AmeriCorps volunteer works with local arts council

Dominique McGhee
The Oxford Eagle

Meghan Gallagher was assigned to the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council through her affiliation with AmeriCorps Volunteer In Service To America.

The YAC, located in the Powerhouse on University Avenue, in downtown Oxford was created in 1972 to provide  resources and opportunities for artists to grow.

Gallagher works specifically on the North Mississippi Anti-Poverty Program through the YAC, where she provides opportunities to “enhance experiences for the community through the arts.”

“The idea is that money shouldn’t be an obstacle for someone to have that enriching experience,” Gallagher said.

She has also been involved with The Art Truck that has traveled as far as the Delta to offer lower income children the opportunity to engage in art.

Gallagher administers the Art for Everyone program through the local public library. People can check out tickets for local art events by using their library card.

“It helps direct people to services they probably need anyhow, like reading or Internet services, but they can also go to a Ford Center show or Theatre Oxford,” she said.

Gallagher’s current project is called Poetry for Life, which involves finding volunteers from Oxford High School to travel to a North Mississippi veteran’s home and recite poetry to residents.

“It is using poems that the veterans might have learned in school to engage them and give them a better quality of life,” Gallagher explained.

Her favorite event is the Secret Show. When someone buys tickets to the event, they are only told the date and time.

Wayne Andrews, YAC director, works with the community to create engaging arts programming.

“I work with the arts groups in town to see if we’re providing them with the tools they need to create at the highest level possible and celebrate the diverse culture of Mississippi,” Andrews said. “We are very successful at meeting the needs of the community, and we are successful because the community has also supported us.”

Andrews said one event the YAC will soon host is the Literacy Death Match that combines a national tour with local writers to showcase their work in an engaging and fun way.

To learn more about the YAC or see a calendar of events, you can visit the website at

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