Visit Mississippi and Mississippi Humanities Council Award More than $80,000 in Bicentennial Grants in March

Jackson, Mississippi — March 27, 2017 — 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 March, the review committee awarded more than $80,000 to 16 different projects across the state, bringing the total awarded to date to $280,000.

Hancock County Tourism Development Bureau
A Bicentennial Look Back … Explore Hancock County

Exhibit chronicling Hancock County history from 1699-2016, featuring enlarged images from the Hancock County Historical Society collection, as well as artifacts from local museums depicting aspects of the area’s agriculture, viticulture and arts industries.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Greenville
Bicentennial and Veterans Celebration Dinner

Catfish dinner honoring local veterans and featuring Walt Grayson, host of Look Around Mississippi and Mississippi Roads, on November 11.

Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education, Meridian
A Bicentennial Celebration Recounting Unheard Stories of Unsung Heroes

Four teaching artists/scholars will guide local students in researching vintage photographs and writing a stage production based on their discoveries, culminating with a theatrical performance by students. The production will be recorded and a booklet will be published featuring the photographs and stories the students produce. Related events include a living gallery walk following the stage performance. October 26.

Coahoma Community College
25th Anniversary of Coahoma Community College’s Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Celebration

An event combining Coahoma Community College’s annual Tennessee Williams celebration and an innovative showcase and tour of Clarksdale’s historical sites which influenced the playwright’s works. Events will include the tour of historic sites led by scholar-docents on October 13, followed by the traditional Tennessee Williams celebration on October 14.

Ripley Main Street Association
History of Ripley

Held on May 4 to coincide with Ripley’s 180th anniversary and again November 4, this event will feature a historical photo display, oral presentations on the lives of notable Ripley citizens, a tour of historic sites and a re-enactment of the shooting of noted citizen Col. William Falkner.

Wesson Chamber of Commerce
Wesson’s Founders Day—A Celebration of State, County and Town History

Annual community Founders Day with a bicentennial slant on many of the usual Founders Day events, including historic artifacts on display in downtown business windows, garden club members dressed in period costumes and an elementary school art competition. April 28-29.

DeSoto County Museum/Historic DeSoto Foundation
Taking Our History to the People, Creation of a New Traveling History Exhibit for the DeSoto County Museum

Traveling exhibit featuring interchangeable panels which will be transported to five cities in DeSoto County, highlighting each community’s unique heritage and notable citizens. July-December.

Chickasaw Inkana Foundation, Tupelo
Chickasaw Celebration

Multiple events focusing on Chickasaw history and culture in northeast Mississippi, including dance troupe and other cultural performances and demonstrations, academic lectures, art contests and film screenings. April 18, April 20, September 12 and September 14.

Itawamba County Bicentennial Committee
Mississippi’s Bicentennial in Itawamba County: The History of This Place

Monthly schedule of events highlighting historical figures, attractions and sites throughout Itawamba County. Events include bicentennial themes at annual bluegrass and barbecue festival, student portrayals of famous Mississippians, educational programs on local pottery history, a bicentennial forum featuring Walt Grayson with a panel of local historians, reception at Tammy Wynette Legacy Park Center, programs about the Tenn-Tom Waterway, guided tours of historic homes and sites and a bicentennial parade, among several other events. Various dates.

Millsaps College
Freedom Walks: Civil Rights Activism in Downtown Jackson

Student-led project to develop a smart phone application featuring 15 sites around Jackson of historical significance to the civil rights movement. A “Freedom Walk” will take place April 22, with visits to five of the selected sites, to raise awareness for the app.

Sun & Sand Film & Music Society, Biloxi
Sun & Sand Film & Music Festival

Film festival featuring films shot in Mississippi or written, directed, produced or starring Mississippians. May 26-June 4.

Delta Health Center, Mound Bayou
National Rural Community Health Center Museum

Project to develop a small museum in the lobby of the Delta Health Center’s administrative building in Mound Bayou, which is a stop on the tour route for Mississippi Delta heritage tours. The museum would tell the story of the role the Tufts-Delta Health Center played in addressing poverty by providing health care and outreach to Mississippi Delta residents.

The Oaks House Museum, Jackson
A Time Gone By: History at The Oaks

Short-film project depicting the history of this circa-1853 Jackson house, accompanied by four educational programs on various aspects of local and state history during the time period the home was constructed and used by the Boyd family. June 6, September 23.

USM School of Mass Communication and Journalism, Hattiesburg
Celebrating Mississippi’s Culture Through Music—A Bicentennial Celebration

Ten live outdoor summer concerts featuring music representative of the state’s culture and heritage. Concerts will include relevant artifacts and interactive multimedia playback stations, as well as oral history recording stations for participants to share memories related to music in Mississippi. Various dates.

Mississippi Boychoir, Jackson
Mississippi’s Music: A Bicentennial Celebration Concert by the Mississippi Boychoir

Public concert featuring music with Mississippi connections, preceded by a lecture by a music scholar. May 20.

Jackson County Historical and Genealogical Society
Preserving the Past—Celebrating the Future

Time capsule project. The public will be invited to submit items for the time capsule, to be buried at Round Island Lighthouse Park and opened in 50 years. Various dates.

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, until all grant funds are expended. For more information, including grant guidelines and how to apply, please visit

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

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