The USA International Ballet Competition has been awarded a $26,100 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC). This grant is a portion of the $1.5 million in grants the Commission will award in 2016-2017 and will be used to help with operating expenses for the USA IBC, designated the official international ballet competition within the United States by Joint Resolution of the U.S. Congress.

“Organizations that support the arts play a pivotal role in growing Mississippi’s creative economy,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “The Mississippi Arts Commission is pleased to support their work, which reinforces the value of the arts for communities and for the economic development of our state.”

The USA IBC’s two-week festival of dance transforms Jackson into an international center of dance every four years. The 2014 event generated a combined economic impact of $12.1 million, according to a study conducted by the University of Southern Mississippi. The 11th USA IBC, to be held June 9-24, 2018, is expected to again draw competitors from at least 20 nations and ticket buyers from across the nation and around the world.

Throughout each school year, the USA IBC provides free ballet instruction and dance wear for approximately 65 Jackson Public Schools students. In July 2016, the USA IBC presented a performance by prima ballerina Nina Ananiashvili and the State Ballet of Georgia in its Grand Prix Reunion Gala held at Thalia Mara Hall.

The Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, serves the residents of the state by providing grants that support programs to enhance communities; assist artists and arts organizations; promote the arts in education; and celebrate Mississippi’s cultural heritage. Established in 1968, the Mississippi Arts Commission is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mississippi Endowment for the Arts at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson; and other private sources. The agency serves as an active supporter and promoter of arts in community life and in education.

For information from the Mississippi Arts Commission, contact Melia Dicker, Communications, 601-359-6546 or