The USA International Ballet Competition of Jackson, Mississippi, has been awarded a $26,100 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC). This grant—a portion of the $1.3 million in grants the Commission will award in 2017-2018—will support the 11th USA International Ballet Competition to be held June 10-23, 2018, in Jackson. The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Arts organizations throughout the state of Mississippi play a pivotal role in sharing the power of the arts with people from all walks of life,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “The arts are for everyone, and the Mississippi Arts Commission is pleased to support arts organizations committed to growing the presence of the arts in their communities.”

The USA IBC is the official international ballet competition for the United States, as designated by a Joint Resolution of the U.S. Congress.The two-week festival of dance transforms Jackson into a world dance center 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 2018 USA IBC is expected to again draw competitors from at least 20 nations and ticket buyers from across the nation and around the world. The USA IBC also offers a ballet instructional program throughout each school year, providing free lessons and dance wear for approximately 75 Jackson Public Schools students.

MAC, 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, MAC 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.