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Second Line, Free Concert on Friday Honors Memory of Shapiro, Benefits YAC

Leadership Lafayette is an eight-month program offered by the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce. The program connects emerging leaders with resources to better understand the community through workshops led by local businesses, service organizations, elected officials and sociologists.

During the course of the program, the class is divided into teams and challenged to test an idea that can help improve the community.

One of the leadership teams this year chose to work with the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. The Arts Council will celebrate its 50th anniversary of service while at the same time starting to raise funds toward a National Endowment for the Arts matching gift to create a Humanities space at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center.

The leadership team worked with the Arts Council to develop an idea to help the community visualize the importance of the impact arts, culture and embracing the diversity of the community has in defining Oxford and Lafayette County.

The team proposed the recreation of the second line and concert that was organized by the community celebrating Oxford icon Ron Shapiro following his death in August 2019. A second line is a New Orleans-style parade common at events such as funerals and weddings.

“The Arts Council connects a wide variety of community members creating a place that is open to everyone through programs that demonstrate how music, literature and food all tell the story of our community,” said Leadership Lafayette team member Laurie Steele.

The result of the Leadership Lafayette team efforts is a free community event.

Leadership Lafayette invites the community to celebrate Ron Shapiro and the Arts Council this Friday.

Everyone is invited. The event starts at City Grocery at 5:30 p.m. for happy hour. A second line will form at 6:30 p.m. and march from City Grocery to the Powerhouse for a free concert featuring Hope Clayburn’s Soul Scrimmage starting at 7 p.m. Hope’s funky saxophone and her soulful rock vocals have allowed her to perform with an eclectic mix of artists including James Brown, The Temptations and The Allman Brothers Band.

Local businesses have joined the effort to create a community event that will be welcoming to all. These local restaurants including Taylor Grocery, Proud Larry’s, Fergndans, Marble Slab Creamery, Walk-ons, High Point Coffee, Uno Mas, Lost Pizza, Oby’s, Wild Wild Wings, Guthries, and Sunday’s Best Express are donating food.

Mississippi’s very own Cathead is donating their new seltzers and vodka with the proceeds from cocktails being donated to support the Arts Council. Funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, Visit Oxford, Southart and Visit Mississippi provided funds to support the concert.

The team is comprised of: Laurie Steele with the city of Oxford; Halon Gossett with Market Reality; Brittney Marks with North MS Regional Center; Jake Michel with the University of Mississippi; Cameron Brown with Old Navy; and Kathryn Hathorne learned about the history of the Arts Council, reviewed programs and investigated how the organization serves both artists and the wider community.

Staff report

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