Arts Infusion Program
The Arts Infusion Program’s mission is to provide a sustainable public/private whole community program that supports student achievement and voice by providing afterschool, summer, and other extended learning opportunities focusing on arts, culture, social justice, reading, and mindful learning/self-care learning experiences for elementary and middle school students.
Students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are employed by GJAC in an Experiential Workforce Framework to run the Arts Infusion Program. This student-led, industry-supported, experiential approach to education assists Art’s Infusion students in (1) planning their extended learning journey, (2) bridging the gap between learning and doing, and (3) providing academic support and role models during the school year.
Students in Jackson Public School District’s elementary and middle schools may participate in a well-rounded curriculum that introduces them to many forms of the Arts. Students may participate in a wide range of clubs and organizations that introduce them to visual art, poetry, music, and dance.
Silbrina Wright, Greater Jackson Arts Council Executive Director says the greatest measure of success and her favorite part of the program is, “the constant growth: of our children, our staff, and our reach. Growth isn’t always easily measured but being able to see more students enroll in our program and more people want to work with us to invest in our children is the most fulfilling part of what we do.”
Other Community Contributions
In addition, GJAC provides paid opportunities to local artists who are interested in sharing their skills in a variety of Art forms, converting the neighborhood into a learning environment. In addition, they have a partnership with Sylvan Learning Center to provide superior tutoring and academic support services.
“The trust we’ve earned from the families we help and, ultimately, the people in our community, is the cornerstone of our success,” said Wright. “Because we are committed to providing for the wellbeing of the whole Jackson community, we are certain that our program will have a positive impact in every sphere of life locally.”
The Greater Jackson Arts Council has been the official arts agency for the City of Jackson and Hinds County since 1981. The council’s mission is to be a socially grounded and engaged nonprofit that supports fostering healthy cultural ecosystems in our community through artistic and creative solutions that increase diversity, access, and opportunities.
Culture Grants, the agency’s flagship service, provides direct financial support to arts organizations, independent artists, K-12 schools and colleges, social service organizations, and local artists. In addition, they have partnered with the City of Jackson and the National Surdna Foundation to provide nine BIPOC artists the opportunity to live and work in Jackson for a full year.
Additional council programs are geared toward boosting Jackson’s image as an innovative and forward-thinking community. This includes original digital content (13 mini-documentaries to date) highlighting cultural positivity, a national speaker series that includes free keynote events for a wide audience, deeper community-entrenched interaction, and public art projects.
Public arts projects managed and funded by the council include the Welcome to Jackson downtown mural, the Obama mural at Obama Magnet, the Margaret Walker Alexander mural at Hardy, the Shifting Cultures mural at the Art Center created by JPS Art’s Infusion scholars during the 2021-2022 after-school offering and the Jackson Strong pavement mural on Lamar and Capitol Street.
Aside from these initiatives, the council also oversees the City of Jackson’s Arts Center of Mississippi, the home of nine different arts organizations, which features local artists’ work and hosts the Art of Giving, a twice-yearly premium food drive.
You can follow GJAC on Facebook for more updates on their community and afterschool initiatives.