From special reports

The deadline for schools and non-profit community-based organizations in Kemper County to apply apply for education and arts grants through the Community Foundation of East Mississippi is Saturday.

Both the Excellence in Education Grant and the Arts Grant will be awarded this spring. These grants are very competitive because each is available to qualified candidates in all five counties served by the Community Foundation: Clarke, Kemper, Lauderdale, Neshoba, and Newton.

The amount to be awarded in this year’s Excellence in Education Grant is $3,200.  Becky Glover, Executive Director of the Community Foundation, said, “This grant was one of the earliest ones offered by the Community Foundation and was created by a fund established with us by the Phil Hardin Foundation in memory of Mr. Walter L. Smith, a dedicated business associate of Mr. Hardin’s.  It is said that Mr. Smith showed a deep and abiding interest in the well-being of east Mississippi and its people. This fund is a great example of people caring deeply for their community because any time education is prioritized, that community’s capacity to succeed and offer a better quality of life for all its citizens improves significantly.”

The amount to be awarded for the 2017 Arts Grant is $7,450. That total may be awarded to a single recipient or the selection committee may decide to split the total amount between two or more recipients.  Just like the education grant, this grant is also available to schools and qualifying, non-profit community-based organizations in all five counties previously listed.  Last year the grant total was awarded to five different entities in two different counties.  “The 2017 Arts Grant is made possible because of two art-focused endowments administered by the Community Foundation. The Margaret Dulaney Arts Endowment and the Susan B. Herron Arts Endowment were each established in memory of two amazing women from our community who understood the value of the arts and worked tirelessly to share that passion with others,” said Glover.

The Community Foundation of East Mississippi is a public charity dedicated to improving and enriching the quality of life in East Mississippi by supporting worthy causes, providing philanthropic services, and encouraging and providing leadership in response to changing community needs.  The Foundation serves as a catalyst for charitable giving where civic-minded individuals, families, and businesses can meet their philanthropic goals.  The Foundation meets this mission by developing and managing a comprehensive base of funds – an expanding pool of charitable dollars, permanently committed to meeting the needs of the people of East Mississippi.

To obtain an application for either or both of these grants, please contact the Community Foundation of East Mississippi by email: or phone:  601-696-3035. The Community Foundation of East Mississippi office is located in Meridian and serves the counties of Clarke, Kemper, Lauderdale, Neshoba and Newton.