Meridian Council of Arts accepting grant applications

file photo 

The Threefoots Arts Festival is a past recipient of a grant from the Meridian Council of Arts

Local arts organizations and those interested in the arts are encouraged to apply for a grant.  

The Meridian Council of Arts is accepting applications for its Community Arts Grant program. Applications will be accepted until Dec. 2 and be the grants will be awarded in January 2020. The application requires a cover letter, a grant application, and financial information. Programs and projects from the grants must be completed before October 1, 2020. 

The Meridian Council For the Arts is a non-profit organization, and its mission is to foster and promote diverse and cultural organizations, events, education and individual artists in Meridian and Lauderdale County through leadership, partnership, collaboration, grants and service.

For the last 40 years, the organization has provided funding to arts organizations and individuals through its Community Grants Program.

Funding for the grant will come from the council's gala, Art for Meridian on Feb. 29, 2020, and Meridian Council for the Arts, the City of Meridian, the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors, and the Mississippi Arts Commission.

To be eligible, a nonprofit organization in Meridian or Lauderdale County must have a minimum three-year history of presenting quality arts projects. Schools. colleges, public and social service agencies are eligible to apply. Organizations must have an active and supportive Board of Directors and be organized as a nonprofit, preferably a 501(c)3.

Grants provide support for programs and special projects, as well as collaborations with arts organizations and artists, programs to reach low-to-moderate-income audiences and other special needs.

Betty Lou Jones, president of the Meridian Arts Council, said the organization continues to give back because of the need for arts in the community. Last year, the organization helped Rose Hill Cemetery and Meridian Little Theatre.

Jones said arts programs have an impact on local children.

“We have to consider the fact that having activities that touch their lives, that bring out the best in them, make a difference in their educational life,” she said.

Kate Cherry, executive director of the Meridian Museum of Art, said the council wants to stress the importance of art education in local schools.

While the Meridian Public School District has an arts program, the Lauderdale County Schools' art programs are limited.

The grant could provide the district funding for activities such as dance, drama and visual art, she said. 

“It's so important to give them other options because the schools are not funded efficiently now," Cherry said. "This is a way they can have extra projects." 

Cherry said the $10,000 in grant funds is divided among different organizations, with five or six grants given each year.

Cherry hopes projects created from the grant will make a change in a child's life.

“It’s important for the artist and the arts organizations, but to me, it benefits the children in the community,” she said.

How to apply 

Applications are available at the The City of Meridian's Community Development office  located at 723 23rd Avenue or at For more information, call 601-693-ARTS, 601-485-1908, Kate Cherry at 601-693-1501 or Betty Lou Jones at 601-917-4344. Her email is

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