Vicksburg-based African drummer gets $4,000 MAC grant

Published 4:00 pm Friday, July 14, 2023

In its latest grant cycle, the Mississippi Arts Commission announced Jerry Jenkins, of Hasan Drums LLC, is the recipient of a $4,000 folk artist grant.

Jenkins’ work is considered a part of the folk artist tradition because of his specialization in African drums. In order for an artist to receive this grant, the artist must display to MAC the ways in which their work enriches their community.

MAC has Awarded $1.75 million in grants for arts projects and programs in Mississippi. Jenkins said he plans to use the money to continue helping low-funded schools with their art departments.

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“JPS, in Jackson, had a student recently get shot and killed. So in this community, the children don’t have many opportunities but the teachers at the school are investing a lot of their time, heart and souls to educate and uplift kids,” Jenkins said. “So they are always looking for an opportunity to bring in someone that can enrich them. Financially, they don’t have the money to do that.

“I was able to match funds with other programs like ‘Arts for All’ and that provided means to go in and do a week-long residency with those students,” he added. “They were able to get exposure to the art forms and have it integrated into their curriculum.”

Jenkins also taught free African drum lessons to some young people in the community as well as mentoring programs. He said he plans to try and go into other schools and match funding this coming school year.

One of Jenkin’s goals, he said, is to do what he can and try to offer opportunities for young people to do and make better choices. 

To learn more about Jenkins and Hasan Drums LLC, visit the business’s Facebook page.