The Mississippi School of the Arts is a residential school that provides advanced programs of study in vocal music, theatre, visual arts, and literary arts for artistically gifted eleventh and twelfth grade students from throughout Mississippi. Proposed curriculum will include dance and instrumental music majors. Curriculum at MSA focuses on the arts and humanities. Comprehensive residential and academic curriculam prepares students for further studies or the pursuit of employment.
The mission of the Mississippi School of the Arts is to provide a challenging arts education for artistically gifted and talented Mississippi students in a residential learning environment that promotes honor, integrity, service, and life-long learning.
The Mississippi School of the Arts envisions a challenging, dynamic, supportive community of diverse learners where artists imagine, create, and realize a better world in which to live and work.
MSA provides challenging experiences and advanced studies in arts disciplines supported through an interdisciplinary academic setting.
An emphasis on technological expertise and effective communication will be integral components of all courses of study. MSA students will learn to communicate effectively through writing and speaking while focusing on creative expression in their chosen disciplines.
In its time, the Whitworth College campus has been a Civil War Confederate hospital, a junior college known for performances by prominent musicians, and an evening school for veterans attending college under the G.I. bill.
After the City of Brookhaven donated the campus to the State of Mississippi for the purpose of MSA in 1999, the State of Mississippi funded the beautiful restoration of the campus. The campus is now divided into the Historic Upper Campus and the Contemporary Lower Campus. The upper campus includes: Johnson Institute (where classes are now held), Mary Jane Lampton Auditorium (used for productions, meetings, and is available to the public for rental), Enochs Hall, Elizabeth Cottage, Cooper Hall, and the Helen Furlow Scruggs Y-Hut. The lower campus consists of the recently constructed Student Life Center, the location of the dorms, library, digital arts lab, and cafeteria.
MSA welcomed its inaugural class of students August 3, 2003.
Mrs. Anne O'Hara teaches sculpture, drawing and other classes in the Visual Arts Department. She has her MFA in Sculpture from San Francisco Art Institute and is National Board Certified in Visual Arts.
Mr. Bonilla teaches painting, photography and digital arts in the Visual Arts Department. He has his MFA with epmphasis in Graphic Arts from Louisiana State University and is certified in Art Education.
As construction, space, and finances allow, Dance, Instrumental Music, and Media Arts will be added as disciplines at the Mississippi School of the Arts. The Dance discipline is currently slated to begin in the fall of 2009.