The Delta Arts Alliance under the talented leadership of Dr. Lenagene Waldrup continues to make giant strides in offering quality arts education opportunities to children in Bolivar, Coahoma, Quitman, Sunflower, and Tallahatchie Counties.
Participation in the Artist-In-Residence program has grown each year since its inception in 2005 and is very popular among the students who would otherwise have little, if any, exposure to the arts. In addition, the organization, under the leadership of Mickey Thompson, continues to make progress in the rehabilitation of their property, the Ellis Theater and Arts Annex, which serve as home base for educational programs, exhibits, and art workshops for both children and adults.
The Delta Arts Alliance is now focusing on the rehabilitation of the interior of the Ellis as an art gallery and multi-functional facility. Plans include a theater stage, dressing room, removable seating, small classrooms, office, storage, and a warming kitchen. To date the art gallery (Phase I) has been completed and hosted its first official art exhibit during the 41st annual Crosstie Arts and Jazz festival April 17th through May 15th, 2010. The mid portion of the building beneath the balcony (Phase II) includes office space for our partners, Junior Auxiliary of Cleveland and Crosstie Arts council, storage, restrooms and a catering kitchen were completed in September of 2010. Currently plans for Phase III are being finalized to create a multi-purpose auditorium/theater in the rear seventy-five feet of the building. Using grant funds from the MS Arts Commission and hopefully from Rural Development, Part I of Phase III, the stabilization of the rear wall and creation of a dirt-fill/geo-foam base for a concrete slab floor will be completed by the fall of 2012.
Rori Eddie Herbison