News Release: MIAL Announces New Member to Board of Governors
The Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters is pleased to announce a new member, Julian Rankin, to the Board of Governors. Born in Atlanta, Rankin grew up in Shaw and Oxford, Mississippi, before the family moved to Hillsborough, NC. He studied creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduation, he interned in Washington, D.C., for Senator Thad Cochran. Rankin was the founding director of the Center for Art and Public Exchange at the Mississippi Museum of Art. He is the recipient of the Southern Foodways Alliance’s first annual residency at Riverdell Writers Colony. Rankin’s book, Catfish Dream: Ed Scott’s Fight for His Family Farm and Racial Justice in the Mississippi Delta (2018), was part of the Southern Foodways Alliance Studies in Culture, People, and Places series. The book won the 2019 MIAL award for Nonfiction. Rankin is currently serving as the executive director of the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs. Upon being selected for this post, Rankin said: “From my entire personal and professional life, I’ve been steeped in the power of place and inspired by the ability of Mississippi artists to distill meaning from the world. I share with Walter Anderson a belief in the sacred interconnectedness between people, nature, and the vitality of communities.” The Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, now in its 42st year, honors creative individuals with an award in specific categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Visual Arts, Music Composition (Classical), Music Composition (Contemporary), Photography, Poetry, and Youth Literature. The juried competition is one of a kind in the state. After MIAL members nominate worthy candidates, winners are selected by carefully chosen judges residing outside the state. MIAL is privately funded, self-perpetuating, and non-profit. Angie Thomas, who won the award this year for the newly added category, Youth Literature, said, “I have to say getting this award is a little more special than the rest. Recognition from my home state means more than words can describe.”
For more information visit www.ms-arts-letters.org.