southwest mississippi multiplex
For Early Innovative Intervention Studies
Welcome to the creative place.
Our mission is to grow the creative capacity of Southwest Mississippi residents, children, families, and citizen-artists by encouraging innovation and cultural appreciation in early phases of life.
SMMEIIS is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization based in McComb, Mississippi. We offer programs and integrated services that are designed to inspire, inform, uplift, and nurture vulnerable communities. Through the promotion of responsible citizenship and authentic representation, our mission is to grow the creative capacity of Southwest Mississippi residents, children, families, and citizen-artists by encouraging innovation and cultural appreciation in early phases of life.
As a community center, we provide access to incubation and meeting/rehearsal space. We host workshops, professional/gift development, and training for visionaries, educators, youth developers, social entrepreneurs, and future leaders.
As an art commons, we provide opportunities and access to incubation space for youth and adults who are historically underrepresented in the fields of literary, visual, media and performing arts.
As a research agency, we measure our impact, reporting ways in which cross-pollinating arts, social innovation, and child/family focus can boost self-esteem, reduce educational barriers, encourage leadership, create workplace and home happiness, promote unity, and transform communities.
We envision a safe community where marginalized people embrace their social responsibilities and are compelled to use their voices and talents to empower themselves and others. We envision an aware community where people understand root causes and can speak truthfully about the past to improve multigenerational relationships and combat systemic racism.
The late Jacqueline Nobles Dillon had a B.S. (1970) and Master’s (1977) Degree in Special Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. She was a dedicated teacher in the McComb School District who retired twice, once in 1996 and again in 2003.
Jacqueline remained busy throughout her retirement, becoming Director of D & D Learning Center where she tutored (assessed, remediated, and diagnosed) children between 5 and 15 years of age. In 2003, she started her own non-profit organization called the O.N.A. Foundation (Operation Noah’s Ark). More than 15 years after its founding, O.N.A. developed a new identity and became Southwest Mississippi Multiplex for Early Innovative Intervention Studies (SMMEIIS).
Jacqueline was a two-time recipient of The Outstanding Elementary Teacher of America Award. She was also Teacher of the Year for the McComb School District eight times and was once Substance Abuse Teacher of the Year. Jacqueline was honored by the Mississippi Association for Children with Learning Disabilities for her invaluable service and cooperation. She was also received the Outstanding Woman in the Community Award by the McComb Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club.
Her legacy lives on through her family, loved ones, and former students.
Jacqueline N. Dillon
Meet Maleah Dawn, Our Summer 2022 Artist-In-Residence
Maleah DAWN is a singer-songwriter, college student, and self-proclaimed oatmeal aficionado. Hailing from the birthplace of American music, Mississippi, she creates R&B, Soul, and Pop songs about insecurities, pursuing purpose, and growing into who she’s meant to be. With hints of Hip Hop in her style, Maleah DAWN found inspiration in artists like Lauryn Hill, Aaliyah, and Floetry, and the modern likes of SZA, H.E.R, and Alex Isley.
Her voice carries a softness and power that penetrates the soul. Whether she is speaking or singing, Maleah DAWN has a vulnerability flowing through her every time she steps onto the stage. One of her most memorable performances is opening at Jackson State University’s Homecoming Concert for Lil Durk and Flo Milli in October 2021. Recently, Maleah has performed at McComb School District’s Arts Alive Fest, Jackson State U’s THEE I Love Bash, and Third Coast Radio’s The Kickback; additionally, she’s interviewed with Vocalo Radio (Chicago) after her single, IN MY HOME was aired on their 91.1 station.
Join her on this musical journey by connecting with @maleahofthedawn on socials & look out for upcoming music and collaborations from the songstress.
Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@maleahofthedawnn
Read the Vocalo Radio Interview:
Watch Maleah DAWN’s Performances:
BookSong: "Do you see the clouds?" By Maleah Dawn
BOOKSONGS are an educational resource for elementary teachers and learners. We take educational texts/ literature and make the information/ stories appealing to the youthful ear. In this BookSong, Maleah Dawn makes a musical adaptation of the children's book, "Cloud Dance", by Thomas Locker.
BookSong: "I am water" By Maleah Dawn
BOOKSONGS are an educational resource for elementary teachers and learners. We take educational texts/ literature and make the information/ stories appealing to the youthful ear. In this BookSong, Maleah Dawn makes a musical adaptation of the children's book, "Water Dance", by Thomas Locker.
A place with resources is a place for growth.
Building and strengthening the skills of our community is a pressing priority. We offer training in the areas of artistic practice, racial equity, justice and human rights, innovative entrepreneurship, technology-based learning, and organization-building or "writing the vision".
2021 Health Equity Series: Grief and Trauma-Related Coping Responses among Black Families and Communities with Aspen Hardges, LCSW
Grief and loss are universal human experiences, but how unique are Black people's grief-producing experiences? Do the often negative or traumatic ways in which Black people experience loss create unique mental health and wellness issues? In this health equity program, SMMEIIS explores grief from the lens of coping with the loss of people to the loss of safety in instances of racial injustice.
The Creative Camp
Coming Up: June 2022
Young visionaries who participate in our summer program grasp concepts in STEAM, idea/gift development, creative/critical thinking, innovative leadership, and social entrepreneurship by way of creative play, team-building, and project-based learning.
Episode 1 Now Available!
Through interviews/conversations/panel discussions, our elders share their experiences about growing up in the south and how past race relations have shaped our present socio-political/educational views. Dialogues are recorded and made available to the public via podcast.
Arts & culture
The Arts are an expression of culture and culture reflects people.
Our theatre program exposes underserved audiences to transformative, educational, and inspirational theatre. We stage stories and live performances that raise awareness and provide opportunities for youth and adults to learn techniques in playwriting, acting, directing, and theatrical design.
The PIZZAZZ Dance Troupe
Our non-competitive, performance-based dance education program is for girls ages 4-18. We teach self-esteem, character development, and basic dance concepts centered around the following genres: modern, contemporary, theatrical, experimental, lyrical, jazz, and liturgical/praise. Parents and the community can follow PIZZAZZ on Facebook. Family Accounts can be managed through the PIZZAZZ Member's Only portal on this website.
Our celebration of literary arts and oral lore promotes local writers/ authors and historians/ storytellers through a community book fair and publication Q & A. In addition, young writers from the Southwest Mississippi region are invited to submit creative pieces (prose, fiction, plays, essays, or poetry) that promote racial justice and healing. Their work gets developed through a mentoring process, shared with the public, and published in an anthology.
Artist Residencies & Enrichment
We collaborate with cultural workers, creative professionals, actors, directors, designers, choreographers, and hybrid artists who are passionate about doing meaningful work in Mississippi. Artists may be invited or may apply when applications are available. SMMEIIS also sends teaching artists out into the community to provide arts enrichment to school districts, organizations, civic and church groups, and educational entities.
Clinnesha Dillon Sibley, a native of McComb, Mississippi, is a published author, community leader, and educator. She promotes creative-mindedness—believing that visual, performing, and literary arts can change the way we think about some of life’s most important questions.
A writer of plays, poetry, essays, and prose/fiction, Clinnesha has received numerous awards including the Holland New Voices Award, the Arkansas Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, and the Mississippi Theatre Association Adult Playwriting Award. Her writing has also appeared in national literary journals, anthologies, and various publications and anthologies. She is also on the Mississippi Humanities Council Speaker's Bureau.
Clinnesha received her B.A. at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, where she was a 2003 initiate into the Gamma Psi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and was the 2005-2006 Miss Tougaloo College. She received her M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts Degree) from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. As both a student and an Assistant Professor at the U of A, Clinnesha was a diversity champion and a key woman educator in the arts. She proudly served the College of Charleston in South Carolina as an Assistant Professor of Playwriting where her mission was to empower students to cultivate their unique voice and write fearlessly, without limits. After teaching at the college/university level for seven years, she moved into secondary residential education. She has taught at The Historic Piney Woods School and is currently the Literary Arts Instructor at Mississippi School of the Arts.
Clinnesha was selected as one of twenty-four "change-makers" across the United States for the 2017-2018 National Arts Strategies Creative Communities Fellow Program. This program was her springboard into the non-profit sector and social entrepreneurship. A 2019 recipient of a “Rise Grant” from Women on the Rise Network and a 2020 recipient of the Arts Institute of Mississippi (AIM) Award, Clinnesha is a literary artist who believes .in order to reach total fulfillment, one must "replace [their] pursuit of success with the pursuit of contribution".
She is married to her high school sweetheart, Keith Sibley, and they have three children: Kaylee, Karlee, and Keith Jr.
Hear from Clinnesha!
"Sign up and I will send you monthly greetings! Follow my blog here."
the quarantine cookbook
Proceeds from our cookbook sales will go directly to gun violence prevention and education programs in Southwest Mississippi. The deadline for recipes is August 31st!
Our work would not be possible without these amazing collaborators.
Your generous donation will go a long way in helping us realize our dream of making southwest Mississippi a great place for developing innovative ideas and practices.
get your name added to the list!
(monetary and/or in-kind value)
purple Sowers: $1000.00 and above
Clintes and Jacqueline dillon
orange Sowers: $500.00 - 999.00
keith and clinnesha sibley
Green Sowers: $250.00 - 499.00
Black Sowers: $100.00 - 249.00
STEPHANIE NOBLES ROBINSON
red sowerS: $99 and under
JUSTIN & KAYATTA BROWN
Ashley drakes lowe
JOYCE N. MCGEE
GWENDOLYN NOBLES WILLIAMS
MARIBETH PORTER WILLIAMS
CRYSTAL LOWERY WOODS
make a $50 contribution to our "send a child to camp fund" and become a red sower!
you may Sow into our organization as a whole, a specific program/ community initiative, our literary festival, summer camp, or one of our sub-brands (the creative place, pizzazz, emerge). contact us for giving options or click the donate button to access Givly and sign up to be a smmeiis donor. all contributions are tax-deductible.
connect with us
Have a seat at our table. Ask about our vision. Ask about our goals. Ask about our core values. Ask about collaboration. Or just say hello.
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