SCHF wins largest grant ever, $18,000|[07/08/08]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Mississippi Arts Commission on Monday awarded the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation of Vicksburg an $18,000 grant, which SCHF Executive Director Annette Kirklin said will help fund various arts programs in the coming year.

“This is the largest grant we’ve ever received, so we’re thrilled,” Kirklin said. “The money won’t fund any program in specific, but will help us continue with all of our programming.”

Kirklin said the SCHF will receive about half of the grant money in August and the rest in January or February. Last year the SCHF was awarded a $17,000 MAC grant. This year’s $18,000 grant will fulfill a two-year operation grant from MAC, which will award a total of $1.2 million in grant money across Mississippi during the 2008-09 fiscal year.

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“Organizations across the state who receive grants from the Mississippi Arts Commission continue to prove that arts programs are vital to the growth of their area,” said Malcolm White, MAC executive director. “Arts-based activities have a proven positive impact on at-risk youth and children enrolled in after-school programs.”

With about 500 individual and corporate members, the SCHF is a nonprofit organization that aims to preserve the history, culture and architecture of the Vicksburg area by providing citizens cultural and artistic programs, workshops and presentations. The foundation is housed at the former St. Francis Xavier Convent and Academy on Adams, Clay, Cherry and Crawford streets.

Upcoming events at the SCHF include an evening with Nevada Barr, the New York Times best-selling author, at the SCHF Auditorium at 7 p.m. on July 15. The event is free and open to the public, and a book-signing will follow the program. Also, a stained glass workshop from 6 until 8 p.m. begins Thursday. The workshop will be taught by the Rev. Mark Bleakley, who will teach participants a brief history of stained glass and how to build a small stained glass panel. To make reservations or for more information, call the SCHF office at 601-631-2997. Stained glass workshops will take place every Thursday in July.

Rainbow Casino names new general manager

Vivian H. Piskovitz has been named vice president and general manager of Rainbow Hotel and Casino.

She brings more than 25 years of experience in financial management to the position and was one of the casino’s original emplyees when it opened in 1994. The Port Gibson native began with Rainbow as a controller and since has been director of finance, assistant general manager and vice president of finance.

“We are delighted that Vivian has taken the helm at Rainbow Hotel and Casino,” said Alex Dungan, Bally Technologies’ vice president of gaming operations. “Vivian’s long history with the property, combined with her extensive administrative and management background makes her the ideal person to lead our outstanding team at Rainbow going forward.”

Before joining Rainbow, Piskovitz served as finance manager for ITT/JTS/Westover Job Corps in Chicopee, Mass. She held a variety of financial management positions for a number of companies previously. She is involved with the United Way of West Central Mississippi, and holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Belhaven College in Jackson.

Piskovitz replaces Curt Follmer as vice president and general manager, who had been with Rainbow Casino since the mid-1990s and left the position this year.

Splash fountain closed at least through Friday

Vicksburg’s splash fountain at The Art park at Catfish Row on Levee Street will be out of commission at least through Friday.

The fountain stopped working Monday afternoon after a motor burned out, said city communication manager Barry Graham, adding that the part may have to be ordered. If the motor can be repaired locally, it will take less time to have the fountain up and running, he said.

“It’s at least down until Friday,” Graham said. “We will know by Friday if it can be fixed locally.”