Celebrating Mississippi's artists, musicians, and writers
Each year the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters honors creative individuals with an award in their specific field. The prestigious awards, first made in 1980, are presented in seven categories: Fiction, Non-fiction, Visual Art, Musical Composition (Concert), Musical Composition (Popular), Photography, and Poetry. The Institute's juried competition is one of a kind in the state. Our carefully selected judges, chosen from out of state, are prominent in their field. Supported by Mississippi Institutes of Higher Learning, MIAL is privately funded, self-perpetuating, and non-profit.
In 1978, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters (MIAL) was dreamed up by a few discerning individuals, including former Governor William Winter and Dr. Cora Norman both of Jackson, Dr. Aubrey Lucas and Dr. Noel Polk both of Hattiesburg, and Mrs. Keith McLean of Cleveland. These founding members knew that among Mississippi's greatest riches are our artists, writers, and musicians, who must be supported, nurtured, and recognized. To see a list of Charter Members, click here.
Shown above are the 2018 winners at the awards banquet in Jackson, Mississippi: First Row (L to R): Molly McCully Brown, Poetry; Ann J. Abadie, Associate Editor, The Mississippi Encyclopedia; Shannon McNally, Musical Composition (Contemporary); James G. Thomas, Associate Editor, The Mississippi Encyclopedia; Charlie Buckley, Visual Arts. Second Row (L to R): Bill Ellison, Master of Ceremonies; Odie Lindsey, Associate Editor, The Mississippi Encyclopedia; Michael Knight, Fiction; Ted Ownby, Senior Editor, The Mississippi Encyclopedia; Andrew Cary Young, Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award; Robert Ivy, Noel Polk Lifetime Achievement Award; Jack Spencer, Photography; James S. Sclater, Musical Composition (Classical). Not pictured: John T. Edge, Nonfiction; Charles Reagan Wilson, Senior Editor, The Mississippi Enclyclopedia.
Board of Governors
Officers 2017-2018 (Left to Right)
Jan Taylor, Treasurer; Margaret Robbins, Secretary; Lawrence Deas, Vice President; Nancy Guice, Archivist; and Nancy LaForge, President; Not pictured: JoAnne Morris, Past President.
2018 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. All rights reserved.