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YAC Welcomes Newest VISTA Team Member

The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council has been serving the Oxford and Lafayette County region for 50 years organizing festivals, supporting community arts organizations, and working to ensure that artists have a place in the community.

YAC welcomes its newest VISTA team member for the next year to assist with those programs that create economic opportunities for artists and makers.

Kemeshona Walker. Photo provided

Kemeshona Walker said she is excited to support the work of the Arts Council through the North Mississippi Vista Project.

Walker was born in Tennessee but eventually made her way to north Mississippi. She is a current student at the University of Mississippi studying marketing. Through VISTA she is earning credits to assist in completing her degree while serving her community.

“This will provide me the opportunity to apply the concepts I have been studying, gain valuable practical work experience, and contribute to building a stronger community through service,” Walker said.

The North Mississippi Vista Project is based at the Grisham-Mclean Institution for Public Service and

Community Engagement, which fights poverty through education.

Walker will be working on programs, workshops and resources to assist makers, crafters, artists, and entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses.

”The partnership with VISTA has provided us with support that has expanded our capacity and programs that serve the North Mississippi region,” said Wayne Andrews, director of YAC. “This support from VISTA will allow us to focus attention and energy on building resources to assist in creating economic opportunities for Lafayette County residents.”

Walker has been service oriented from a young age, volunteering with her local church to feed over 1,000 families during Thanksgiving and Christmas annually.

Walker is committed to taking it a step further and educating her community by providing workshops and other avenues to gain economic literacy. Opportunities to grow business and work practices so they have more expansive future projects.

“For someone who grew up with little knowledge of programs that could help educate my community, I believe it is my duty to spread the word to help fight poverty, give back to the community and also promote Black-owned business,” she said.

Courtesy of YAC

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