Folk & Traditional Arts Program
“Your continued support of our annual Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival is vital to our mission to showcase blues and gospel performers and honor the Mississippi Delta’s musical heritage. We thank you tremendously for the grant awarded to us from the MAC, and are looking forward to another banner festival.”
Maie Smith, Festival Co-chairman
Sunflower River Blues Association
From the blues music of the Delta region to the wooden boat builders on the Gulf Coast, Mississippi is home to a wealth of cultural and artistic traditions that demonstrate the deeply held values of our communities. The Folk & Traditional Arts Program works to increase the awareness and foster the continuation of these traditional forms through its grants and special projects.
Mary Margaret White, Folk & Traditional Arts Director
Folk & Traditional Arts Grants for Organizations
- A smaller (fund-wise) program offered twice a year that can be used to help support the following:
- performances or presentations by artists from MAC’s roster or another state’s roster;
- consultants working with your group on organizational development (including fieldwork); or
- conference registration or training for an organization’s staff or board members.
- Project Grants
- Provide funding for a wide variety of projects that support and increase knowledge in the state’s traditional art forms, such as festivals, publications, workshops and surveys. The deadline is March 1 each year.
- Operating Grants
- This program provides operating support for organizations whose primary mission is to celebrate Mississippi’s traditional art forms.
Grants for Individuals
- Folk Art Fellowships
- Individuals who are masters of a traditional, community-based art form may apply for an award of up to $5,000 that will help them to continue their work.
- Folk Art Apprenticeships
- This program provides up to $2,000 to master traditional artists to help them pass on their knowledge and skills to promising novice artists who work in their tradition.
Please note: Before sending in an application for the Folk Art Apprenticeship or Fellowship program, please contact the Heritage Program director at the Commission to see if your art form qualifies.
Folk & Traditional Arts Initiatives and Resources
- Mississippi Folklife & Folk Arts Directory
- A statewide directory of traditional artists and folk cultural events found in Mississippi. The site can be searched by region or art form. New entries are added to the site on a regular basis. This project was funded in part by the Mississippi Humanities Council.
- Northeast Mississippi Music Documentation Project
- In 2002-03, the Commission worked in partnership with the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi to document the traditional musicians and music performance sites in northeastern Mississippi. This site (found on the Center’s website) provides highlights of some of the musicians documented through the project.
- Presenting Mississippi's Traditional Artists: A Handbook for Local Arts Agencies
- The online version of a booklet originally published by the Commission in 1994. It provides an introduction to community arts workers on how to document traditional artists and utilize them in programming.
- Crossroads of the Heart
- A companion website for a traveling exhibition produced by the Commission that toured the state from 1999-2002. The site features extensive information about the artists that were featured in the exhibit. Also included are online resource and teachers guides.