Four Seasons of the Arts named in honor of Koury

Published 3:13 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Vicksburg’s annual Four Seasons of the Arts has been renamed to honor Mary Frances Cox Koury.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday approved a resolution renaming the program the “Frances Koury Four Seasons of the Arts” honoring Koury, the program’s founder, who died Feb. 28 at the age of 94.

“Mary Frances Cox Koury, as I know her, was a phenomenal lady,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said. “I don’t know of anyone growing up who was more committed to the progress of Vicksburg than Mrs. Koury and her family. I bet the last word from Mrs Koury was ‘Vicksburg.’

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“She just lived and believed in Vicksburg.”

He recalled a video Koury produced for Vicksburg.

“When she went on to describe the video and to show it, it had so much meaning to the city of Vicksburg,” he said, adding he told her he “would be more than honored” to show it.

“I hope when we celebrate Vicksburg’s birthday, I hope we celebrate in a way that everything that she stood for will be a part of that because she truly loved Vicksburg and loved the people,” Flaggs said. “She was everything and progressive in everything she wanted. Her family was always at the forefront.”

Koury’s daughter, Connie Hosemann, said her mother “was a visionary. She had the legacy set for all of us and for future generations here. I’ve had it said that she was bigger than life.

“I think she always had the best interests of Vicksburg at heart.”

Hosemann recalled the city’s community concert series and how her mother became involved in bringing the arts to Vicksburg.

“She thought it was imperative that she brought the arts to Vicksburg,” she said. “This was a very ambitious undertaking and without the support of the city of Vicksburg and many organizations here, we couldn’t have done it. The different (city) departments and the administration, they helped my mother carry out what she wanted done.

“She was a true southern Christian lady,” Hosemann told the board and the people attending the meeting. “She gave us a way to carry on. She left a legacy and she wants each and every one of you to be a part of it.”

She encouraged people to participate in the Four Seasons of the Arts.

“Four Seasons of the Arts will carry on, and I want you to be excited as my mother wanted us to be,” she said. “I know she didn’t accept this (the resolution), but she deserved it.”

Koury served Vicksburg as a businesswoman and a patron of the arts who helped develop the city’s cultural environment.

She came to Vicksburg in 1943 and married Ellis Koury after he returned to Vicksburg after World War II. In 1946 they opened Koury’s Children’s Shop, which they operated until retiring in 1997.

Koury’s activities in promoting the arts enabled school children to be exposed to classical music. She coordinated events like the annual Memorial Day performance by the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and the Four Seasons of the Arts program.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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