Local Art

Published on June 12th, 2020 | by TLV News

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Yoknapatawpha Arts Council Receives Funding to Support Creative Small Businesses

YAC to Receive Funding to Support Creative Small Businesses through Our Town Grant and Art Works Grant Programs from the National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $84 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2020. Included in this announcement are Our Town and Art Works awards for small business development in the creative arts, through programs offered by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.

Mary Anne Carter was confirmed as the 12th chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts
on August 1, 2019.

The Our Town award of $75,000 to YAC will fund arts-based small businesses over a two year period through a small business incubator called the Big Bad Business Lab. This is one of 51 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category.


The Art Works award of $20,000 benefits small businesses in Lafayette County through funding of the Big Bad Business Series–a free workshop series hosted in partnership with the EDF and Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce focusing on challenging small business topics like taxes, improving communications with partners and customers during a pandemic, and intellectual property law. This is one of 1015 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category.


“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

“We celebrate organizations like Yoknapatawpha Arts Council for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”
“We want to support work/creative space, expertise, and logistical support so that innovative businesses flourish in Oxford,” said Wayne Andrews, executive director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.

“Our community is unique and creative, making it an attractive place to launch or grow a small business to reach a larger, regional audience. Using our sense of place as an asset, this project seeks to launch businesses that don’t focus on earning a living but creating a life. ”


The Big Bad Business Lab will be a two year pilot program to help creatives build their small business in a collaborative business incubator. It will include two cohorts of creative small businesses seeking to accomplish a business goal and develop a body of work.

The Arts Incubator is a series of free programs and professional development sessions aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and connecting them with resources within the community. Among these programs are the Big Bad Business Series free workshops in collaboration with EDF and the community supported arts (CSA) program which provides seed funding to artists to accomplish a business goal.

YAC offers these programs at little or no cost so that entrepreneurs can learn, build, and grow their small business with little material disadvantage to themselves.

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

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The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.



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