Arts & Culture

Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center names new director


OCEAN SPRINGS -- The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center announced Stacy Howell as its new executive director last week.

Howell took the reins Jan. 19 after serving two years as the Mary C's program coordinator. She led the creation of programs such as Transformation Theatre, Teen Arts Council, and Underground Theatre.

She has worked with a variety of partner organizations including; Mississippi Humanities Council, Biloxi Little Theatre, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, Broadway South Reparatory Company, Triple Threat Academy, Downstage Productions, Just Over The Rainbow Theatre, Disability Connection and more.

Howell said she plans to create an experience for everyone who comes to The Mary C.

"We are special because we have professionals in a variety of art forms, including visual arts, performing arts, culinary arts, and more," she said. "And by finding themes of tying these art forms together, it creates unforgettable experiences."

Prior to Howell joining the Mary C, she served at the children's theatre in residence at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., as the new locations director and a director of Lola's Laboratory. She also served as a theatre director in Virginia for a year with Culpeper County High School, Floyd T. Binns Middle School and the Christian Youth Theatre in Fredericksburg.

She also was a speech and debate teacher and coach at Ridgeland High School for 10 years, where she had the opportunity to coach local, state, and national champions, including the 2012 National Poetry Out Loud National Champion.

Howell is still heavily involved with Poetry Out Loud with the Mississippi Arts Commission, and she serves as executive director of the Mississippi Theatre Association.