Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How Can YOU Help YAC?

All of the responses on facebook have really overwhelmed me with extreme gratitude, appreciation, and with honor. I am so thankful for my position at the Arts Council, and that I get to live in this community. Furthermore, it has come to my attention that we all want to help YAC, and you may be asking yourself- How can I help?

How You Can Help YAC:

1) Become a member of the Arts Council. Supporting the arts in Lafayette County ensures you have access to the arts visual art exhibits, community events, workshops for children, and live productions. Your donation provides the Arts Council with the ability to support new arts projects. Through the Powerhouse Community Arts Center and your donations, the Arts Council fosters new art groups like: Art to Go, a service that provides art classes for both the young and adult; Hinge a new modern dance company whose first production sold out; Oxford Fiber Arts Festival, Mississippi's first and only fiber art festival, which drew over 500 visitors; and of course many, many more.

Andi Bedsworth with Art to Go working with kids in the "We Create" class

If you aren't a member of the Arts Council, but are a frequent visitor to arts events in the Oxford/Lafayette County community, I encourage you to become one today. Your membership and involvement with the arts is what makes our city thrive. Become a Member of the Arts Council

2) Make a donation to YAC's Endowment Fund. The endowment fund was created to ensure the Arts Council will always have sustainable funding and will be able to maintain the support of the arts in Oxford and Lafayette County.

To make a donation to YAC's Endowment Fund:
*Please specify that your donation is for the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council 
Please make checks payable to:
Create Foundation
P.O. Box 1053
Tupelo, MS 38802

3) Attend Arts Events. Attendance is one of the best ways you can show your support. The Oxford Art Crawl is a free event on the 4th Tuesday of every month. It provides transportation to each location and it's always from 7-9 p.m. Art shows are always free admission and the Powerhouse is open Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. if you'd like to take a look around our gallery. Please do not limit yourself to just the Powerhouse: Southside Gallery, University Museum, and Bozarts Gallery in Water Valley are other wonderful facilities that deserve your support as well.

YAC's Holiday Ornament Auction is free to members of the arts council. Last year's ornament auction we had over 30 artists donate ornaments to support the Arts Council, and Jere Allen donated one of his works that we were able to raffle off! This year's Ornament Auction is Thursday, December 8, 2011- make plans to attend now!

FREE Movies and Concerts event at Avent Park - Summer 2011

4) Sign up for YAC's E-newsletter. This newsletter is more than a list of events being put on by the Arts Council, or events that are at the Powerhouse; we keep up with all arts events in the Lafayette County area. That means: art openings and receptions, art classes, dance classes, performances at the Ford Center, Theatre Oxford performances, community events, choral performances, Oxford Film Festival, and etc., etc. To get an idea of who else YAC supports-- click here.

To sign up for the Art Council's E-newsletter email me, Beth, at yacoperations@gmail.com.

Healthy Halloween, October 31, 2010

5) Get involved. Become a volunteer for the Arts Council. By helping YAC with one of our events- whether it's taking tickets at the door, setting up for an event, or helping with the Double Decker Arts Festival- it ALL makes a difference! And there are other wonderful arts organizations that you can get involved with too: Theatre Oxford, Oxford Artist's Guild, and Vox press... to name a few.

To become a volunteer for YAC, email: yacoperations@gmail.com

Dave Woolworth at Vox's event "Noise"

6) Talk. If there's something you think the Arts Council is doing that you love- tell someone about it. Tell a friend, a neighbor, and encourage your community members to be involved. I would argue that one of the best ways to make friends in this town is by attending any social art event.

Thanks again for all the continuous support you've given the arts council. My final thought was inspired by Gandhi's quote: "Be the change you want to see in the world." Remember that if you want something to change, you are the only person that can make it happen. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Let Tony Chachere Put Some Hotty in your Tailgate Experience

     When you think of fall- what sounds come to mind? I imagine myself walking down a sidewalk and enjoying the crinkling and crunching sounds of leaves beneath my feet. Footsteps are more audible now from further distance with boots and heels coming back into our wardrobe for the chillier days. The cheers and uproar of laughter echo all over on a college football game day. All of this happens for me in The Grove at Ole Miss; which has been voted the top tailgate location in all of college football. 

Game Day at Ole Miss

      Nothing makes a day of tailgating better than a good recipe to share with friends. This year I turn to my favorite cookbook, Square Table, as it’s part of the Tony Chachere Tailgate Recipe Challenge. With all the hype in tailgating, I’ve been trying to find ways to incorporate Tony Chachere seasoning into recipes. Specifically recipes that are easy to duplicate, but still are delicious and appreciated for more than just something you can only eat at breakfast while tailgating. I found my ideal recipe called “Bacon Tomato Cups” in Square Table Cookbook.
     “Bacon Tomato Cups” is an easy, adaptable recipe that I recommend keeping on hand for any tailgate or party occasion. Proportions stay the same, but this recipe allows room for interpretation. I highly suggest adding some Tony Chachere to give it that extra little kick of “woo” for those early morning grove experiences.  This recipe along with many other tempting southern dishes is in Square Table.  The cookbook is featured as part of the Tony Chachere’s Tailgate Challenge which invites football fans to vote for their favorite tailgate recipe. After you receive the compliments for making “Bacon Tomato Cups” at your tailgate party, I hope you will make sure Ole Miss keeps their tailgating legacy by voting for the Square Table recipe in the contest. Please vote for Ole Miss and Square Table’s recipe at www.taylorms.com.

Square Table Cookbook give-aways are here and here. Check it out. Not to mention, love these blogs.

Bacon Tomato Cups

1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
½ cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
½ small onion, chopped
1 10-ounce can refrigerated flaky, layered biscuits

Optional add-in: ½ teaspoon Tony Chachere

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir together the tomatoes, mayonnaise, cheese, basil, bacon onion, and ½ teaspoon Tony Chachere’s seasoning. Separate each biscuit into 3 layers. Press each layer into a lightly greased miniature muffin tin and fill with tomato mixture. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Makes 24 servings

*Permission to use the Bacon Tomato Cups recipe granted by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. Square Table Cookbook is a community cookbook and a fundraiser for the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and can be ordered on their website www.oxfordarts.com/shop. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Square Table Recipe is a Finalist in Tailgate Cook-off Competition

College football is competitive both on and off the field.  Nowhere is this truer than in the SEC. Every ounce of energy expended by football players on the field is matched off the field by fans with tailgate parties that are legendary.  Tony Chachere is looking for the best tailgating recipe from the SEC schools. Representing the University of Mississippi is a recipe from Oxford’s most recognized restaurant found in Oxford’s most popular cookbook; Square Table: A Collection of Recipes from Oxford, MS.

Square Table Cookbook has recently been recognized for one of their recipes becoming a top 12 finalist in the 2011 Tony Chachere’s Tailgating Cook-off Competition. So I heard about the competition from my boss and just thought, why not send in a recipe? 

I wanted to submit a recipe that represented the restaurants in town, but also highlight how serious tailgating is during Ole Miss Football season. The recipe is found in the Square Table cookbook, a collection that highlights both traditional tailgating fare and recipes from the restaurants in Oxford. 

Ole Miss Groving at its finest

The Catfish and Tasso Savory Cheesecake from City Grocery’s appetizer menu has the honor of being one of the best recipes in the SEC. The contest, put on by Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast and sponsored by Tony’s Chachere seasoning, commenced April 1, 2011 and recipe submissions ended June 15.

The twelve finalist recipes will be displayed at www.css-sports.com from 5 pm CST on August 19 through Friday, November 11. During the final judging period, the general public will have the opportunity to view and vote on their favorite finalist. At the conclusion of the Final Judging Period, the top three finalists with the highest number of votes will be declared the “Cook-off Champions”. The Grand Prize Winner and Cook-off Champion with the most votes will be announced November 18. The three Cook-off Champion recipes will be featured in SportsNite this November or December (the “Cook-off Feature”).

So if you get a second, take a moment to vote for the recipe that serves Oxford best; vote because it goes to supporting City Grocery & the Arts Council. VOTING STARTS AUGUST 19th! (Don't worry I'll remind you.) 

Check out their website-- this is also where you'll be able to vote: http://www.css-sports.com/pages/tony_chacheres_tailgating_cookoff_vote_here

If you would like to get a copy of this recipe and the other great recipes found in Square Table you can order the book through the Ole Miss Alumni office or directly from the Arts Council online at www.oxfordarts.com

My best friend, Christine & I supporting our Rebels during a football game

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Oxford Burger Blog

Did I mention that my friends and I started a burger blog? Not just any burger blog, an Oxford Burger Blog. This is our summer project-- to try every burger in Oxford, specifically sit down restaurants that do not have drive-thrus.

"To begin, we needed to come up with standard judging criteria. In an effort to be consistent, we have created score sheets to take to each restaurant to judge their fare. Burgers will be judged in five categories: style, taste, content, satisfaction, and price. Each category is worth five points, adding up to 25 points for overall score." --quoted from Oxford Burger Blog

Meet the Judges!

Jill Jill- when she's not being America's every day badass she likes to listen to Chris Carrabba and bite into a good slab of meat

Gregster- When he's not wooing ladies with his french accent and quoting lines from Camelot he likes to enjoy a burger with a Heineken

And then there's me, Beth. When I'm not being attacked by parrots with obscure names I often like to promote red meat as nature's candy

To join us on our adventure, visit:

Jingles in June, definitely OK

Oxford Rhythm Revival is Back- Saturday, June 18th!

     When you think of June in Mississippi what comes to mind? Summer, friends, and music; and that’s why we’re eager to welcome back the Oxford Rhythm Revival music festival. A perfect evening to spend with friends hearing live music scheduled on four different stages on the
Oxford Square,
and a $20 all-venue pass gets you into all the shows.
      Last year’s surprise attraction at the Rhythm Revival was the Jingle Contest. Because it was so popular this contest has now become an annual feature to the festival. The Jingle Contest is a competition for songwriters to write the best jingle about one of the sponsors of the Oxford Rhythm Revival. Last year’s submissions ranged from original compositions to humorous parodies. Eric Carlton, Jamie Posey, Gin-Gin Carlton, and Rosamond Posey won the inaugural contest last year with their Rossini inspired jingles for Square Books. Anyone can sponsor the Oxford Rhythm Revival, but you must sponsor to be eligible for a jingle.
      Songwriters will perform their jingles Saturday, June 18 at 7:00 pm at Soulshine Pizza.  First prize artist of the Jingle Contest will receive a $300 cash prize and a chance to perform for Music in the Hall this fall. The judges for the competition will be Jim Dees and Mary Lou Williams. If you can not perform your jingle live on Saturday, you can submit a recorded version.
     To become a participant in the jingle contest or to become a sponsor of the Oxford Rhythm Revival email Ferriday at ferriday@feteofoxford.com. Businesses must be a sponsor to have a jingle written about them with a $100 minimum sponsorship. If you have any questions regarding the jingle contest please contact Daniel Morrow at daniel@musicinthehall.com.

For more information on the Oxford Rhythm Revival visit:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shmadition your Tradition

Oh Hi, Jameson bead sitting in my purse that was from last Saturday night, I'll be saving you for this Thursday- for the real St. Patrick's Day.

Going down memory lane this morning I remembered my spring break freshman year in college. Awesome. About 4 of us went to a St. Patrick's Day parade in New Orleans (lower 9th, Chalmette- Chalmation Nation). Never experiencing a form of Mardi Gras at that age, this experience felt similar to what it was like. Oh, they threw beads and also: cabbage, carrots, potatoes. Have you ever had someone chunk a cabbage at you? What a thrill.

Our collection- soon to be made into stew

So many beads + whatever else they threw and we caught

Thinking of all the good times I've had (and will have) with St. Pats inspired me to write a story to help promote our cookbook, Square Table. Cheers!


Tradition – Shmadition, as Long as it’s a Celebration
How to be Meatless on the Greenest Day of the Year

            I’ve recently challenged myself by becoming a vegetarian, but just for the span of the next 40 days. St. Patrick’s Day is my dilemma because it just doesn’t seem like March 17th without corned beef and cabbage. Then I got to thinking about it, what made corned beef and cabbage popular anyway? How does one eat cabbage without corned beef? Why would someone want to eat cabbage?
            Well, for one, the corned beef and cabbage is an Americanized version of the St. Patrick’s Day meal. Brief history lesson: corned beef was made popular in New York bars by being offered as a “free lunch” to Irish construction workers who were building NYC in the early 20th century. To get this “free lunch” you had to buy a couple of beers or shots of whiskey. That’s how corned beef became known as an ‘Irish’ food.
            Since corned beef and cabbage is now this staple to Americanized-St. Patty’s, it still feels necessary to at least eat some cabbage. The only trusted cabbage recipes, that I would use, come from community cookbooks. Sure, you can look online at cabbage recipes, but are they National Tabasco award winning approved? Negative. However, Square Table Cookbook is, and they’ve got a smashing Red Cabbage Casserole that’s beyond easy to make and could double as a wonderful accompaniment to corned beef.
            Still not convinced? Here’s why cabbage is a great idea: cabbage, like citrus fruit, is a very high source of vitamin C. It’s also high in fiber, other vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and good for weight loss. So if you do decide to be classy and body paint yourself green while consuming massive amounts of green whatnot, maybe you won’t necessarily feel like you were BFF’s with the green fairy the night before.
            Green fairy friend-ed or not, red cabbage casserole is always a great idea on St. Patrick’s Day.

Red Cabbage Casserole
(Makes 6 servings)

1 medium red cabbage, shredded
1 small onion, chopped
3 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except butter. Place in a large buttered casserole. Dot with butter. Cover and bake 2 hours.
*Permission to use the Red Cabbage Casserole recipe granted by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. Square Table Cookbook is a community cookbook and a fundraiser for the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and can be ordered on their website www.oxfordarts.com/shop.

Happy St. Patrick's Day
March 2007

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chunky Monkey

Some of you who do know me know that I love my job. There is always something new going on; there is never a dull moment! I've gotta say that working with great people is a big part of it too.

I understand that some people are work at work and then be yourself at home, but honestly I feel sorry for those people. Maybe its because their job forces them to be, but one of the best friendships I've ever had has come from my boss. He is one of the most interesting people I've ever met, always entertaining, has such a loving and supportive family, and he really cares about his job.

Being newly single, I was kind of dreading Valentine's Day. Let's get real here, who doesn't hate Valentine's Day when their single? Bah, whatever. So I started out with a rough morning, was running late for work, and then when I finally got there I found yellow roses waiting for me on my desk. They were from my boss. (Don't worry I know he got his wife bigger and more beautiful flowers than me!) That amount of thoughtfulness just blew me away, and I am thankful every day to have my job, to work with the people I work with, and the constant little surprises life throws at me along the way.

As payback for his kindness I made him a Chunky Monkey Cake. It's yellow cake mix with bananas, chocolate chips, and pecans with a milk chocolate frosting. My boss loves monkeys; I knew it would be perfect. And the cake was an absolute success, if you ever wanna try something different and unique: Chunky Monkey.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yarn Bombing: Destruction of Fibers or Explosion of Fuzzy Colors?

    I'm going to basically copy and paste the press release I wrote for my job for this blog post, BUT I'm putting my specific comments in color. Because, there are a couple different things I wanted to highlight, but my boss wouldn't let me suggested against it.

    Fiber artists and enthusiasts will be making their way to Oxford, January 21 – 23, for the first ever Fiber Arts Festival hosted by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and Knit1 Oxford. This three-day event is the first event, of its kind, in Mississippi. The Fiber Arts Festival will offer workshops, lectures on vintage knitting, demonstrations in: crochet, lace making, rug hooking, etc., and even “make and take” classes for all ages where you can learn a fiber art in one lesson.

     If that’s not enough to keep the kids interested, the live alpacas definitely will! YES, alpacas are the ones that spit! But not all of them do. They make humming noises when their being friendly or just trying to communicate. And the males sqwack like crazy birds when they fight. The alpacas’ consistency in quality and quantity of its fiber and fineness of its coat has made them a valuable fiber-bearing animal. A look-a-like to a tiny llama the animals will be part of the demonstrations showcasing the vibrancy of fiber arts from the origins of the fibers to the finished product.  Visitors can even take part in the latest fiber art trend - yarn bombing.

    Yarn Bombing is a colorful twist on graffiti.  Artists twist, tie, wrap and roll fibers around anything.  The columns in front of stores on the square and bikes have been yarn bombed transforming them into brilliant, fuzzy works of art. During the fiber art festival visitors can take part in yarn bombing the historic pumps in front of The Powerhouse.  Yes, sign me up for wrapping random buildings and objects in yarn! Ok, I personally have not seen what this looks like yet, but I heard it looks pretty stinkin' cool. YAC & Knit1 hope to make this festival a tradition with the combination of the talent in the area, interest, and support we’ve generated from the community; we’re anticipating a fun, fiber weekend for all! YEAH, and Alpacas!

Learning how to make a felt clutch is just ONE of the workshops available Fiber Arts Weekend

     The festival hours start Friday, January 21 from 5-9pm with the lecture on vintage knitting and crochet with a reception at 7pm. Saturday, January 22 from 10am-4pm, will be Make and Take crafts available all day, a felt clutch workshop, and yarn bombing. Sunday, January 23 from 1-4pm will be the Nuno Felted Scarf workshop and the Hand Painting Sock Yarn workshop.  On exhibit during the festival in the Powerhouse Gallery will be quilts by the PieceMakers Quilt Guild.

Unfortunately, (not really unfortunate because I'm excited to go) I'll be at a wedding that weekend. (See blog post before this one) With one of my all time favorite people, whom I only get to see, basically, once a year.

I'm encouraging you to be at the Fiber Arts Fest, because Alpacs really are adorable and learning how to make a felt clutch is probably one of the neatest skills ever.