Ball to start Mississippi School of Arts this fall
By Catherine Kirk
The Bolivar Bullet
Shelby resident Jontrayvious Ball has recently been accepted into the Mississippi School of the Arts (MSA) in Brookhaven.
A sophomore at Northside High School, Ball will complete his junior and senior year at MSA.
The Mississippi School of the Arts is a public, residential high school, operated by the Mississippi State Board of Education/Mississippi Department of Education and funded by Mississippi legislature.
According to its website, MSA is located on a former, historic college campus, where most buildings are listed on the national register of historic places. MSA focuses on the advanced study of fine arts, aligned with a college preparatory curriculum. Students apply to audition during their sophomore year and, if accepted, attend their junior and senior years at MSA.
The school’s mission, according to their website, “is to provide a challenging arts education for artistically gifted Mississippi students in a residential learning environment that promotes honor, integrity, service, and life-long learning.”
Ball said he didn’t hesitate to submit an application as soon as they became available.
The criteria for admission includes being a resident of Mississippi; being a 10th grader with a minimum of 12 Carnegie units of study upon completion of sophomore year; demonstrating artistic achievement in visual, literary or performing arts; submitting a completed online application; auditioning and/or presenting a portfolio for review; having a minimum overall high school GPA of 2.5; and providing their ACT results.
“Miss Moore at MSA really helped me a lot with the admission and audition process,” said Ball. “She supported me even when I wasn’t sure. She made sure that I had everything that I needed and that I had knowledge on information that I needed to continue the admissions process.”
Ball said he felt “amazing” when he found out he was accepted.
“MSA Art Ambassadors were incredible. They checked up on me to make sure that I was still applying and continuing the audition process. They answered all questions I may have. And just was a positive asset to me. And still till now we talk like we have known each other for years.”
MSA’s areas of comprehensive study include dance, literary arts, visual arts, vocal music, theatre arts, and media arts.
Ball selected media arts as his area of focus, which required submitting a 1-3 minute film depicting a scene or story in a non-documentary style accompanied by a one-page typed essay describing the process of making the film, why the topic was chosen and a description of what will be seen in the film.
Ball said the video he created depicted a couple walking in a mall who noticed something strange before they were kidnapped and never be found again.
For his audition, he wrote entitled “The Watcher,” which was about a girl who was receiving threatening messages on her phone before ultimately meeting her death.
“I didn’t finish the whole story. I wanted to leave them thinking and feeling puzzled. Feeling puzzled makes people want to hear the story again.”
Ball will attend his first classes beginning in August.
After he graduates in two years, Ball said he plans to attend either Jackson State University or the University of Mississippi to major in either public politics or education with a concentration in film.
“I want to be either an educator or work in a government office,” he said.
Ball said he hopes his acceptance into the school will make an impact for his surrounding peers to inspire them to take similar opportunities.
“Now that I’m almost an official student, it makes me feel so good. You look at your past and it motivates you to keep going on this path in life,” he said. “I would encourage my peers to take this opportunity. Be the best person you can possibly be. And to show up each and everyday for yourself.”