some of his thoughts on the future.
Curator Turry Flucker (Dec. 8, 2013) Diane interviews Turry Flucker, an independent curator and cultural historian. They talk about his research interests in African American art. Flucker is especially interested in documenting visual artists who were responding to the Civil Rights movement in South through their work.
Clay Artist Conner Burns (Dec. 1, 2013) Larry travels to Natchez to visit with clay artist Conner Burns. A native of the city, Burns lived in a number of different places before leaving the corporate world to focus on his art. He conducts workshops and shows his work across the country, but keeps his studio in downtown Natchez.
David Keary - Ballet Mississippi (Nov. 24, 2013) Diane talks with David Keary, Artistic Director for Ballet Mississippi in Jackson. The company has a long history of providing performances and classical ballet training for central Mississippi. Keary talks about continuing the tradition begun by the company's founders, focusing on classical technique, discipline, performance opportunities and community outreach.
MSU Choral Director Gary Packwood (Nov. 17, 2013) Tom Pearson visits with Dr. Gary Packwood, the Director of Choral Activities at Mississippi State University. They discuss his current work at MSU as well as his past conducting work at a number of international festivals.
Writer & Actor Beth Kander (Nov. 10, 2013) Larry Morrisey talks with writer and actor Beth Kander. She has been involved in the Jackson arts scene for over a decade. They talk about her work as a playwright, actor, and fiction writer.
Actor John Howell (Nov. 3, 2013) MAC's Jodie Engle talks with Jackson-based actor and educator John Howell. They talk about the artistic roots of his family, his development as an actor, and his work with Jackson's Fondren Theatre Workshop group.
Singer Linda "Lady L" Cameron (Oct. 27, 2013) Diane talks with Linda "Lady L" Cameron, an R&B and blues singer based in the Jackson area. They’ll talk about her performances at venues around the state and her work with husband and fellow singer G.C. Cameron. They’ll also play tracks from her recently released CD, "Tonight."
Writers Tom Franklin & Beth Ann Fennelly (Oct. 13, 2013) Larry interviews writers Tom Franklin & Beth Ann Fennelly from Oxford. The husband and wife team have just published The Tilted World, their first collaborative book. Set in the Delta during the 1927 Flood, the book tells the story of a female moonshiner and a revenue agent who plays the blues.
Filmmaker Chandler Griffith (Oct. 6, 2013) MAC Public Relations Director Susan Liles visits with filmmaker Chandler Griffith from Barefoot Workshops. A Jackson native, Griffith presents filmmaking workshops in the Mississippi Delta and around the world.
Andy Young from Pearl River Glass Studio (Sept. 29, 2013) Larry visits with glass artist Andy Young, owner of Pearl River Glass Studio in Jackson. They talk about the origins of the studio, their current work, as well as the research and design process Young and his associates utilize when producing a new stained glass window or other glass work.
Robert St. John & Wyatt Waters (Sept. 22, 2013) Diane talks with writer and restaurateur Robert St. John and artist Wyatt Waters about their work putting together An Italian Palate, their latest collaborative book.
Writer Michael Gandy (Sept. 15, 2013) MAC's new Executive Director Tom Pearson talks with writer Michael Gandy. Gandy is a prolific mystery writer who distributes his books for free to readers throughout the world.
Photographer Mitch Davis (Sept. 8, 2013) Diane interviews photographer Mitch Davis. A Jackson native, Davis' day job is with the Mississippi Supreme Court, but he's an active photographer within the community.
George Mitchell on Hill Country Blues (Sept. 1, 2013) Larry talks with photographer and field recordist George Mitchell. They discuss his new book, Mississippi Hill Country Blues 1967, which features photography and essays from his 1967 trip to the area to document blues legends like R.L. Burnside and Othar Turner (photo of Joe Callicot by George Mitchell).
Tom Pearson, MAC's New Exec. Director (August 25, 2013) Larry visits with Tom Pearson, the Arts Commission's new Executive Director. They talk about his roots in Hattiesburg, his years as a band director in south Mississippi, and his more recent work in Florida as an arts administrator and educator.
Vocalist Pam Confer (August 18, 2013) Diane speaks with Pam Confer, a Jackson-based jazz vocalist and motivational speaker. As part of their discussion, they talk about how she grew up in a musical family which fostered a love for singing and sharing her musical talents.
Elvis' Guitarist Scotty Moore (August 11, 2013) Larry talks with rock legend Scotty Moore, Elvis' first guitarist and James Dickerson, Moore's co-author on his recently republished memoir. Moore talks about being on the road with Elvis, recording at Sun Studios, and his later career as an engineer in Nashville.
Hip-Hop Writer Garrad Lee (August 4, 2013) Mary Margaret talks with historian and hip hop advocate Garrad Lee. Lee tells about the roots of hip hop culture and the current hip hop scene in Jackson. Featured music includes artists on Lee’s Homework Town record label: 5th Child, James Crow and Liver Mousse.
Family Reading Bonds Program (July 28, 2013) Diane interviews David Morgan with the Mississippi Humanities Council and storyteller Doris Jones about MHC's Family Reading Bonds program. The program helps to promote an interest in the public library and encourage families to read books and talk about ideas together.
An Introduction to Southern Soul (July 21, 2013) Larry visits with Chicago-based music writer David Whiteis to talk about "Southern Soul-Blues," his new book that documents the contemporary soul blues scene. He documents many Mississippi artists in the book, including Bobby Rush and Denise LaSalle. Whiteis also details the challenges that current artists face in getting radio airplay and promoting their music.
Mid-Town Partners (July 14, 2013) Mary Margaret talks with Whitney Grant, Creative Economy Coordinator for Mid-Town Partners in Jackson. Whitney shares insight on how the creative economy is blossoming in the Midtown neighborhood and talks about several innovative projects, including an arts business incubator and co-op commercial kitchen.
Charles & Talamieka Brice (July 7, 2013) Diane visits with Talamieka and Charles Brice. They are a husband wife team, both award winning artists, with a combined 20 years of experience in visual storytelling through photography, graphic design, and illustration. They talk about the joy and challenges of running a business and working together.
Bassist Barry Bays (June 30, 2013) Larry travels to Cleveland to visit with bassist Barry Bays. He’s one of the busiest bass players in the Delta, playing with a wide range of musicians, including blues, jazz, and singer-songwriters. Bays is also a faculty member for the Delta Music Institute at Delta State, where he leads the student bands and teaches guitar and bass.
Bluesman Jesse Robinson (June 23, 2013) Mary Margaret talks with guitarist and vocalist Jesse Robinson on this week’s edition of the Mississippi Arts Hour. Jesse has roots in the Tchula area, but has long been a staple of the Jackson blues scene. Mary Margaret talks to Jesse about his recent collaboration with the Two Rivers Blues Connection, a project that has Jesse recording and performing with musicians from the Sao Paulo region of Brazil.
Dancer Stephanie Artz (June 16, 2013) Diane visits with dancer Stephanie Artz, a contemporary dancer who is active with working with youth around the Mississippi Delta.
Keep Cleveland Boring (June 9, 2013) Larry travels to Cleveland to visit with Weejy Rogers and Justin Huerta, the main people behind "Keep Cleveland Boring," a project that produces music festivals, artist showcases, and an arts and culture newspaper.
Bluesman Jarekus Singleton (June 2, 2013) Mary Margaret talks with guitarist and singer Jarekus Singleton, a 28-year old college basketball all-star turned blues performer. Jarekus talks about his early roots as a bass player in his grandfather’s church and his love for live performance.
"Old Masters to Monet" Exhibit (May 26, 2013) Diane visits with Julian Rankin from the Mississippi Museum of Art. They talk about the museum's current exhibit, "Old Masters to Monet," which includes masterpieces by many French painters, including Renoir, Degas, and Monet. They also discuss the museum's ongoing programs.
Music Writer David Dennis, Jr. (May 19, 2013) Larry talks with New Orleans-based (and Miss. native) music writer David Dennis, Jr. about the state of hip hop music in Mississippi. Dennis talks about some of the special characteristics of Mississippi rappers, as well as some of the notable up and coming artists from the state.
Gourd Banjo Maker Jason Smith (May 12, 2013) Mary Margaret talks to banza maker and player Jason Smith. The banza, an African instrument considered the ancestor to the banjo, is a stringed instrument made from a gourd. Jason talks about the history of the banza, his relationship with mentor Scott Didlake, and how he makes the unique instruments. He also plays a number of songs on the banza during the interview.
African Drummer Jerry Jenkins (May 5, 2013) Diane interviews African drummer Jerry Jenkins of Vicksburg. Jenkins is a member of MAC's Artist Roster. He tells of the instruments, rhythms, and stories of the Malinke people of West Africa through his performances.
Delta Pioneer Memoir ( April 14, 2013) Mary Margaret talks with Kerry Hamilton and Sheilah Hamilton Pantin, descendants of Mary Hamilton, an early pioneer of the Mississippi Delta frontier and one of the first white women to cross the Sunflower River. Her recently re-published autobiography, Trials of the Earth, is an amazing story of adventure, mystery, sorrow, joy and great bravery.
Guitarist/Composer Mark Howell (March 31, 2013) Larry interviews Mark Howell, the director of Winterville Mounds near Greenville. He's also an accomplished composer and musician. They talk about his years learning guitar and trumpet while growing up in Philadelphia (Miss.) as well as his time working as a professional musician in New York City.
The Como Mamas (March 24, 2013) Mary Margaret White talks to the Como Mamas: Ester Mae Smith, Angela Taylor and Della Daniels. Mary Margaret traveled to Como to attend a release party for the group's new CD Get an Understanding. She talks to the women about their deep roots in the musical traditions of Como and Panola County. Photo by Emily Williams for The Panolian.
Writer C. Leigh McInnis (March 17, 2013) Diane talks with writer and Jackson State University professor C. Leigh McInnis. They talk about how his childhood shaped his creative life and his work teaching writing.
Jimbo Mathus (March 10, 2013) Mary Margaret White hosts with musician Jimbo Mathus. Enjoy in-studio acoustic performances by Jimbo, as well as an in-depth conversation about his 2013 Fat Possum Records release, "White Buffalo." He shares the stories behind the songs on the new album and tells about his years with the Squirrel Nut Zippers.
The Water Liars (March 3, 2013) Larry welcomes The Water Liars, a Water Valley-based group to the studio. The band is made up of Mississippian Andrew Bryant and Arkansas native Justin Kinkel-Schuster. Their latest album, "Wyoming," has just been released on Oxford's Big Legal Mess Records.