Saturday, February 4, 2023

YAC-Hosted Cultural Roundtable Engages Community

The Powerhouse Community Arts Center is the headquarters of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.
The Powerhouse Community Arts Center is the headquarters of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.

The goal is to create a bigger, badder arts calendar in Oxford.
The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council recently hosted the first L-O-U Cultural Roundtable, attended by 12 organizations including Visit Oxford, Thacker Mountain Radio, and the University of Mississippi Theatre Department, among others.
This roundtable enabled participants to share information about the upcoming cultural events to develop better and even complementary programming. The participating organizations agreed to meet quarterly to continue to provide the best arts calendar possible. Visit Oxford has already begun to add events and publish them on its website’s tourism calendar.
Wayne Andrews, director of YAC, said, “We want to engage people in art experiences that educate and inspire. Our goal is to solidify Oxford as an arts mecca in the South in a way that supports our community and our local economy.”
Last year, the Gertrude C. Ford Center partnered with YAC to provide an art experience at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center with David Dorfman Dance, an internationally recognized dance company, while they were in Oxford to perform at the Ford Center. Andrews plans to increase opportunities for partnerships for more enriching programming.
Visit Oxford staff member Katie Kaiser said, “Oxford visitors and residents both benefit from this meeting where organization leaders share their event schedules, rearrange their dates when they conflict with another event, get to know each other and network, brainstorm ideas for future events, and help each other execute those events successfully in any way we all can.”
YAC plans to coordinate compatible cross-marketing and provide support as needed to groups in short and long term-planning strategies. Although scheduling conflicts may still occur, members of the cultural roundtable will work to reduce the number as much as possible.
“We have such a supportive arts community. We don’t want anyone to choose in favor of one event over another. There’s enough room for us all,” said Andrews.
Other organizations represented at the roundtable included: Oxford Artists Guild, Laff Co., Northeast Mississippi Community College, Oxford Ballet Company, the Spirits of Oxford, Theatre Oxford, and the University of Mississippi University Museum.