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What is Mississippi Whole Schools?

Mississippi Whole Schools, a program of the Mississippi Arts Commission, is Mississippi’s first comprehensive statewide arts education program which uses the arts as a vehicle for promoting high-quality instruction and learning for students in all disciplines. Students learn academic concepts through arts-based instruction.

Twenty-three schools in the state currently participate.

Mississippi Whole Schools is a program of professional development in the arts for educators and education decision makers. MAC hosts a Summer Institute and Winter Institute each year to provide training for educators on arts education and how to integrate the arts into other subjects.

our five goals


Effectively communicate the work and purpose of Mississippi Whole Schools

professional learning

Provide high-quality professional learning opportunities to increase skills and build knowledge

community relationships

Enhance and sustain relationships and collaborations for Mississippi Whole Schools and its communities


Refine Mississippi Whole Schools’ operations to ensure effective financial and infrastructural support in its schools


Explore and research partnership opportunities to grow influence and expand the reach of Mississippi Whole Schools in local, regional, and national spheres


Artists, Educators, and Friends,

We can probably all agree that this has been an interesting year. But from another viewpoint, it has been a very rewarding year. So many artists, arts organizations and educators have come together to work as community and continue to deliver quality arts experiences. When it has been impossible to do this good work in person, you found a way to deliver the good work virtually. At the Mississippi Arts Commission we are pleased to say that the arts are alive and strong in Mississippi.

This is an exciting time for Mississippi Whole Schools. Shortly after our 25th birthday we changed our name from Whole Schools Initiative to Mississippi Whole Schools. Now we have a new logo and website; we are following the path that you helped create through our strategic plan; and we are delivering content online and virtually. Our working team has grown to include professionals in music, theatre, visual art, and education curriculum.

We hope you like the new look of the Mississippi Whole Schools website. Keep checking back regularly for more content. We’ll post ideas, tips, and resources in the arts and hope that your creativity will be re-fueled with each visit.


Charlotte Smelser

Arts Education Director

Mississippi Arts Commission