A New Renaissance
“Young people, especially young people who are going through a tough situation, need that outlet to be able to express themselves, to have somebody listen to them, to have someone affirm who they are and to value who they are. I think those are things that we are able to do through our partnership with DAA and the art programs that we have.”
Jon Delperdang , Executive Director of Greenville Renaissance Scholars

GREENVILLE - The value of art, as a tool for reflection, expression and connection, can not be overstated. Delta Arts Alliance advocates, without fail, every day for a greater appreciation of the arts and for the life-changing impact arts education can have in its work with the youth of the Mississippi Delta. Fervid partnerships help to strengthen and magnify that work, and today, in this e-issue of FROM the MIDDLE, Delta Arts Alliance highlights its partnership with Greenville Renaissance Scholars. Greenville Renaissance Scholars is a program that, as its mission states, seeks “to inspire, motivate and prepare students to succeed on a college track through academic enrichment, college planning, leadership training, arts programming and community experiences.” DAA supports this extraordinary, mission-driven work by connecting GRS with two Artists-in-Residence from the Delta Arts roster.

This year, Artists-in-Residence Chelsea Young and Mariah Hutchinson are each teaching two periods, daily in songwriting and visual arts, respectively. Through these classes students have delved into various themes, from community violence to personal identity, to allow them to reflect and shape their own voice and shed light on the experiences they’ve gone through. This is not the first year Delta Arts Alliance has brought arts programming to the Greenville Renaissance Scholars camp, but it is the first year DAA boasts the funding support of Straddlefork Foundation. "We are grateful to the Straddlefork Foundation and its long-standing commitment to Washington County," said DAA Executive Director Rori Eddie Herbison. "The equation is pretty elementary ; the more funds on hand, the more in-service we provide across the Delta. This generous gift helped to cover costs associated with placing two artists in classrooms, equipping those classrooms and securing travel expenses." artists we can deploy to service sights and the oung taught a songwriting class last year, and was moved and proud of the growth both in their academics and confidence she was able to observe of returning students.

This partnership is just another reason why Delta Arts Alliance seeks at every moment to connect , whether it be with organizations, with students, or with our community. The DAA mission to expand arts education and to develop artists-in-residence is only complete by working together with incredibly responsible and forward-thinking partners like Greenville Renaissance Scholars. Delperdang added at the conclusion of his most recent interview, “Art is truly is something that all kids should be able to experience and Delta Arts Alliance is helping us make that happen for these kids.”

Won't you please join us tomorrow, Friday, June 29 at 6pm , as GRS celebrates its Summer Showcase? Students will present their art, songs and thoughts on "The Future of Greenville" at the E.E. Bass Cultural Arts Center.

Below, please check out a video showing DAA Artists-in-Residence at work in Greenville. (Video by Robertson Scholar Kyle Ryan)
A 'Supreme' Family Day Set

Grammy Museum Mississippi continues its FAMILY DAY events with Motown Family Day on Saturday at 10 a.m. All FAMILY DAY activities and admission to the museum exhibits will be free during and attendees will have the opportunity to enter a special drawing to win a free birthday party at the museum.

This event honors the temporary exhibit Legends of Motown: Celebrating The Supremes. “The Wiz,” featuring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross - both Motown icons - will be shown.

Delta Arts Alliance will host arts activities and the DMI Mobile Music Lab will be on site. Nacherrie Cooper, communications director for the museum, said, "We wanted to do a Motown themed Family Day to highlight our Michael Jackson and The Supreme exhibits, who were both Motown artists.

These events are free to the public through the support of King's Daughters and Sons.

"We are so glad we can host a free family day in hopes to help everyone regardless of their race, creed or religion have access to music education. Imagine a world without music! To keep music alive, we must continue to educate the public on it and that's exactly what family day strives to do," said Cooper.

It takes several partnerships to make Family Day happen and Delta Arts Alliance is proud to be a part of these events. DAA Executive Director Rori Herbison said, "I have said it before, I know it surely won't be the last time I say it, partnerships are key, collaborations are powerful and only strengthen the impact of our work in arts education.

"The Grammy Museum Mississippi is a formidable partner and I am proud of the events we produce each time we come together to offer programming. This coming Family Day, the DAA will again have our artists on site, including the awesome and amazing Nathan Pietrykowski. I'm like a kid myself, each time I see Nathan come up with projects. I always want to try and play and create. That's what I hope the families in attendance will do. Join our Delta Arts artists and just dive in. Try. Play, get messy, create. What an incredible setting to do that in and how fortunate are we that we have that facility, right here, steps from our front doors," said Herbison.

In partnership with the DAA, the Rosedale Freedom Project will also be participating in Family Day. "We have partnered with Rosedale since its inception and this summer, the students are taking a deep dive into poetry, recitation and performance under the instruction and leadership of DAA Artist-in-Residence Leah Allen.

"Ms. Leah is so fierce and passionate; she is doing such great, solid work with the Scholars. I'm excited to see the Scholars perform Saturday. They will be reading original works inspired by Motown or reciting pieces that are on theme," said Herbison.

Allen is working with Freedom Project veteran LaToysha Brown. Brown is a graduate of the Sunflower County Freedom Project and this is her second year working in Rosedale.

To learn more about Family Day and other events at the museum, visit www.grammymuseumms.org
A few days left in our first-ever WE <3 AMERICA art contest!

Don't forget to submit your artwork before JULY 3rd! (EXTENDED DEADLINE!) We want to see just how creative you can be. Show through art what the 4th of July means to you and automatically get $5 off an afternoon art session of our summer art programming.

Please submit to deltaarts38732@gmail.com!

We will announce our favorite piece on Independence Day! The lucky participant will win a swag pack and one free class pass to any art session of their choosing.

Limit of one submission per person.
Join us at HEY JOE'S tonight, Thursday, June 28 at 5:45 p.m., as Delta Arts Alliance's School of Dance Summer Camp participants are ready to take the stage, or in this case - the patio. We are so excited to present our Baby Princesses and Pop Stars, and grateful to our supportive friends at Hey Joe's for honoring us as the Charity of the Month. >>>