Visit Mississippi and Mississippi Humanities Council Award More than $96,000 in Bicentennial Grants

Jackson, Mississippi — January 20, 2017 — To support local celebrations honoring Mississippi’s bicentennial, the Mississippi Humanities Council is partnering with the Mississippi Development Authority’s Visit Mississippi to oversee the Bicentennial Grants Program. To date, the review committee has met twice and awarded more than $96,000 for 15 different projects throughout the state. These include: 

Mississippi Heritage Trust
What Makes Us Mississippi: Historic Places Saved, Lost and Endangered

Year-long educational program for five schools in Mississippi, which includes curriculum, teacher training, field trips and a culminating event with an exhibit featuring various works produced by participating students. The goal of the project is to explore the state’s 200 years of history through its historic structures.

Mississippi Chambre Music Guild
Mississippi Bicentennial Fanfare Festival

Three-day music event featuring a commissioned piece, “Bi-Centennial Fanfare,” being performed in the Old Capitol Rotunda. Other public activities include a high school honor choir singing Mississippi songs, a readers’ theater performing a selection from the writings of Eudora Welty and a “Civil War” piece performed by a New Stage Theatre troupe. Feb. 9-11.

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #265, Brandon
Mississippi Bicentennial Civil War Show

Two-day event featuring Mississippi artists, authors, musicians, historical reenactors, experts in historical artifacts and Civil War scholars. June 17-18. 

Canton Convention and Visitors Center
Thea’s Turn: A Bicentennial Celebration of Cultural Learning

Theatrical production about the life of an African American nun raised in Canton. The play traces Sister Thea’s life, which ultimately gained attention on the world stage. April 22. 

City of D’Iberville
Discover D’Iberville—A Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration

Various projects related to local history, including a staged reenactment of D’Iberville’s landing in 1699 and a “Discover D’Iberville” booklet with highlights of the city’s history through the present day. February 10-11.

Greenville History Museum                                                                       Plantations to the Grave

Project to develop a website and various display exhibits on local Greenville history. The exhibits will consist of historical photographs and captions to be displayed at various sites around Greenville.

Delta Film Institute, Greenville
Holt Collier Featurette

Production of a short film about Holt Collier, former slave and expert bear hunter, who led Theodore Roosevelt on his famous Delta bear hunt.

Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, Gulfport
A Celebration of Mississippi Heroes Film Festival

Student film competition around the theme “Mississippi Heroes,” culminating in a public film festival with prizes for top films. April 8. 

Hattiesburg Civic Chorus and Concert Association                                     FestivalSouth 2017

A special series of cultural and educational programs that will be part of the annual FestivalSouth event. Funded programs will include a new display exhibit about Muppets creator Jim Henson and various puppetry arts performances. June 1-17.

New Hope Baptist Church, Jackson
Back in the Day Black History Celebration

A month-long series of programs honoring African American history in Mississippi, culminating in the concert event “Celebrating Our History and Culture Through Music,” which will explore the important role of gospel music in the Civil Rights Movement. February 23.

Mississippi Light Collaborative, Jackson
Mississippi Light Festival

A two-day event featuring illuminated art installations, sculptures, projections, interactive technologies and light shows. Will also feature a hands-on scientific art lab for children. February 24-25.

Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration
From Statehood to Civil War to Civil Rights and More — The Events that Shaped the History and Culture of Mississippi

Annual three-day literary and cinema festival which will feature a bicentennial theme, showcasing the history and culture of Mississippi through literature. Mississippi authors will speak on a range of topics and events that have shaped the state. February 23-25. 

Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, Oxford
Mississippi Visions: Works by Contemporary Mississippi Artists

A month-long art exhibit highlighting the diverse work of our state’s contemporary artists. Will also include a series of free hands-on workshops where the public can learn about the artistic process. June 2017. 

Pearl River Community College, Poplarville
Pearl River Community College Celebrates Mississippi’s Bicentennial

Special Bicentennial concert at the Brownstone Center for the Arts showcasing the state’s rich musical heritage, especially the blues. The program will feature presentations by two noted blues scholars and a performance by Grammy-nominated blues artist Vasti Jackson. August 29. 

Friends of Stone County Libraries
Celebrating Mississippi’s Bicentennial

A series of programs, including a bicentennial book club, school programs featuring a celebrated children’s book author, a special program telling the remarkable story of Stone County residents the Stapp Sisters and the commissioning of a bicentennial mural. 

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 November 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.

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