To avoid the Mississippi brain drain, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council aims to create a sense of place in the historic town of Oxford through their motto, “Make Things Happen.”
YAC is housed at The Powerhouse, on 413 S 14th St., and accommodates education classes for children and adults, dance performances, improv theater, writing and songwriting groups, film screenings, book signings and fashion shows.
Wayne Andrews, executive director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, overlooks events and programs to make Oxford a town in which artistry can thrive. He and the YAC staff have their plates full with 40-plus upcoming art opportunities.
YAC recently hosted a Community Supported Artist launch party at the Powerhouse for four artists. It’s the second year for the CSA program in which the community can purchase “shares” in an artist’s work and be a part of the artistic process from start to finish.
“This is a free opportunity for artists to showcase their fine arts skills,” Andrews said.
CSA Artist Adrienne Brown-David is one of many artists affiliated with YAC. She designs black and white customized paper dolls with clothing included for $35, and she can design a custom set made to the child’s likeness for $55.
“Kids are especially drawn to the paper dolls,” Andrews said.
Events happening this year include:
o Miss-I-Sippin’ Beer Festival – Mar. 23-25
o Sunset Concert Series – June
o July 4th celebrations
o Art-er Limits Fringe Festival – Aug. 9-12
o Iron Bartender – Aug. 9
“A surprise box of alcohol will sit in front of the bartender as they make a cocktail with the ingredients given,” Andrews said. “The public votes on the best tasting drink and the winner is bartender of the year.”
o Secret Show – Aug. 10
o Food Truck Fight – Aug. 12
In early fall the wine tasting event, Three Blind Wines, is when friends, co-workers, family members, or significant others pair as a team and bring three bottles of wine. Two of the bottles of wine are set out for tasting with the labels covered, and the third bottle is reserved as part of the prize for the winner. The team receiving the most votes wins all the other team’s third bottles. A cellar full of free wine is guaranteed for the winner.
“The winner goes home with $1,000 worth of wine,” Andrews said.
For additional information about upcoming events, follow YAC on Twitter, Instagram, and on OxfordArts.com.