Summer Baldwin of Ocean Springs has been awarded a $4,000 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC). This grant is a portion of the nearly $1.4 million in grants the Commission awarded in fiscal year 2020 and will be used to create an original experimental modern dance piece and new screendance with local dancers, visual artists and musicians. The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.
“Mississippi boasts an embarrassment of riches when it comes to artistic talent in our state,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “MAC is proud to support the artists selected to receive grant awards from MAC this year. These individuals should be commended for their commitment to artistic excellence as well as their ability to communicate complex thoughts and emotions through the arts.”
Baldwin is a dancer, choreographer, actress, filmmaker and teacher on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She received her BFA in theater/dance from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia, and is both an RYT-200 Yoga Teacher and a Certified Kids Yoga Teacher. She was voted one of the TOP 3 Performing Artists of the Year with RAW: New Orleans for her performance of “The Betty Dance” on the low-flying trapeze.
In addition to serving as resident dance artist at Biloxi High School and Alma Bryant High School, Baldwin has performed at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, The Walter Anderson Museum of Art with Leif Anderson, The Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center and the New Orleans Fringe Festival. Baldwin also co-created and performed in a short dance film, “Aloneliness: a screendance,” which has been shown at the Oxford Film Festival, Southern States Indie FanFilm Fest, Mississippi Dance Leader Alliance Summer Concert and COAST DANCEfest. “Aloneliness: a screendance” was also recently chosen to be shown at the upcoming Lady Filmmakers Film Festival in Beverly Hills, California.
Baldwin is the founder/event coordinator of COAST DANCEfest 2016-2019 presented by The Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs. As director of the Dance and Theater Department at ROCK U 2 in Ocean Springs, Baldwin strives to offer a non-competitive, exploratory, safe and imaginative experience of the performing arts to students of all ages and skill levels. For more information, visit www.summerbaldwin.com.
The MAC is a state agency serving more than two million people through grants and special initiatives that enhance communities, assist artists and arts organizations, promote arts education and celebrate Mississippi’s cultural heritage. MAC is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mississippi Endowment for the Arts at the Community Foundation for Mississippi and other private sources. For more information, visit www.arts.ms.gov.