Grant for Teaching Artist

Amy Perry, Cher Barefoot, Angelia Ross and Teaching Artist Tonya Hayes celebrate the announcement that Stone Middle School in Wiggins, Mississippi, received a grant from the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE), to research, study and present the story of Emilie and Marie Stapp. The Stapp sisters were Stone County community advocates , philanthropists, and Emily was a world known children’s writer.
MAAE is thankful to this generous gift from the Weissman Family Foundation.FullSizeRender

Stapp Traveling Murals

The murals dedicated to the life and work of Emilie and Marie Stapp were on display in the Malone Fine Arts Building at the Perkinston Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College during August 2014. Look for these murals and related materials to be on display at other Stone County venues throughout the year. photo 2photo 1

SCAC Announces Coming Events

Stone County Arts Council Reminders:

  • March 18- 5:30 pm – SCAC meeting
  • March 18-6:30 pm – Daisha Walker’s presents  “The Emilie and Marie Stapp Story.” This program was funded by the MS Humanities Council in partnership with the Stone County Arts Council and the Friends of Stone County Libraries. The two new Stapp traveling murals are hanging in the Visual Arts Center Gallery until April 8th.
  • March 21-22 – Pine Hill Day – SCAC will sponsor a booth. Please sign up with Sandra Cassibry to help man the booth.
  • March 26 – Arts Day at the Capitol. If you would like to attend, call Kathryn Lewis  at 228-697-4505 for more information.
  • March 27 -Noon at The Lightered Knot- Dianne Williams (Author and Arts Commission Cultural Arts Director) shares stories and sign her new book on MS Tall Tales. This book features  two Stone County stories.
  • March 27 – 6:00 pm – Top of the Hancock Bank Building (Gulfport) – Elizabeth Huffmaster Art  Show Opening. This event is free.
  • April 10- 6:00 pm –  Cassibry and Calcote Gallery Opening- Visual Arts Center
  • April 9-11 – Children’s Book Festival at USM – This event features award winning authors and illustrators. More information is available online.
  • April 12: 9:00 am -2:00 pm -Silk Fabric Painting Workshop with Kelli Spacht-$60 for members and $75 for non-members…sign up by calling 601-928-6298.
  • April 15: 5:30 pm – SCAC meeting
  • April 15: 6:30 pm – Cross Painting Workshop with Sandra Cassibry ($30 for members and $40 for non-members). Call 601-928-6298 to register.

We do amazing work!!!   Congratulations to Elizabeth Huffmaster for wining a purchase award and $500 watercolor award at the Fairhope Art Show. Congratulations also to member Marilyn Ammons for winning “Best in Show” at the Daphne Arts Show sponsored by the Mobile Watercolor Society.


Celebration of Emilie Blackmore Stapp

Almost finished! The second traveling Emilie Stapp mural featuring the characters from her books is being painted by artist Sherry Carlson with the art students at MGCCC-Perkinston Campus. This mural is funded by the Stone County Arts Council in partnership with the Mississippi Humanities Council, MGCCC and the Friends of Stone County Libraries. A special thanks to Sherry who is donating her time and talent, Sandra Cassibry (Fine Arts Chair/art instructor at MGCCC-Perkinston Campus) and the Pink Rooster Gallery in Ocean Springs for helping secure the canvas.

These murals will travel to the schools in Stone County and help tell the incredible story of Emilie Stapp, children’s writer and philanthropist, who lived in Stone County. This mural and a second traveling mural sharing Stapp’s life will be featured March 11th, 12:30-1:30, at the Visual Arts Center for Daisha Walker presentation on Stapp funded by the Mississippi Humanities Council, March 15th, 10AM-4PM, during the Doll Show and Tea Party at the Senior Citizens Center sponsored by The Old Firehouse Museum, and March 18th at 6:30PM  at the Visual Arts Center when the Walker presentation is repeated.


Stone County Arts Council News – Much to Know!

The Stone County Arts Council SCAC) enjoyed a great acrylic workshop with Kym Garraway on Saturday, February 15, 2014. Later in this post, you can check out the photos from this event or can see them on our Facebook page. The SCAC was  honored to provide a student scholarship to the workshop. Special thanks to Kym for donating the proceeds from the workshop to the Yellow Brick Community Arts Center project!

Upcoming Events/Workshops!

February 18, 5:30PM – Important SCAC Planning Monthly Meeting, Visual Arts Center-Perkinston Campus

February 21-23 – Folk Music workshops and at William Carey University. For more information check the WCU website or contact Karen McQueen.

March 1, 9:00AM-2:00PM –  Elizabeth Huffmaster’s Watercolor Workshop (Student will choose from watercolor paper or yupo and flower patterns  or can design their own.)  Cost: members $60, non-members $75. Call  601-928-6298 for more information or to register.  All materials to complete one piece will be provided. Visual Arts Center-Perkinston Campus 

March 5 – Read Across America – Share a story and art activity with Stone County Students. If interested in participating,  call 228-697-4505.

March 11, 12:30PM-1:30PM -“The Emilie Stapp Story” presented by Daisha Walker (funded in part with a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council); Admission is free. The newest Stone County Traveling Mural will be introduced on the life of Emilie Stapp. The Mural, painted by Kym Garraway, is funded by the Stone County Arts Council and The Friends of Stone County Libraries. Visual Arts Center-Perkinston Campus

March 15, 9:00AM-2:00PM – “Art and Spirituality” presented by Joy Jennings, Watch for coming information on this incredible opportunity! -Visual Arts Center-Perkinston Campus

March 18, 5:30PM – Monthly SCAC Meeting followed by “The Emilie Stapp Story” (see March 11 for more information); -Visual Arts Center-Perkinston Campus

March 21-22 – Annual Pine Hill Day – SCAC will have a booth.

March 27; 12 noon – Storyteller and Cultural Arts Director of the Mississippi Arts Commission Diane Williams will be in Stone County at the Lightered Knot Kitchen (sponsored by the Friends of Stone County Libraries) telling stories and signing her new book on Mississippi’s Tall Tales (including some Stone County stories).

April 15, 5:30PM – SCAC monthly meeting; Visual Arts Center – Perkinston Campus

June 23-27 – Mark your calendars for K-12 students for the summer performing arts camp at MGCCC-Perkinston. For more information, contact Daisha Walker at 601-928-6289.

Other Notes

Come see Elizabeth Huffmaster’s Gallery Show now open at the Visual Arts Center.

SCAC member and artist Sherry Carlson, with the MGCCC – Perkinston Campus Art Students, is painting a traveling mural featuring the characters in Emilie Stapp’s many books. This mural will hang at alternate times at Wiggins and Perkinston Elementary Schools. An accompanying lesson will be shared with the students to share with them the incredible story of Emilie Stapp and the characters of her books.

2014 dues are due. We have lots of wonderful “art” going on and we need YOU!! Please let us know what you would like to do for “art” this summer – studio classes? 2 day classes? more Saturday classes?

See you soon!

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Emilie Blackmore Stapp Project

Daisha Walker of MGCCC with picture of Emilie Blackmore Stapp
Daisha Walker of MGCCC with picture of Emilie Blackmore Stapp

The Friends of  Stone County Libraries has received a $3,000 grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council for the Emilie Blackmore Stapp project.  Emilie B. Stapp was a well-known children’s author, who lived at the Friendship Farm in Stone County from 1935 until her death in 1962.  She is best known for the Go Hawks and Isabella the Wise Goose book series. Emilie and her sister Marie were active members of this community and were involved in many philanthropic endeavors,  including establishing the first library for Stone County citizens.  This grant will support research on the Stapp sisters, which will be followed by a presentation and gallery exhibit at the Visual Arts Center on the Perkinston Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

The Friends of  Stone County Libraries is excited to be reintroducing the lives, work, and contributions of these two remarkable women to this community.  If you knew the Stapp sisters or have any information on them you would like to share please contact Daisha Walker at 228-669-9747 or at

Friends is proud to partner with the Stone County Arts Council, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, the DeGrummond Children’s Literature Collection and The Old Firehouse Museum on this project.

Daisha Walker, MGCCC, and Ellen Ruffin, Curator, de Grummond at USM, research the project.
Daisha Walker, MGCCC, and Ellen Ruffin, Curator, de Grummond at USM, research the project.

Emilie Blackmore Stapp

Emilie Blackmore Stapp, an American children’s author and philanthropist, and her sister, Marie Graham Stapp, were women with a mission. Their lives are documented in an extensive collection of lively correspondence and letters, published and unpublished manuscripts for children’s stories in books, periodicals, and newspapers; original plays, illustrations and publicity materials; and, personal items, such as photographs of friends and notables, fragile scrapbooks documenting Emilie Stapp’s from 1904 through the time of her death in 1962 can be found in the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi, McCain Library & Archives.

The Stapps lived in Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, and finally in Mississippi during a significant historical period, covering two world wars and the tumultuous Jim Crow era. Emilie Blackmore Stapp probably was years ahead of her time in her work with children of all races and creeds, raising funds for two World Wars, and other philanthropic efforts.  Some of these, commencing soon after their arrival in Wiggins, include deeding the land and facility for the Women’s Club of Wiggins, donating over 4000 books to establish the first lending library in Stone County, and funding construction for a new post office.

The Stapp sisters bought a farm they named Friendship Farm out Highway 26 East.  There  they established a pecan orchard and built their homenamed The Dolls’ House. The home received its name from a rare collection of over 400 dolls of historic significance, that the Stapp sisters acquired from their world travels and prominently displayed there during their lifetimes.You will be hearing more about Emilie Blackmore Stapp in the months ahead as The Old Firehouse Museum and The Stone County Arts Council jointly will celebrate her life and accomplishments in several very distinct ways. You will not want to miss those events so stay tuned for dates to be published!

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