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Arts Education

“On behalf of Annunciation Catholic School, I would like to thank you so much for your work at MAC which provides opportunities for small schools such as ourselves….We are thrilled to have been one of the recipients of grant monies and are determined to use the funds wisely providing our children with exciting learning in the arts.


                                Karen Overstreet

                               Annunciation Catholic School

                               Columbus, MS


Music, dance, theater and visual art are core subjects with state and national standards just like Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. Learning in, through and about the arts can be particularly beneficial for at risk students. When the arts are integrated into the daily school curriculum, learning becomes engaging and active, requiring critical thinking skills and innovative problem solving. The arts are the critical link to meeting the individual learning needs of each child. For more information, contact Arts Education Program Director, Charlotte Smelser at 601/369-6037 or

Learn about the Poetry Out Loud recitation contest for high school students.

Learn about the Mississippi Blues Trail Curriculum.

Grants for Organizations

These smaller grants may be used to support residencies with roster artists, curriculum and professional development work with a consultant and conference or workshop registration and travel.
Project Grants
This larger funding opportunity may be used for a variety of projects that develop and sustain meaningful arts programs in or for the schools. Examples include, but are not limited to, bringing together artists and educators to develop integrated curricula; advocating for arts education; and preparing non-arts teachers to use the arts effectively and imaginatively in all aspects of their engagement with students.
Operating Grants
This program provides operating support for organizations whose primary mission is the strengthening of education in and through the arts.

Opportunities for Artists

Teaching Artist Roster

This publication is an opportunity for artists and arts educators to work directly with educators and administrators training them to use their arts discipline to enhance, expand, and enrich subject content for all types of learners. Often times this involves collaborative planning and modeling of arts integrated lessons.


Arts Education Special Initiatives

Arts in the Classroom

Arts in the Classroom (AIC) is a program designed to primarily provide professional development for teachers and administrators of preK-12 schools in the foundations of arts integration as a teaching tool to enhance teaching skills and improve student achievement through the infusion of the arts into the basic curriculum.

Whole Schools Initiative

The Whole Schools Initiative expands regular classroom instruction to include the arts and promotes collaborations between arts and classroom teachers to create arts infused instruction. Currently, Mississippi has 23 schools (more than 15% of all school districts) participating in this model of school reform. Click here to find out more.


Arts Education Resources


Stennis Center Study on Mississippi Arts Commission's Whole Schools Initiative

Executive Summary (PDF)

Complete Study (PDF)


Arts Education in the South Study

Executive Summary of Phase I (PDF)

Phase I (PDF)

Phase II (PDF)


The Arts Are an R Too! (PDF)