Excerpt from the Daily Journal
Our Artworks is expanding its base.
The non-profit organization that offers arts programs for the disabled is working to convert an unused, overgrown lot on Chestnut Street into what will be the Mill Village Outpost.
“The Mill Village neighbors have been very welcoming and helpful,” said artist William Heard, founder of Our Artworks.
Our Artworks will keep its studio at the corner of West Jackson Street and Clayton Avenue, where it hosts art activities twice a week and by appointment.
When it is complete, the outpost space will provide space for larger art projects, gardening, woodworking, exercise and music.
“It will be another outlet for our students,” Heard said.
Right now there is a new sturdy fence around the property. The brush has been banished. A chicken coop has been built.
Plans call for a stage, a woodworking shop, raised garden beds and bathrooms.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do,” Heard said.
It has taken more than a village to carve out the outpost space. Melissa Pounds donated the property. Hodges Construction brought in dirt and equipment to fill in a swampy section. Pete Poland of Landscape Services helped them develop a plan. The Evening and Luncheon Civitans have donated time and treasure. Tupelo Lumber has helped make supplies available at reduced rates.
Students and their families have put in sweat equity. As part of their senior project supporting Our Artworks, Tupelo High School students Cate Burroughs, Luke Overton and Michelle Chow helped build the chicken coop. Grants from the Mississippi Council on Developmental Disabilities and Heritage Alliance have helped cover the cost of the newly constructed fencing.
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