While most students are home for the summer, Oxford remains in full swing for the annual Summer Sunset Series.
The arts and culture series, taking place at 6 p.m. every Sunday in June, is hosted in the Grove and free to the public.
The festivities kicked off June 4 with great attendance. Community members of all ages packed the tailgating site for a picnic hosted by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, followed with a live performance by folk and indie-rock artist Rachel Maxann.
“The Arts Council is proud to work with community cultural partners to organize this summer series, which brings families together in one of our most beautiful places to highlight music of the region,” Wayne Andrews, executive director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, said.
These community partners also include Visit Oxford, the UM Museum, Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oxford Toyota and Belk Ford.
On Sunday, June 11, the series will also journey beyond music, showcasing the best that the University of Mississippi Center for the Study of Southern Culture has to offer.
The Center will host “An Afternoon with Ted,” which will precede the 6 p.m. concert, honoring the career and contributions of Ted Ownby, who is set to retire at the end of June. Ownby worked 35 years as a University of Mississippi history and Southern Studies professor, as well as 11 years as director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture.
“Two things Ted enjoys are students and music,” Afton Thomas, associate director for programs, said. “We thought we would create a sendoff that incorporates his favorites.
“The Center invites former students, colleagues, center supporters and community members to help us celebrate Ted at Barnard Observatory,” Thomas said.
The send-off will precede the Sunset Series, with Ownby delivering a discussion on his latest work at 3 p.m., followed by a picnic on the lawn at 4 p.m. These events are free and open to the public.
The celebration will include musical performances by Southern Studies alumni Kell Kellum, Tyler Keith & the Apostles and TB Ledford & the Accumulators.
The Summer Sunset Series will continue June 18 with blues artists Bill and Shy Perry and conclude June 25 with a performance by The Fabulous Doo Vays.
More information about the Summer Sunset Series can be found on the YAC Arts Council website.