Women’s History Month • Week One
We recently had the opportunity to interview Lizzie Emmons, who at the time was the Executive Director of The Jackson Arts Council. However, since the time of our interview, Lizzie has taken on a new position. We wish her all the best in her new endeavors and look forward to following her future achievements and successes.
Executive Director, The Jackson Arts Council
What’s new at the Jackson Arts Council?
The Jackson Arts Council has secured almost $200,000 in public funding for the local arts and culture sector in fiscal year 2023. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to support 26 local arts organizations and artists this year with our grant funding and to provide arts access to over 170,000 people in our region. We are also continuing our first year launching the new Jackson Art Box project that provides free art supplies to students in our public school system. This month, the Jackson Arts Council will launch First Friday Art Walks in Downtown, Jackson’s new Arts District. The public is welcome to come shop for local art in businesses within the Arts District on the first Friday of every month from March – November from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. A list of participating businesses and how to participate as a local artist is on our website, 731arts.com.
Does Women’s History Month hold any special meaning to you?
It’s important to observe and celebrate the tireless work of women in which we all stand on the shoulders of today. It’s impossible to know where we’re going without recognizing where we have been and what we have been able to overcome.
Is there a woman in history that you look up to or admire? If so, why? Does their life/work affect you now? If so, how?
There are countless women I admire throughout history, but even though she’s still alive today. I’d have to say Lizzo is pretty far up the list of women I deeply admire. She is a fierce advocate for underserved communities, is dismantling harmful diet culture, promoting body acceptance, and champions participation in music education by continuing to be a lifelong band kid. What’s not to love about her? Her radical self-love and dedication to creating positive change through her art is truly excellent.
What challenges do you believe women face today that you would like to see change?
We obviously have years of work ahead for women to have autonomy over their lives, have access to necessary healthcare and childcare services, have equal opportunities to participate in the workforce, have gender equitable systems of education, have seats at tables of leadership, and have equal pay for equal work all around the world. I am grateful for the countless trailblazing women who have made a path forward for all of us, but there’s still much to be done.
Would you like to add anything?
I remember being a little girl looking at magazines and watching television shows that only showed women looking and acting in very specific ways. It taught me to be ashamed of my body, my personality, my work, and my emotions. But now I see the world changing to empower women of all shapes, colors, sizes and identities to live fully and authentically as themselves. It gives me lots of hope for the little girls of today to grow up comfortable in their skin and confident in their abilities.
Special thanks to our sponsors: Jodie Parrish, Coffman’s Home Furnishings, and Woman’s Clinic.
For more Women’s History, click here.