It was just last year that legislation, SB2611, was submitted to dissolve the Mississippi Arts Commission, transferring the agencies responsibilities to the Mississippi Development Authority. After an outpouring of social media criticism toward that decision from Mississippi voters, MAC was taken off the chopping block and resumed business without threat.
This year they have come back to the Capital to request level funding to what was received for the current FY2018. According to Executive Director Malcolm White they received a cut of $15,000 which he said is a substantial amount to the grant giving department.
The level funding this year was asked in restoration for a job pin. A pin is like someone’s job code, a position that is labeled a particular way within the State Personnel Board. Each agency is allowed a certain number and type of pins. For MAC, one was taken away when a position was unfilled and the agency is asking for that to be restored.
White said sometimes legislature takes a “snapshot” of an agency when determining funding and at the time theirs was taken that particular pin was empty.
MAC is funded by state dollars that are matched by federal dollars. White said getting that funding is usually never an issue for the agency in order for them to continue projects like the most recent Bicentennial Curriculum that was released just months ago for free to any educator that wants to explore 200 years of Mississippi history through the arts.
This year marks MAC’s 50th anniversary and 30th anniversary of the Governor’s Awards.
You can read the Mississippi Art’s Commission’s annual report of FT2017 below: