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How It All Started

Throughout his tenure as mayor of Clinton, Walter G. Howell wrote a weekly column for the Clinton News entitled "Report from City Hall. " On March 3, 1983, the headline of Mayor Howell's weekly column proclaimed "It's Time for Clinton To Have An Arts Council." The article emphasized the large number of artistic individuals residing in the Clinton area, their contributions to the community, and the need for an organization to coordinate the City's various art activities. 

On April 11, 1983, Mayor Howell invited Mary Lou McKie, Deputy Director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, to City Hall to talk with a group of interested persons about starting an Arts Council in Clinton. Following Mrs. McKie's address to the group, a resolution was made to organize a steering committee, and a steering committee consisting of the following seventeen people was created: Barney Jean Allen, Lonnie Allen, Jan Anderson, Phyllis Bagwell, Howard Cohen, Gloria W. Dudding, Anita Gowin, Walter Howell, Mary Hulsebosch, Ann Lacy, Linda Lowry, Charline R. McCord, Carole Milligan, Jeanne Parrish, Bill Singletary, Susan Stowe, and Martha Weatherall. Gloria Dudding was named chairman of the steering group and Ann Lacy was named secretary. 

After approximately two months of concentrated organizational effort, a meeting was held to adopt by-laws, elect officers, and create the first official Board of Directors. Officers elected were: Charline R. McCord, President; Jeanne Parrish, Vice-President; Jan Anderson, Secretary; Barbara Neal, Treasurer. Other Board members were: Gloria W. Dudding; Howard Cohen; Ann Lacy; Susan Stowe; Anita Gowin; Mary Hulsebosch; Barney Jean Allen; Bill Singletary; Joe Ashker; Stacey Patterson; Ramey Beavers; Wyatt Waters; Ed Ratliff; Bob Dunaway; and Grover McDonald. Charline McCord, Ann Lacy, and Howard Cohen were named as the three incorporators to act for the organization in seeking a Mississippi Charter as a non-profit tax exempt corporation. Formal application for charter was submitted to the Secretary of State on June 28, 1983, and a Charter of Incorporation was issued to the Arts Council on July 6, 1983. 

On June 7, 1983, the City of Clinton's Mayor and Board of Aldermen adopted a Resolution designating the Arts Council of Clinton, Inc., as "the official arts agency for the City of Clinton, to develop, promote, and coordinate the arts in the Clinton community." The Arts Council of Clinton, Inc. received its 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service on June 12, 1985. 

The Arts Council's first free public event, "A Taste of the Arts," was held on October 15, 1983 in Lions Club Park. The event, designed to highlight Clinton's wealth of artistic talent, showcased musicians, visual artists, dancers, vocalists, craftsmen, and puppeteers throughout the day and culminated in a white elephant auction to benefit the newly formed Arts Council of Clinton, Inc. The project, supported jointly by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, marked the beginning of the Arts Council's successful endeavors for the arts in the Clinton area. 

We are deeply indebted to the following individuals who have volunteered to serve as President of the Arts Council of Clinton, Inc., unselfishly giving of their time and substantial talents to foster the arts in Clinton and the surrounding area:

Past Presidents of the Arts Council of Clinton, Inc.

Charline R. McCord (1983-1984)
Howard Cohen (1984-1985)
Gloria Dudding (1985-1986)
Johnnie Ruth Hudson (1986-1987)
Susan Stowe (1987-1988)
Mary Hulsebosch (1988-1989)
Wayne Richey (1989-1990)
Bob Dunaway (1990-1991)
Sha Breazeale-Green (1991-1992)
Sha Breazeale-Green (1992-1993)
Jayne Rushing (1993-1994)
Charlotte McCart (1994-1995)
Susan Puckett (1995-1996)
Dianne Newman (1996-1997)
Janice Bennett (1997-1998)
Debbie Pierce (1998-1999)
Karla Hardin (1999-2000)
Karla Hardin (2000-2001)
Cindy Stanford (2001-2002 term completed by Tara Lytal)
Tara Lytal (2002-2003)
Alice Gorman (2003-2004)
Ann Thompson (2004-2005)
Jenae Heep (2005-2006)
Charline R. McCord (2006-2007)
Barbara Neal Selby (2007-2008)
George Ewing (2008-2009)

Kathy Dougan (2011-2012)

Karen Sims (2012-2013)

George Ewing (2013-2014)

Diane Pleasant (2014-2016)

Ricky Nations (2016-2018)
Bob Blanton (2018-present)

History: About Us
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