By Ida Brown / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
If you do, the Meridian Council for the Arts invites you to put your game face on for a unique sporting event to benefit the local arts.
The Art Game offers a new twist to the council's annual fundraiser for community arts grants. Set for Saturday at Northwood County Club, the event will include a tailgate with bites and beverages, a silent auction (with the opportunity to view your favorite team on TV as you visit and browse), a gourmet dinner including wine, a live auction, plus a special recognition of two local arts patrons.
And .... To make the "game" official, those attending are encouraged to wear their team colors or other tailgating attire.
While organizers of The Art Game are promoting the event as a great way to have a good time, it is not all about fun and games.
"This event is an integral part of the council’s mission to foster and promote diverse art and cultural organizations, events, education and individual artists," said Shea Leake, president of the Meridian Council for the Arts
"Money raised from this event is used by the council to help fund the Community Arts Grants program and other programs of work. The grants program makes art projects in the community possible by offering matching grants to non profit organizations, schools and individual artists in Meridian/Lauderdale County," Leake said.
Meridian has a rich history in the arts – musical, theatrical and visual. Preserving that history, while making sure it is available for generations to come is vital to the city's livelihood.
"The arts are important because they definitely affect the quality of life in the community," said Betty Lou Jones, chairman of The Art Game.
"A community’s quality of life is judged by the numbers and quality of art organizations and their impact on the citizens especially youth," Jones said. "It is a proven fact that communities providing diverse art experiences in its schools and for its citizens are more successful in economic development."
The evening event will begin at 6 p.m. with a tailgating event. Each guest will receive two complimentary beverage tickets and there will be "delicious tailgating refreshments," Jones said.
The tailgate will also include a silent auction featuring works by: Tim Allred, Jeff Almond, Jennifer Avera-Lott, Linda Bruister, Charlie Busler, Dwight Coleman, Karen Elmore, Amy Etheridge, BB Gianokos, Kris Gianokos, Pat Gordon, Marsha Iverson, Lacey Joiner, R. Khalmus, Chris Lauderdale, Cecily Hill Lowe, Julie Martin, Cindy McDaniel, Elizabeth Murphy, Ralph Null, Dr. Doug Phillips, Ellen Riley, Brandon Rutledge, Chris Rutledge, Laurie Teague, Ross Tingle and Holly Triplett. Also featured will be items from Harry Mayer, Wayne Rawson, Gift Shop of Marion, Point Rexall, Meridian Little Theater, Sucarnochee Review and 59Twenty Music Festival.
At 7:30 p.m., guests will be invited to enjoy a seated gourmet dinner including wine, followed by a live auction of fabulous art. Live auction artists include: Vicki Armstrong, traditional watercolor still life; Greg Cartmell, landscape; Keith Everett, contemporary; Mike French, traditional landscape; Scott Gavin, contemporary; Joey Horne, abstract;
Karen Rush, contemporary; Yvette Sturgis, impressionistic; Glen Weber, traditional; and Alex Loeb.
A highlight of the evening will be the recognition of two patrons of the arts: Norma Bourdeaux and Alex Loeb. According to Jones, Bourdeaux and Loeb will each be recognized for their outstanding artistic achievements, leadership and contributions.
Sponsorships are available as well as tables of eight and individual tickets. Tickets are $125, individual; $250, couple. Sponsorships, which are tax deductible are: $5,000 – Arts Benefactor (three tables [24 tickets] with prime seating and special recognition); $2,500 – Event Sponsor (two tables [16 tickets] with prime seating and special recognition); $1,000 – Table Sponsor (eight tickets with prime seating and special recognition),
Council for the Arts
The mission of the Meridian Council for the Arts (MCA) Inc. is to foster and promote diverse art and cultural organizations, events, education and individual artists in Meridian and Lauderdale County through leadership, partnership, collaboration, grantsmanship, and service.
MCA. was designated the local arts agency for Meridian and Lauderdale County by the Meridian City Council and the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors in 1978. The council is staffed by an executive director and a secretary, and governed by a board of directors with an executive committee made up of the president, first vice president, second vice president, secretary, treasurer, and the immediate past president. Standing and ad hoc committees oversee all aspects of the operations of the organization and are given specific goals and responsibilities.
Major sources of financial support include the Mississippi Arts Commission, city of Meridian and Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, Threefoot Festival, Art for Meridian Art auction and dinner, and corporate sponsors.
MCA works with city and county officials, East Mississippi Business Development Corporation, and Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau to help promote the area and make an impact on economic development and our quality of life thru the arts.
The Community Art Grant Program, a re-granting program, provides matching grants to art organizations, schools, and individual artists. This program has been set up since 1992 and is making a direct impact on economic development, education through the arts, as well as availability of the arts experience. Grant applications are currently being accepted and the deadline is Nov. 1. Applications may be downloaded by visiting the website www.meridianarts.org or can be picked up at the Community Development Office on 23rd Avenue downtown.
In the past organizations such as Meridian Symphony Association Inc., Meridian Performing Arts, Poplar Springs Elementary, Meridian High School, Meridian Little Theatre Youth Division and Meridian Museum of Art have received funding from the Community Art Grants.
Each year, MCA partners with local organizations including, but not limiting: Meridian Museum of Art, The Mississippi Writers Guild, The Storytellers Association, Meridian Little Theatre, Jimmie Rodgers Foundation, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Meridian Symphony Orchestra, The Junior Auxiliary, Dusty’s and Deb’s social service and the Meridian Home School Association.