Arts and Letters
Johnson joins MCC family as Arts & Letters Director
With the combination of Meridian roots and passion for the arts, Susie Johnson is taking the reins of the College’s Arts & Letters Series as director and is leading the signature entertainment program to new heights.
President Dr. Thomas Huebner said Johnson is the perfect addition to the MCC family. “She is a well-respected member of the arts community in Meridian and brings a strong sense of vision, energy and enthusiasm to everything she does,” he said.
Johnson has served as executive director and education director of the Meridian Symphony Orchestra. She is the founding director of Stage 2, a local theater group geared to teens and the arts and was youth director for the Meridian Little Theatre.
Also, Johnson was the recipient of the statewide Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education Exemplary Arts Service Award and serves on the board of directors for MAAE and serving on the Community Arts Team for the Any Given Child initiative.
She graduated from Asbury University in Wilmore, KY, and received her master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.
Johnson and her husband Joel are the parents of Jenna, Benjamin and K.K. The trio comprises the musical group Track 45.
Nomads No More: Stage 2 finds home at MCC
Stage 2, the theatrical training group for youths 13-19, is now at home at MCC’s McCain Theater stage. Stage 2 under the direction of Susie Johnson, MCC director of the Arts & Letters Series and the founder of Stage 2.
“Coming home to MCC has been a blessing and relief … we’ve been nomads for ten years,”
said Johnson. Temporary home bases numbered at least five while practices were held
in venues, including church basements to parking lots.
The youth-centered troupe – those turning 13 years of age during the school year through age 19 is much more than just putting on a show.
Emphasis is on character development, teamwork and community service. “Working off stage is just as important for a show as being on stage,” Johnson said. The youths are actively involved in committees, helping with costumes, set design, props, advertisement and fundraising.
Now that Stage 2 has a permanent home, Johnson and her team are offering the same opportunity for learning and growth to interested elementary students through an after-school program, Take 1.
“We will start with a few pilot classes for fourth through sixth-graders,” Johnson said.