The Mississippi School of the Arts congratulates two educators for receiving the 2019 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.”

“This year marks the 2nd year in which recipients are honored for commendable service to students and/or community,” said Dr. Jay Dean, executive director of AIM. “Their leadership, dedication, and achievements epitomize the highest standards in arts education throughout our state.”

Tammy Stanford’s dance education career spans over 25 years, where she has specifically been starting, establishing, and expanding dance programs throughout the state. Stanford, founder of the MSA Dance department, has established the dance program as a feeder for colleges and universities in the state for dance and has fostered partnerships that benefit her students in a multitude of ways.

In the words of her nominator, “It is my opinion that Stanford is a Mississippi treasure—nothing short—and continues to be a vital contributor to dance education.” Stanford’s extensive contributions to Arts in Education include: curriculum and framework writing, teacher training and consulting for Mississippi State Department of Education’s Visual and Performing Arts Framework, the “Whole Schools Project” and “Summer Institutes” for Mississippi Arts Commission, “Mega Conferences” and “Training Artists” for Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education, and “Different Ways of Knowing” for the Galef Institute. She’s also the recipient and host of several guest artists and grants from Mississippi Arts Commission.

Dr. Robert Brooks has been an instructor teaching acting, directing, theatre history, dramatic literature/theory, play writing, play production, and script analysis at MSA for the past 22 years. Dr. Brook’s students have won monologue and speaking contests at the state level of several competitions; are five time winners of the English-Speaking Union’s National Shakespeare Competition; have won contests at the Mississippi Theatre Association festival on both state and regional levels; and have gone on to study theatre at top-notch universities and acting conservatories.

Dr. Brooks has set a high standard for comprehensive infusion of the Arts in Education for youth in Mississippi. In the words of his nominator, “MSA admits students from all over the state and provides a true cultural representation for education with arts core training. Dr. Brooks’ graduates arrive at their higher education programs with a more thorough understanding of the rigor and discipline necessary for the profession than their counterparts.”

Dr. Brooks has directed more than thirty theatrical productions at universities, community theatres, and the Mississippi School of the Arts; he has designed sets, lights, and sound for numerous productions as well. His writing has been published in The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy, the Dictionary of Literary Biography, and the American National Biography; and he has presented papers at numerous professional conferences.

See release by Arts Institute of Mississippi and view all 2019 award recipients statewide: