Visit Mississippi and Mississippi Humanities Council Award More than $70,000 in Bicentennial Grants in May

Jackson, Miss. (June 7, 2017) – To support local celebrations of the Mississippi bicentennial, the Mississippi Humanities Council is partnering with the Mississippi Development Authority’s Visit Mississippi to oversee a Bicentennial Grants Program. In May, the review committee awarded more than $70,000 to 16 different projects across the state, bringing the total awarded to date to $450,000. Due to overwhelming demand, May was the last month for the Bicentennial Grants Program.

City of Clinton
Clinton Historical Interactive Trail
Web-based interactive historical tour with a mobile app, highlighting 40-plus personalities of significance in Clinton’s history.

City of Cleveland’s Martin & Sue King Railroad Heritage Museum
Explore Cleveland and Bolivar County: Our Past and Our Present
Updating and reprinting of a driving map of Cleveland and Bolivar County featuring local historical and tourist sites. Museum staff plan to create public programs based on featured map sites.

Laurel Main Street
“Caching” in on Laurel’s History
Geocaching event to engage local fourth and eighth graders with 20 historic sites important to Laurel and Jones County history.

Town of Oakland
Oakland Bicentennial Celebration Events
Three-part event, including a conference commemorating progress in education, health care and business July 22, a “Taste of Oakland” event featuring samples of local cuisine and a musical tribute September 23 and a health summit December 9.

Mississippi Book Festival, Inc.
Conversations about Civil Rights
Panel discussion ahead of the opening of the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, exploring the impact of civil rights activities in Mississippi on the movement nationally. December 7.

University of Mississippi
“Mississippi: 200 Years of Statehood” Official Exhibition Opening Lecture and Reception
Public lecture by Ralph Eubanks, an author, former director of publishing at the Library of Congress and University of Mississippi alumnus, on Mississippi history, relating to various items featured in a bicentennial exhibition culled from the university’s various collections. June 21.

Daughters of the American Revolution, Gulfport Chapter
Celebration of Our Heritage: Live Oaks Cemetery
Local history program using historic cemetery, including student activities such as grave rubbings and data collection from tombstones, as well as oral history interviews with community members. The event also will include public presentations of art, poetry, writing and drama based on information gathered at the cemetery. November-December.

Write for Mississippi
What Can We Do for Our Country?
Book publication project featuring writing by Mississippi students, addressing challenges they see facing the state on its bicentennial anniversary.

Winterville Mounds/Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Native American Days 2017
Three-day celebration of Southeastern Native American and colonial-era Euro American cultures in Mississippi, including traditional dance, song and storytelling presentations by Native Americans, colonial-era food, arts and crafts, Native American games and ancient weapons demonstrations. October 25-27.

Central Mississippi Blues Society, Inc.
200 Years of Shared History: Mississippi and the Blues
Day-long event examining the parallel between the history of blues music and state history, including documentary film showings, musical demonstrations and narrative presentations by historians and musicians. July 29.

Juanita Sims Doty Foundation
A Legacy Retrospective of Jay D. Johnson—Rays of Hope in Mississippi
Development of a photo exhibit showcasing the state’s history and diversity, culled from the collection of local photographers Jay D. Johnson and his father, James R. Johnson. Images will include local and national African American political leaders and civil rights icons, churches, entertainers and sports personalities. Exhibit will be displayed at Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center in Jackson. November.

Mississippi State University
Symbols of Our State: A Walk through Mississippi Culture and Industry
Development of an exhibit and associated programming using cultural and scientific resources such as state symbols and examples of industry and culture from the Mississippi State University Museums and Galleries collections.

Mississippi Children’s Museum
Celebrate Mississippi: Past, Present and Future
Theater project to engage Jackson-area students in writing and performing monologues representing historical figures from throughout the state’s history.

Delta State University
Mississippi History and Culture Bicentennial Celebration at Delta State University: Imagining for the Future
Three-day celebration of local culture and history, including a poetry slam, juried art show and public lectures, culminating with a public music performance featuring newly commissioned works by Mississippi composers, as well as Mississippi musicians performing a retrospective of Mississippi music. October 4-6.

Mississippi Cultural Crossroads
Comfort My Soul: A Celebration of Gospel Music in Southwest Mississippi and Beyond
Two-day celebration of the influences and impact of gospel music on the life of the state. September 29-30.

Mississippi Symphony Orchestra
Rooted Voices
Performance of Scott Joplin’s opera “Treemonisha,” about the importance of education, centered on the life of a young former slave woman in the late 19th century who rallies her people to appreciate the value of education. Related components include the development of a student curriculum and a public panel discussion.

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 Gov. Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Legislature in partnership with the Mississippi Development Authority/Visit Mississippi.