January 2016

When you think Oxford, Miss., two F words usually come to mind: football and Faulkner. Whether you spend your Saturdays yelling “Hotty Toddy” or reading As I Lay Dying, this vibrant small town has something for fans of sports and the arts alike. Oxford offers an exciting and growing blend of literary and artistic talent as the former home to Barry Hannah and John Grisham and the current home to Ace Atkins, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, and Chris Offutt, who wrote episodes for the first season of “True Blood.”

Another set of F words that should come to mind when you think Oxford is film festival. For over a decade, the Oxford Film Festival has supported and celebrated the art of independent cinema. The 13th Oxford Film Festival, Feb. 17-21, will bring together filmmakers and film lovers from as far as Los Angeles and New York and as close as Oxford and Tupelo for five days of screenings, panels and social events.

The Spectrum Center will host the Second Annual Krewe of Erotes Ball Masque Fundraiser on Saturday, Jan. 30,  at 7 p.m., at the C.E. Roy Community Center.

Guests are encouraged to dress up for the night and enjoy music by DJ Will Lowe, hors d’oeuvres by Vicki’s on Walnut, as well as a cash bar, silent auction and door prizes.

“The Erotes were winged gods of love in all forms, and the Krewe will do its part to spread that love!said Nathan Martin, incoming TSC Executive Board President.

The Spectrum Center hopes to celebrate unity and diversity with the LGBTQ+ community and the Pine Belt area as a whole.

“Hattiesburg is a diverse and open community,” said Keenon Walker, Executive Board member. “I was overjoyed with the support shown for our first pride event, and I hope to see more community support and involvement with this and many other LGBTQ+ events.”

From the dynamic duo responsible for Frieda Fest comes “Dolly Should,” a festival in downtown Bay St. Louis to celebrate all that is fabulous about Dolly Parton. Ann Madden and Sandy Maggio, owners of the gallery Smith & Lens, are bringing another round of iconic female fun to Bay St. Louis on January 9.

“If I hadn’t been a woman, I’d be a drag queen, for sure.” – Dolly

The question isn’t why hold a festival to celebrate Dolly Parton, but rather, what’s not to celebrate?

“I’m blown away by her incredible talent! Her life story on its own is so inspirational,” said Maggio.

“Not just starting with so little and achieving so much, but by choosing to bring her fame and fortune home, so that her community could benefit from it too. Then there’s the iconic looks! That face! The Hair, lipstick, sequins…geez the whole package. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photograph where she wasn’t smiling. That’s enough for me right there.”