The Mississippi School of the Arts congratulates Clinnesha Sibley for receiving the 2020 AIM Award by the Arts Institute of Mississippi. According to the institute’s web site, “The Arts Institute of Mississippi (AIM) at The University of Southern Mississippi, established the AIM Awards to salute and honor the accomplishments of outstanding high school level arts teachers, schools, and organizations that are making an impact through exemplary achievements in arts education throughout the state of Mississippi.”

Clinnesha D. Sibley, a native of McComb, Mississippi, is the Literary Arts Instructor at MSA and a published author of plays, poetry, monologues and essays. In her recommendation letter, Suzanne Hirsch, Executive Director of the Mississippi School of the Arts, praises Sibley’s innovative instructional approaches and says she has kept the program current and relevant to the field.

Sibley’s impact transcends her classroom through her workshop, supported by the Mississippi Humanities Council, titled “Humanists as Activists: Exploring Our Social Responsibility as Writers,” where she presents original material as examples for teaching participants how to write well.

In 2017, Sibley was selected as one of twenty-four “change-makers” across the United States for the National Arts Strategies Creative Communities Fellow Program. A community advocate and writer, she has received numerous awards including the Holland New Voices Award, the Arkansas Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, and the Mississippi Theatre Association Adult Playwriting Award. Clinnesha’s creative and critical writing has appeared in national literary journals, anthologies, and publications including HowlRound and Black Acting Methods. She received her B.A. at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, and her M.F.A. from the University of Arkansas.

“She has innovative instructional approaches to her discipline keeping the program current and relevant to the field. Since starting at MSA, she has implemented a blogspace, regular guest artist opportunities, and field trips for our students. Under her guidance, our program’s journal publication is now award-winning, and her students have won Scholastic Writing Awards on the national level. They are also recognized in university review competitions, statewide and regional writing competitions, and most recently an international writing competition,” says Suzanne Hirsch, Executive Director of the Mississippi School of the Arts.

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