We at VOX Press were saddened, disheartened and disappointed at learning that the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors recently voted to revoke the $15,000 allocated to support the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. This news was upsetting primarily because of all that we know YAC does to support the arts in the Oxford community. YAC supports hundreds of artists and art events every year; organizations such as Theatre Oxford, the Oxford Ballet School, Maker’s Market, Hinge Dance Company, the Oxford Artist Guild, Laff Co., and the Oxford Folk Festival benefit from YAC’s support. The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council provides free summer art camps for children and supports literary arts publications like Kitty Snacks. And let’s not forget: YAC supports VOX Press.
Since VOX Press, Inc.’s inception in 2004, we have been able to rely on the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council for funding, for access to the PowerHouse for VOX events, for technical support, help with marketing and promotion, and guidance through the complicated and time-consuming process of applying for nonprofit status. I believe it would be fair to say that were it not for YAC, VOX Press might very well not exist today. And I suspect that the same is true for many of the events put on by local artists and organizations that bring art to this community virtually 365 days a year.
As a nonprofit arts organization, we at VOX Press have a unique understanding of how vital financial support is to our mission of bringing the arts to the community – a mission that we fulfill free of charge largely due to the donors, volunteers, and organizations that support us: organizations like the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. Because of YAC, we are able to offer art events free to the public; we are able to promote our educational outreach goals of bringing the avant-garde to school children; we are able to publish underrepresented artists from around the world and local artists alike.
Oxford is many things: a quintessential Southern town; an Ole Miss Rebels town; it’s a City Grocery and Square Books town; and Oxford is an arts town. Since 1975, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council has helped to make it so. We owe it to the two member staff, the board, and the volunteers of YAC to continue to support the work they have tirelessly, thanklessly, and generously given to our community.