Visit Mississippi and Mississippi Humanities Council Award Over $111,000 in Bicentennial Grants in February

To support local celebrations of the Mississippi bicentennial, the Mississippi Humanities Council is partnering with Mississippi Development Authority’s Visit Mississippi to oversee a Bicentennial Grants Program. In February, the review committee awarded over $111,000 to 22 different projects from across the state.

These projects include:

Oxford Film Festival
Women of Mississippi on Film
A series of six monthly programs featuring a Mississippi-related film followed by a panel discussion about their depictions of women. April – September.

Calling Panther Heritage Foundation, Hazlehurst            
Oral and Written History of Hazlehurst, Mississippi
A collaborative effort to collect oral and written history from local residents, culminating with a published history and a local history lecture series.

USM University Libraries, Hattiesburg      
Lectures, Lore and Lessons: Mississippi at the Bicentennial
Series of public programs examining different aspects of the state’s past and envisioning its future, including political, literary, cultural history, and industrial history topics. February-November.

Hancock County Community Development Foundation      
The Old Spanish Trail—Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Static and interactive displays of the remaining resources along the Old Spanish Trail in Hancock County.

Sunflower River Blues Association, Clarksdale  
The Sunflower River Blues Association’s 30th Anniversary
Educational component at an annual blues festival, featuring bluesman Charlie Musselwhite sharing the musical history of the region. August 12th.

Waynesboro-Wayne County Library    
Wayne County Historical Art Mural: Preserving the Past, Embracing the Future
Mural project at new historical museum and art center depicting a historical timeline of the history of the county and the state.

NMHS Unlimited Film Productions, Jackson
Our Forgotten Roots
Creation of a series of short documentary films highlighting the contributions of African Americans to the state of Mississippi.

Mississippi Lower Delta Partnership, Rolling Fork
Lower Delta Talk Series
Monthly speaker series featuring eight different programs about aspects of Delta history. March-November.

City of Biloxi
History of Biloxi Video
Development of a short video about Biloxi’s history, with emphasis on its cultural heritage, to be showcased at the South Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration and then used at the Biloxi Visitors Center.

Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin Regional Library, Brookhaven
Mississippi Bicentennial: Literacy in Our Story—Lincoln, Lawrence and Franklin Counties
Portable exhibit featuring the history of Lincoln, Lawrence, and Franklin Counties.

Claiborne County Economic Development District, Port Gibson
United States Colored Troops of the Vicksburg Campaign
Living history narrative of the beginning of the Vicksburg Campaign in the Civil War, depicting the role formerly enslaved Mississippians played in the success of the campaign. Project includes printed map featuring General Ulysses S. Grant’s campaign trail.

Mississippi Library Commission
Mississippi Literary Map
Creation of a visual map of Mississippi authors, which will be made available in public libraries and at welcome centers. The map will be the subject of public programs at three public libraries at the end of the year.

Union County Historical Society & Heritage Museum, New Albany
Hallelujah Trail and Associated Programming
Creation of permanent signage for churches established 100 years or more ago in Union County which are still active, printed brochure, and public programs on community history.

City of Moss Point
South Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration; The Birthplace of American Music
Two-phase celebration beginning with a booth at South Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration on March 31 – April 1 highlighting the past, present and future of Moss Point, followed by a tribute to Mississippi musicians on May 6th.

Mississippi State University Libraries, Starkville, North Carrolton
Mississippi Literature and Land series at Cotesworth Culture and Heritage Center
Series of three public programs examining Mississippi’s agrarian and literary heritage to be held at the historic home of J.Z. George. April 9th; September; December.

Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign
Mississippi Bicentennial Symphony at Sunset
Free outdoor pops concert featuring the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra over Memorial Day weekend at Vicksburg National Military Park. May 27th.

Prentiss County Historical and Genealogical Society, Booneville
Booneville Celebrates the Bicentennial
Creation of wood cut-outs of historical personalities from Mississippi and the city of Booneville, which will be displayed throughout Booneville during local a Heritage and Fall Festival Days. Boys and Girls Club members will perform plays about these personalities.

African American Military History Museum, Hattiesburg
1940s Community Day
Day of events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the historic USO Club in Hattiesburg, which now houses the African American Military History Museum. March 25th.

JSU Center for University-Based Development, Jackson
The COFO Mural and Mt. Olive Cemetery Project: “Celebrating the Legacy of West Jackson’s Pioneers
Mural creation, historical reenactments, and printing of a booklet related to civil rights history and the historic Mt. Olive cemetery.

Historical Society of Gulfport
Historic marker for the location of Centennial Plaza, Gulfport, MS
Creation of eight narrative panels detailing the history of the 1917 centennial celebration site.

City of Raymond
City of Raymond, Mississippi, Bicentennial Celebration
Creation of a short film on the railroad and blues music history of Raymond, Mississippi.

Mississippi University for Women, Columbus
Borderlands: Mississippi and Alabama Statehood in the Bicentennial Year
Public lectures addressing the theme of “borderlands” on the Mississippi-Alabama border around the year 1817. March 5th.

The goal of the bicentennial grant program is to inspire and empower local organizations throughout Mississippi to develop public programs documenting, interpreting and exploring community culture. Applications will be accepted on a monthly basis, with grant deadlines falling on the first of each month, continuing through Nov. 1, 2017, or until all grant funds are expended.

For more information, including grant guidelines and how to apply, please visit

The Bicentennial Year Grant Program is made possible through the Mississippi Legislature in partnership with the Mississippi Development Authority/Visit Mississippi.