Mississippi Arts Commission | Jackson, MS
David Lewis became the Executive Director of the Mississippi Arts Commission in January of 2023.
As executive director of MAC, Lewis is responsible for strategic planning, public speaking, grants administration, business management, partnership development, and other duties. The executive director of MAC reports to a 15-member board of directors appointed by the Governor and manages an 11-member professional staff.
A Jackson native, Lewis is undeniably passionate about Mississippi and all it has to offer. Lewis came to MAC from the Department of Human and Cultural Services (DHCS) for the City of Jackson, where he served as Deputy Director. In his time with DHCS, Lewis showed a commitment to finding creative ways to bring life, energy, and awareness to Jackson’s incredible places, spaces, and people. Lewis plans to bring this same energy to MAC with a focus on supporting Mississippi’s rich creative economy on a state-wide scale.
As Deputy Director of DHCS, Lewis worked with the Arts Center of Mississippi, the Russell C. Davis Planetarium, the Smith Robertson Museum, and the Municipal Art Gallery. Lewis also served as Manager of Thalia Mara Hall, where he helped usher in a 35% increase in revenue during the 2018-2019 fiscal year. With allies of the Planetarium, Lewis has shepherded the launch of a campaign to fully renovate and add onto the existing structure, helping to raise over 50% of the fundraising goal to date. Lewis is also the creator and lead for the City of Jackson’s Bicentennial campaign, which ended on December 31, 2022, and the holiday Capital City Lights event, which celebrated its second year in 2022.
Lewis currently serves on the Advisory Council for Downtown Jackson Partners and has served for three years as Vice-Chairman of the Board for Team JXN. In 2018, Lewis received the AIA “Friend of Architecture” award and Visit Jackson’s SUMMIT “Friend of Tourism” award in 2020.
A graduate of Mississippi State University, Lewis earned a bachelor’s degree in Architecture in 2015. From 2016-2018, Lewis pursued a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning at Jackson State University while working as a Project Specialist for the Greater Jackson Arts Council. In his role at GJAC, Lewis facilitated many creative initiatives, including the Welcome to Jackson mural, the Mississippi Light Festival, the Obama Elementary School mural, and the Community Paint Wall. Lewis rebranded and relaunched Food Truck Friday, increasing the attendee count five-fold.
Lewis and his wife, Mary Lee, live in Belhaven with their daughter, Louise.