Link Centre’s annual Artist Residency program brings professional artists into the schools and community for a multi-day/week, in-depth experience with different arts mediums. The Artist Residency has hosted storytellers, sculptors, dancers, musicians, puppeteers, writers, and others.
The program exposes local students, community members, and visitors to a wide variety of arts experiences. Tupelo Public School District integrates arts throughout the curriculum in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Our residency program supports their curriculum goals and focus as we work closely with TPSD staff to plan and implement the annual program.
Core to our organizational vision, mission, and values, the residency reaches out to partner with diverse local and regional organizations to broaden the impact of the residency program. Examples of past partners are Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Mississippi, Lee County Library, Traceway Retirement Center, Girl Scouts Heart of the South, Police Athletic League, Yocona Area Boy Scouts, Doniphan Dance Project, and GumTree Museum of Art, among others. Link Centre’s Artist Residency program informs, inspires, heals, connects, challenges, and entertains its participants.
ARTIST RESIDENCY PROGRAM 2018
Link Centre’s Artist Residency Program 2018 will build on the work begun in 2017 with members of Dance Exchange from Takoma Park, Maryland. Dance Exchange is an award-winning company started in 1976 by visionary artist Liz Lerman. The company has a history of creating choreography with diverse partners of all ages, races, socio-economic backgrounds, faiths, as well as with non-arts-based groups like the National Park Service and groups of scientists.
Deepening the focus on dance/movement and TPSD science curriculum, dancers/scientists/arts educators from Dance Exchange will work with 5th and 6th grade TPSD students from January 29th to February 9th, 2018. TPSD curriculum is based on the STEAM strategy (a strong focus on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). As an arts integrated district, students and educators will learn to use dance/movement as a tool for understanding and expressing scientific concepts and facts. Along with classroom instruction, the artists will lead multiple professional development sessions with the teachers.
In addition to the school-based work, Dance Exchange Artistic Director Cassie Meador and her colleagues will partner with Doniphan Dance Project, Traceway Retirement Center, and the Natchez Trace Parkway, as well as individual community members, to rehearse and present the signature dance piece “Still Crossing” at a culminating arts showcase event, “Journey”, on Saturday, February 10th at 7:30 p.m. in Link Centre’s Concert Hall. “Still Crossing” premiered in July of 1986 in New York during a centennial celebration of the Statue of Liberty. It explores themes of facing the unknown, navigating hardship, and finding strength. New elements of choreography, based on the migratory route of the Natchez Trace, will be incorporated into the piece as a reflection of our local legacy and connection to “Still Crossing”. In addition to this special piece, Dance Exchange members will perform other company choreography and local/regional artists will share literature, poetry, music, and visual arts during the evening event. All community members are encouraged to attend the “Journey” arts showcase on February 10th, 2018.