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Delta Center

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River Kings 2 Tour coming to campus

By | Delta Center, International Delta Blues Project, QEP, Students | No Comments

The Office of Student Life, Quality Enhancement Plan, the International Delta Blues Project, the Delta Center for Culture and Learning, and the Delta Music Institute are partnering to host Southern hip-hop artists and social activists Marco Pavé and Alfred Banks on April 11 for two events open to the Delta State community and public.

These events are part of the sustainability mission of Delta State’s annual Winning the Race Conference.

Event #1 – 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. in Baioni Conference Center:
Scott Barretta from the International Delta Blues Project will moderate a lunch panel featuring Pavé and Alfred Banks. The discussion will center on the intersections of music, social justice and activism, as well as discussing music entrepreneurship, the creative economy and regional musical influences. Lunch will be provided for attendees. The event will be in the Baioni Conference Center in Broom Hall from 12:15-1:30 pm.

Event #2 – Union First Floor Lounge from 4-6 p.m.:
Pavé and Banks will perform a casual, lounge-style concert in the Union. Refreshments will be available. This interactive event is an opportunity to hear the duo perform, as well aa ask questions about their music, influences and activism.

Pavé, a Memphis native, and Banks, from New Orleans, have built solid followings in and around their respective cities and beyond. Pavé has been featured on Apple music, MTV, The Root and has delivered a Ted Talk on arts entrepreneurship. Banks has been featured on RevoltTv, BBC Russia, on several national tours, and has a song featured in a Volkswagen commercial. On their own, they both have viable careers, but in the summer of 2016 they decided to join forces and tour together through the River Kings Tour. Their 2016 efforts were so successful that round two will be an 18-city tour.

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MDNHA Provides Grant Information to Delta Communities

By | Delta Center, General | No Comments

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area recently hosted a series of grant workshops throughout the region in collaboration with Mississippi Arts Commission, Mississippi Humanities Council, and Mississippi Department of Archives & History.

The workshops were held in Senatobia, Indianola and Vicksburg and engaged over 60 individuals representing 48 organizations from 12 MDNHA counties, as well as Hinds County (Jackson) and Jefferson County (Alcorn State University).

The MDNHA grant program supports projects that provide a deeper understanding of the culture and heritage of the Mississippi Delta. The workshops provided proposal writing tips for the MDNHA grant program. For those unable to attend, video segments of the workshops and other helpful information can be found on the MDNHA website at https://www.msdeltaheritage.com/grants.

“One of the things I was most impressed with was how adamant all of the organizations were to help everyone that showed interest in the process,” said Adrienne Hudson, Executive Director of RISE, Inc. “It didn’t matter if you were a corporate entity, a long standing non-profit, an education-based group, or just a community member looking to make things better – the goal was clearly to help as many people as possible understand the resources that are available to them. I’m excited to know I can revisit this information on the MDNHA website, just in case I still have questions moving forward.”

In addition to information about the MDNHA’s grant program, representatives from Mississippi Arts Commission, Mississippi Humanities Council, and Mississippi Department of Archives & History were on hand to discuss their grant opportunities.

Brenda Outlaw attended the Indianola workshop in hopes of getting a better understanding of possible projects that could be implemented in her hometown of Merigold.

“It was so helpful to have these four agencies in the same place at the same time,” she said. “I went in thinking there were only a few possibilities for different things we could do in Merigold and came away realizing there is support for lots of ideas that can help us in our little town.”

This is the second year the MDNHA has offered grants. Last year over $180,000 was awarded to 14 organizations throughout the MDNHA. Projects ranged from arts-based projects and oral histories to cultural signage and infrastructure.

Applications must be received by 4 p.m. on Monday, March 20, at The Delta Center for Culture and Learning in order to be considered for this funding cycle.

The MDNHA is a cultural heritage partnership between the people of the Mississippi Delta and the National Park Service. Led by Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University, the MDNHA includes 18 counties that contain land located in the alluvial floodplain of the Mississippi Delta: Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, DeSoto, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica, Warren, Washington and Yazoo.

The MDNHA was designated by U.S. Congress in 2009 and is governed by a board of directors representing agencies and organizations defined in the congressional legislation. More information about the MDNHA, including the complete approved management plan, is available at www.msdeltaheritage.com. Information about the grants program is also available at this website.

For more information, contact The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at 662-846-4311, or email grants@msdeltaheritage.com.

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center serves as the management entity of the MDNHA and is the home of the International Delta Blues Project. For more information, visit http://deltacenterdsu.com/

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University of Nebraska-Lincoln students visit The Delta Center

By | Delta Center, General | No Comments

The Delta Center For Culture and Learning at Delta State University recently hosted a group of 25 students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Service-Study ASB during their “Civil Rights: Past, Present, & Future” experiential learning tour of the South.

The group was treated to a cultural immersion experience led by Lee Aylward and Dr. Rolando Herts of The Delta Center. Their experiential learning day included a historical and programmatic overview of The Delta Center, Delta State and the Mississippi Delta region.

The group started their day at Ewing Hall and visited culturally significant landmarks including Dockery Farms, the Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden in Ruleville, the historic black town of Mound Bayou, the home of civil rights activist Amzie Moore, and the legendary rural juke joint Po Monkey’s Lounge.

Dr. Linda Moody, director of service learning in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Civic Engagement, brought the group of students to the Delta based on the reputation of The Delta Center’s “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshop funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“We were referred by a faculty member at Nebraska whose spouse attended the workshop a few years ago,” said Moody. “Their experience was so positive, so impactful. That referral has resulted in our program bringing students to The Delta Center and the Mississippi Delta for the past four years.”

Service-Study ASB places teams of college students in communities to engage in service and experiential learning during their summer, fall, winter or spring breaks. Through this program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln students learn about issues relevant to their local communities, such as poverty, civil rights, racism, immigration, literacy, hunger, homelessness, and the environment. Service projects have included Habitat For Humanity and disaster relief.

In addition to Cleveland, the group also spent time in the lower Mississippi Delta touring Vicksburg Military Park. After departing the Delta, the students traveled to Alabama to visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, and the Edmond Pettus Bridge in Selma where voting rights activists marched in 1965, leading to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

“Our civil rights tour of the South is not complete without visiting the Mississippi Delta,” added Moody. “The Emmett Till tragedy launched the modern Civil Rights Movement, and Fannie Lou Hamer is a voting rights icon. The Mississippi Delta is ground zero and provides such a meaningful place-based context for this experiential learning program.”

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center serves as the management entity of the MDNHA and is the home of the International Delta Blues Project. For more information, visit www.deltacenterdsu.com.

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MDNHA to provide grant workshops with statewide funders

By | Delta Center | No Comments

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area will hold a series of workshops across the Delta to present information about grants available in 2017 to support local projects and activities that further MDNHA’s mission of fostering preservation, perpetuation and celebration of the Delta’s heritage through a climate of collaboration and sustainable economic development.

This is the second year the MDNHA has offered the workshops in conjunction with its grant program. Last year, 14 grants were funded, totaling over $185,000. Up to $200,000 will be available from MDNHA for grants in 2017. Nonprofits, educational institutions, schools, units of local government and others are eligible for the grants and encouraged to attend one of the three workshops.

In addition to the funding available from the MDNHA grants program, several state agencies will participate in the workshops to discuss their respective grant opportunities. This partnership is part of the mission of the MDNHA, which is not only to create a grants resource itself, but also to help the citizens of the Mississippi Delta connect to as many grants opportunities as possible. Representatives from the MS Arts Commission, MS Humanities Council and MS Department of Archives and History will also be present at each workshop to discuss funding opportunities that may complement the work funded by MDNHA.

The workshops are scheduled for:

*Jan. 31 – 1-4 p.m.
The Haraway Center, Northwest MS Community College
4975 Highway 51 North, Senatobia, MS
(campus map available at http://www.northwestms.edu/index.php/?page_id=1128)

*Feb. 2 – 1-4 p.m.
The Capps Center, Room 101 (Seminar Room)
920 US Highway 82 West, Indianola, MS

*Feb. 7 – 1-4 p.m.
MSU Extension Service (Warren County)
1100 C Grove Street, Vicksburg, MS

The MDNHA is a cultural heritage partnership between the people of the Mississippi Delta and the National Park Service. Led by Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University, the MDNHA includes 18 counties that contain land located in the alluvial floodplain of the Mississippi Delta: Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, DeSoto, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica, Warren, Washington and Yazoo.

The MDNHA was designated by U.S. Congress in 2009 and is governed by a board of directors representing agencies and organizations defined in the congressional legislation. More information about the MDNHA, including the complete approved management plan, is available at www.msdeltaheritage.com. Information about the grants program is also available at this website.

For more information, contact The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at 662-846-4311, or email hmiller@deltastate.edu or grants@msdeltaheritage.com.

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center serves as the management entity of the MDNHA and is the home of the International Delta Blues Project. For more information, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/delta-center-for-culture-and-learning/.

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Delta Jewels to host final program at Smith Robertson Museum

By | Delta Center | No Comments
Delta Jewel Lela Bearden of Sumner, Mississippi, speaks during an oral history gathering in Charleston, Mississippi.

The Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership is hosting its final program at the Smith Robertson Museum in Jackson on Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public through support from the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center.

“We are honored to host the final Delta Jewels program,” said Pamela Junior, director of the museum and MDNHA board member. “This partnership has meant so much to the Mississippi Delta region, the state and our nation. In addition to great speakers and special guests, we plan to feature live performances. This will be an exciting cultural celebration for our entire community to enjoy during the holiday season.”

Since March 2015, the MDNHA and The Delta Center for Culture and Learning have engaged communities through the Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership. The program features Alysia Burton Steele’s book “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom,” a collection of oral histories and portraits of African American church mothers from the Mississippi Delta. The program has engaged over 1,000 residents and visitors in the Delta, the state and Washington, D.C.

“The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area is about educating and engaging people, connecting organizations and building community pride by telling the Delta’s story,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center. “The Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership Program has accomplished this by fostering collaboration among numerous people and organizations. We have effectively raised awareness about the importance of preserving community voices and stories through oral history gathering, storytelling and photography.”

An attendee holds a copy of the Delta Jewels book.

An attendee holds a copy of the Delta Jewels book.

“It has been such a pleasure and an honor to partner with the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and The Delta Center on this educational project,” said Steele. “On behalf of all of the Delta Jewels, thanks to these partners and all sponsoring organizations that have made these events so educational, so impactful, and so meaningful for so many people. Words cannot express our appreciation.”

Through The Delta Center, Steele first presented Delta Jewels sessions at Delta State University’s Winning the Race diversity and race relations conference in 2015. A month later, the MDNHA and The Delta Center partnered with various regional organizations to host a series of Delta Jewels community gatherings in Clarksdale, Charleston, Indianola, Yazoo City, Ruleville and Mound Bayou. The Mound Bayou program was held in conjunction with the town’s 128th Founders Day celebration and witnessed a gathering of 30 Delta Jewels church mothers. Over 300 guests attended the Mound Bayou program.

“The importance of this work truly came to life for me when I attended the Mound Bayou Program to meet the real Delta Jewels,” said Dr. Myrtis Tabb, chair of the MDNHA. “This remarkable group of strong women inspired me and others with their wisdom and humor. What an honor to be in their presence and hear their stories. I am happy the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area could play a part in promoting and celebrating their legacy.”

Continued demand for the events led to the official creation of the Delta Jewels Oral History Partnership in October 2015. Through the new partnership, events were held at Mississippi Valley State University, Jackson State University, Delta State University, Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation in Vicksburg, Alcorn State University, University of Southern Mississippi, St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Cleveland and Holmes Community College in Grenada.

Alysia Steele discusses the project during a gathering at Alcorn State University.

Alysia Steele discusses the project during a gathering at Alcorn State University.

The partnership culminated in March 2016 with a historic presentation at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum in Washington, D.C., to commemorate Women’s History Month and the National Park Service Centennial. This special program featured Annyce P. Campbell of Mound Bayou, who appears on the front cover of “Delta Jewels,” and Reena Evers, daughter of civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams, who also is a Delta Jewel.

For more information about the Dec. 15 Delta Jewels program, contact Pamela Junior or Charisse Bester at the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center at 601-960-1457.