JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi Legislature recently approved new funds totaling a landmark $5 million for the Building Fund for the Arts (BFA) program. 

According to a press release from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC), this support will go to the construction, expansion, renovation, and repair of Mississippi facilities that serve as sites for year-round arts programming in their communities. MAC’s executive director David Lewis appreciates how these contributions will impact the Magnolia State. 

“The BFA program is an important part of enhancing and supporting the creative economy in Mississippi, strengthening organizational capacity, and providing opportunities for citizens to learn from and engage with Mississippi’s unique arts and cultural opportunities,” Lewis said.

Applications for the BFA program open on July 1 and close on July 15, 2023. MAC said to submit a Letter of Intent through their e-grant system. MAC staff reviews these letters and invites eligible organizations to submit a full application. These applications will open by invitation for submission in August 2023. 

Some of the facilities that received BFA funding for projects over the program’s history include: 

  • Delta Arts Alliance in Cleveland to complete renovation of the Ellis Theater (2022). 
  • Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel to repair the exterior of the building (2022). 
  • Mississippi Children’s Museum in Jackson to support the museum’s construction (2006). 
  • Ohr-O’Keefe Museum in Biloxi for facility expansion to include a ceramics studio (2003). 
  • Pearl River Community College to reconstruct the Performing Arts Facility destroyed by Hurricane Katrina (2007).
  • The MSU Riley Center in Meridian to renovate the Newberry Building as part of the Riley Education and Performing Arts Complex (2004). 

“MAC is honored to be the fiscal agent of this crucial fund. We hope the BFA program will continue to support the improvement of art facilities in Mississippi communities in the future,” Lewis said. 

Learn more about award amounts, frequently asked questions, and how to apply at arts.ms.gov/build. Contact MAC’s Arts Industry Director, Kristen Brandt, at 601-359-6075 or kbrandt@arts.ms.gov for questions about the letter of intent and the application process.