Sarah Story to leave Mississippi Arts Commission post 

The Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) Executive Director, Sarah Story, will step down from her role effective Friday, Sept. 9, 2022. Story has served as executive director since September of 2020.

“Sarah stepped into this role in the middle of the pandemic and successfully led the agency through this time,” said MAC Board Chair, Marie Sanderson. “Even with the challenges the pandemic presented, Sarah successfully launched and saw through multiple initiatives and left MAC in a better place than where she found it.”

Sarah Story

Under her leadership, Story increased the annual budget from $3 million to $7.2 million for the fiscal year 2023. The additional funding went toward a $1 million increase for Mississippi Whole Schools. She secured $3 million for the Building fund for the Arts, a grants program to support infrastructure for arts organizations around the state. 

Story led the development of the strategic plan for 2023-2027 and spearheaded the agency-wide rebrand that will launch in early September. She also implemented a new fundraising initiative, “Art Crush,” in conjunction with the Governor’s Arts Awards, which doubled the Commission’s private funding.

“I have immense gratitude for the opportunity to reconnect with my home state and work alongside the incredible artists and cultural workers dedicated to brightening their communities through programs, performances, exhibitions, filmmaking, writing, and public art,” said Story. “The artistic talent in Mississippi inspires. I am proud to have made an impact during my leadership. The MAC is integral to our past, current, and future artistic legacy: supporting, promoting, and connecting our rich cultural heritage to our citizens and tourists in Mississippi and beyond. I’ll continue to be a proud fan, supporter, and promoter of the arts in Mississippi.”

Story has accepted a position as the Director of Development for the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin. MAC’s Deputy Director, Larry Morrisey, will serve as interim executive director until the role is filled.

The Mississippi Arts Commission has launched a search for a new executive director to lead the state agency. The deadline to apply for this position is September 30, or until filled.

Photos: Courtesy Mississippi Arts Commission

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.

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