MHC and Visit MS Award More than $96,000 in Bicentennial Grants in April

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 April, the review committee awarded more than $96,000 to 19 different projects across the state, bringing the total awarded to date to over $376,000.  Due to the overwhelming demand, May 1 will be the last deadline offered for the Bicentennial Grants Program.


The projects funded in April include:


Columbus Arts Council                                                                 Mississippi Writers Series—Celebrating Mississippi 200!

A Mississippi writers series featuring talks by nationally published Mississippi authors, screenings of two films based on books by Mississippi authors, and concluding with readings by members of the Columbus Writers and Storytellers Guild and presentations by local theater students based on their writings about Mississippi history. Various dates.


Town of Carrollton                                                                       Carrollton Walking Tour App for Smart Phones

Development of a walking tour app for smart phones focusing on local architecture accompanied by related historical content.


Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau                               “Tupelo Spirit” Video Production

Three-minute film project centering on Tupelo’s spirit of community development and incorporating the stories of three local residents who illustrate this spirit, to be shown at Tupelo’s new visitors’ center.


Bountiful Blessings Broadcasting, Yazoo City                             Celebration of the History of Black DJs

Recording and broadcast project highlighting the history of black deejays from the 1950s through the 1980s.


Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale

Monday Movie Nights Celebrating Mississippi’s Music History and Heritage

Monthly outdoor film series featuring films related to Mississippi’s music heritage, accompanied by panel discussions with filmmakers, historians and representatives from the music industry. May-September.


Mississippi Fiddlers Association

The Great Big Yam Potatoes Old Time Music Gathering and Fiddle Contest

Bicentennial spin on an annual fiddle music event at historic Jefferson College, featuring a selection of songs from various eras in the state’s 200 years of statehood. May 20th.


Woodville/Wilkinson County Main Street Association, Woodville and Wilkinson County’s Story: Prehistory to the Present in Photo Stories and Walkable Galleries

Workshop for local residents, who will create photo essays about various aspects of local history and culture that will be combined into a 30-minute video that will be screened publicly on September 22.


HealthWorks of North Mississippi, Tupelo

200 Years of Family Fun

Three public events focusing on the evolution of recreation and leisure activities in Mississippi, including a day of games popular among children in 19th century Mississippi, a day of 20th century leisure sports, and a day focusing on the contemporary activity of geocaching. Sept. 9, Oct. 7, Nov. 4.


Historic Ocean Springs Association                                        Mississippi Bicentennial Public Art Mural by Chris Stebly, featuring the History and Culture of Ocean Springs

A public art installation depicting the history and culture of the Ocean Springs community.


City of Gautier                                               

Mississippi Masterpieces

Art and songwriting competition for youths and adults themed around Mississippi’s history and culture. Winning entries will be announced and celebrated at a public reception on November 10th.


University of Mississippi         

Bicentennial Publication Events for the Mississippi Encyclopedia

Scholarly presentations related to the publication of the new Mississippi Encyclopedia and multiple sites across the state from May to December.


Greenville Renaissance Scholars Scholars

Greenville Renaissance Scholars’ Bicentennial Performance

Creation and performance of a bicentennial drama by participants in a summer camp for 6th-8th-graders. The drama will touch on the history Delta blues, country music, and civil rights. June.


Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi, Ridgeland                               Mississippi’s Craft Heritage

Living history presentations depicting Mississippi’s craft heritage over the past 200 years. The live presentations will be filmed and edited into a video about the role of craft in Mississippi’s development and cultural identity. October 14.


Philadelphia-Neshoba County Public Library                     Neshoba County Red Clay Hills Bicentennial Celebration Series

Eight-month series of community activities celebrating local, county, and state history, including art and music contests, film screenings, bicentennial picnic, time capsule, and an unveiling of a self-guided podcast tour of local historical sites. Various dates.


Museum of the Mississippi Delta, Greenwood                   Greenwood “Spirit of the Yazoo” Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration

Multiple programs  in May-July, including a community music concert, a ceramic tile mural installation, a Juneteenth celebration, children’s programs, and a scholarly lecture series. Various dates.


Grammy Museum Mississippi, Cleveland                             Journey through the Soul of American Music

Public programming centered on the “Take Me To The River” documentary, including a museum gallery talk by Mississippi musician Charlie Musselwhite and a free live performance on the museum lawn by artists featured in the documentary. Sept. 26.


Olive Branch Arts Council                                                           Olive Branch Arts Council Historic Mural in Old Towne

Historians and artists will collaborate to create a mural depicting historic figures and buildings, as well as prominent events in local history.


Tishomingo County Historical & Genealogical Society                                                                                                

Bicentennial of Art—Portraits of the Past

Professional mural artist will work with local K-12 students to design and implement a historical mural.


Chickasa-Leaf Quilt Trail Committee, Leakesville             Chickasa-Leaf Barn Quilt Trail

Development of a website and brochures depicting barn quilts in Mississippi and a public program on June 23rd featuring a scholar of the Mississippi quilting tradition.


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.

The Bicentennial Grant Program is made possible through the Mississippi Legislature in partnership with the Mississippi Development Authority/Visit Mississippi. See for a complete calendar of bicentennial events.