MSA hoping to ‘connect’ with students

Published 5:00 am Thursday, October 14, 2004

Mississippi School of the Arts staff, parents and students hopeto make some positive connections Saturday during promotionalvisits.

At eight locations across the state, MSA students and parentswill be present to meet with community officials and students whomay be interested in attending the residential arts school. MSAstaff members will also be on hand to offer a slide presentation onthe school, said Teresa Aikens, director of admissions andrecruiting.

The arts school will be the site for the Brookhaven visit at 3p.m. Saturday. In other locations, Aikens said, parents andstudents have volunteered to publicize MSA Connection Day in theirown areas.

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“We don’t know what the response will be, but there’s been a lotof interest statewide in what we’re doing here at the school,”Aikens said.

MSA officials expect residents will be most interested in theopportunity to hear MSA students’ perspectives about theschool.

“No one understands how much a students grows as an artist andas a person while attending MSA quite like our own students andtheir parents,” said Sarah Christopher, MSA recruiter. “We thoughtthey would be perfect for the job of informing their communitiesabout the opportunities they’ve had at MSA.”

In addition to Brookhaven, connection days will be held inTupelo, Starkville, Laurel, Gulfport, Jackson, Cleveland andOxford. Aikens said the school also appreciated the strong interestshown by officials at connection day host locations, such aslibraries and the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel.

“We view that as a very valuable partnership,” Aikens said.

Also, since Monday is an off day for the Brookhaven SchoolDistrict, Aikens said about 27 MSA students will be returning totheir high schools that day to promote the arts school. MSAstudents will return to campus later Monday to resume classesTuesday.

For those unable to attend a connection day, MSA is planning anopen house event Dec. 4.

“We’ll be giving information on the school and offering campustours then,” said Aikens, adding that tours will not be offeredSaturday during MSA connection day activities in Brookhaven.

The arts school opened in 2003 with its first junior classed.This year, it expanded to include senior and junior classes.

Applications from current high school sophomores to be part ofnext year’s MSA junior class will be accepted until Jan. 31.