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Slots open for B.E.E.P. golf tournament

By | BEEP, Center for Community and Economic Development, Community, General | No Comments

The Delta State University (DSU) Breast Education and Early-detection Project (B.E.E.P.) will partner with the DSU Golf Course to sponsor the Third Annual B.E.E.P. Breast Cancer Awareness Golf Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 22.

The tournament will be a two-person scramble with registration beginning at 8 a.m. and tee off at 8:30 a.m. The tournament should conclude by 12 p.m..

Entry fees are $30 per person ($60 per team) and cart rental is $10 per person ($20 per team).

B.E.E.P. is funded through a grant from the Central Mississippi Steel Magnolias affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. B.E.E.P. participates in Breast Cancer Awareness events and provides breast health education throughout Bolivar, Sunflower, Washington and surrounding counties. The project also provides funding for clinical exams, mammograms, and ultrasounds for women who have limited income, are uninsured or underinsured, and have limited access to preventative healthcare.

A fish fry will be held for all participants at the conclusion of the golf tournament. The costs of the fish fry is $10 per person.

All proceeds from the tournament will go to support B.E.E.P.

For more information, contact David Williams at 662-846-4585 or dewilliams@deltastate.edu or B.E.E.P. Project Coordinator, Gail Bailey, at 662-207-0262 or gbailey@deltastate.edu.

The Shanghai Acrobats present “Shanghai Nights!”  Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Shanghai Acrobats to perform at BPAC

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community, Faculty/Staff, General | No Comments

Direct from Shanghai, the People’s Republic of China, the Shanghai Acrobats present “Shanghai Nights!” Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

Founded in 1959, the award-winning company of more than 40 performers epitomizes the thrilling combination of strength, agility and balance that forces an audience to hold its breath, sit up straight, then break into spontaneous applause.

Renowned as an award-winning troupe in both acrobatic and circus competitions at home and abroad, the Shanghai Acrobats have become one of the most influential and competitive acrobatic companies in China.

Share the thrills with the whole family as trampoline artists and aerial acrobats fly through the air with the greatest of ease, while jugglers, contortionists and martial artists demonstrate the exacting precision of their skills. Through jaw-dropping feats of acrobatics, impeccable timed stunts and beautiful costumes, Shanghai Acrobats merge the hustle and bustle of contemporary Shanghai with China’s rich cultural heritage to produce this celebration of their country. From hoop diving to performances on the aerial rings, this world class acrobatic performance is guided by a gentle narrative and performed with beautiful costumes, wonderful lighting and lovely music.

Tickets to see the Shanghai Acrobats are $15-20 and are available at the BPAC Ticket Office Monday-Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by phone at 662-846-4626, or online www.bolognapac.com.

The show is part of the BPAC’s new Family Series, featuring performances for audiences of all ages. Additional shows in the series include “Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Other Treasured Stories by Eric Carle” on Nov. 6, and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE!” on Jan. 24, 2017.

Patrons can save $10 per person when buying the Family Series Package, which includes tickets to all three Family Series performances.

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“Boo” Mitchell, Cedric Burnside to headline third annual blues conference

By | Academics, Community, Delta Center, Faculty/Staff, General, Students | No Comments

The Third Annual International Conference on the Blues promises to bring legendary entertainment and academics to Delta State University from Sunday, Oct. 2 through Tuesday, Oct. 4, including GRAMMY award-winner and Royal Studios owner Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell and GRAMMY nominee and four-time Blues Music Award winner Cedric Burnside.

The conference, which is still open for registration, brings together Blues scholars, historians and fans from all over the United States in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, a place known as the epicenter of Blues music and history.

Among the highlights of this year’s International Conference on the Blues:

  •  ‘Blues on the Grounds’ at Historic Dockery Farms featuring music by Jake and the Pearl Street Jumpers;
  • a keynote address by Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell;
  • a conversation and an outdoor concert in downtown Cleveland with Cedric Burnside;
  • a presentation by GRAMMY winner Dr. David Evans, leading specialist in Blues, American folk music, and popular music
  • events highlighting Blues music songwriters and performers including ‘Blues in the Round’ sponsored by Visit Mississippi;
  • and brunch on the front porch of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi

Visit here for a complete schedule of events, or here for a complete list of presenters.

“Once again, the International Conference on the Blues is advancing partnerships and engaging diverse populations toward enhancing the educational and cultural climate at Delta State and in the broader community,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning, “We appreciate the involvement and support of various local, statewide, and national organizations including the Robert M. Hearin Foundation, the Dockery Farms Foundation, Entergy, Visit Mississippi, Nehi Bottling Company, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, Bridging the Blues, Levitt AMP Series, and others that are making this great conference possible for a third year.”

The third annual conference is part of the International Delta Blues Project, which is funded by the Robert M. Hearin Foundation and is based at The Delta Center for Culture and Learning. The conference is being managed by a team of campus and community collaborators including the Delta Music Institute, the Department of Music, the Division of Languages & Literature, the Office of Institutional Grants, and Cleveland Tourism.

“I always marvel at the variety of scholars that our conference attracts,” said Dr. Shelley Collins, a professor in the Department of Music and co-chair of the International Conference on the Blues. “Either our presenters are alums of these schools, graduate students at these universities, or teach at the following institutions: The University of Pittsburgh, University of Washington, Alcorn State University, BYU, Vanderbilt University, University of California Berkeley, Stanford University, Marist College, the University of Memphis, the University of London, the University of Oregon, Stanford University, The University of Idaho, Washington State University, The Ohio State University, and Loyola University of New Orleans. We will even have a participant coming in from Singapore, which gives you an idea of how globally influential the Blues is.”

Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell began working with his father, producer and Royal Studios founder Willie Mitchell, at a young age, accumulating rare credits and abilities. His own career began at age 17 when he played keyboard on one of Al Green‘s gospel albums which later won a Grammy Award. In the early 90’s he began a role as a producer and engineer with credits on albums by artists such as John Mayer, Rod Stewart, Anthony Hamilton, Solomon Burke, William Bell and Cody Chestnutt, among others. After Willie’s death in 2010, Boo and his brother Archie continued their father’s legacy as owners of Royal Studios while maintaining their roles as producers and engineers. In 2016 his work as engineer / mixer on Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ hit “Uptown Funk” was recognized with a GRAMMY award for Record of the Year.

“Personally, Mr. Boo Mitchell defines cool for me,” said Don Allan Mitchell, co-chair of the conference. “I’ve met him on a couple of occasions, and he is so modest about his work. It still blows my mind when I see the clips of him on the GRAMMY stage with Bruno Mars. His keynote speech may well be his first formal academic address on the importance of the Blues in the American tradition, but I know he’ll perform like the consummate professional he is, with a quiet-spoken confidence and a wry sense of humor. It’s great to have him back in Cleveland.”

Grammy-nominee Cedric Burnside was born and raised around Holly Springs, Mississippi. He is the grandson of legendary R.L. Burnside and son of drummer Calvin Jackson. This four-time winner of the prestigious Blues Music Award’s Drummer of the Year (2010-2014) is widely regarded as one of the best drummers in the world and has begun to make a name for himself as a traditional blues guitarist as well. In addition to his grandfather R.L, Cedric has also played and recorded with countless musicians, including Junior Kimbrough, Kenny Brown, North Mississippi Allstars, Burnside Exploration, Widespread Panic, Jimmy Buffett, T Model Ford, Bobby Rush, Honey Boy Edwards, Hubert Sumlin, Galactic, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, among many others. In 2006, he was featured in Craig Brewer’s critically acclaimed feature film Black Snake Moan, playing drums alongside Samuel L. Jackson. (The film is a loose tribute to R.L. Burnside, and gives many nods to the late bluesman.) The Cedric Burnside Project’s latest album, Descendants of Hill Country, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Blues Album of the Year.

Burnside will perform an outdoor concert Monday night, and Monday morning will be interviewed by Don Allan Mitchell.

“Because of the GRAMMY-nomination, Mr. Burnside is in high demand as a performer this year, and I look forward to talking to him about his life on the road, and how the GRAMMY-nomination has influenced his career trajectory,” said Mitchell. “Hill Country Blues is a cousin of Mississippi Delta Blues, so it will be interesting to discuss the cross-influence with him. The International Conference on the Blues-sponsored Levitt Amp Performance on Monday night will be a great opportunity for our students and fellow Clevelanders to get their ‘full tilt boogie’ on. ”

This year’s conference promises to build on the vision established for the event when it began two years ago, and is a key component to Delta State’s pursuit of building a premiere curriculum around the art, culture, history and heritage of the Mississippi Delta.

“I am looking forward to the renewal of this fall signature conference on the blues, because it reinforces Delta State’s claim as the academic center of the blues,” said Delta State University President William N. LaForge. “It’s always exciting to hear the presentations and performances that highlight our conference. I know this October’s schedule, like those in the past that have been so successful, will not disappoint. I look forward to participating with all the visiting blues scholars and our faculty, staff and students during what will certainly be a wonderful program.

For more information, please contact Mitchell and Collins at blues@deltastate.edu.

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 is the home of the International Delta Blues Project and serves as the management entity of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. For more information, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/delta-center-for-culture-and-learning/

2014 Convocation edits-57

Live Streaming Available for Convocation

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, Foundation, General, President, Students | No Comments

Delta State University President William N. LaForge will deliver his State of the University convocation address today at 10:30 a.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The event will be live streamed at: www.livestream.com/DeltaStateUniversity

The address will serve as a welcome to faculty, staff and the community at the start of Delta State’s academic year. Leading the event with LaForge will be Dr. Charles McAdams, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Heather Robinson, president-elect of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, will provide a community welcome.

Dr. Chris Jurgenson, president of the Faculty Senate, will provide an introduction of new faculty, followed by an introduction of new staff by Christie Rocconi, chair of the Administrative Staff Council.

As is the tradition at each Delta State convocation address, new Student Government Association officers will also be recognized.

LaForge will conclude the ceremony with his address, highlighting university achievements over the last year, along with goals and visions for Delta State’s future.

Visit www.deltastate.edu to stay updated on university news and event coverage. Track the president’s efforts on his blog at http://president.deltastate.edu and Twitter via @presidentDSU.

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Delta State University Hosts a Mississippi Today Conversation with Andrew Lack and Walter Isaacson

By | Alumni, Community, Faculty/Staff, General, Students | No Comments

CLEVELAND – Delta State University is hosting a Mississippi Today panel discussion Aug. 31 on New Media and Politics featuring NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack and Aspen Institute president and CEO Walter Isaacson.

The conversation between Lack, founder of Mississippi Today, and Isaacson, author of several celebrated historical books, is part of a two-day celebration and outreach to the Delta region about the Mississippi Today story.  Lack and Isaacson will discuss how the rise of New Media has impacted the 2016 presidential election.

Mississippi Today is inviting Delta residents to join in celebrating the news organization’s launch at a no-cost business casual public reception Aug. 30 at the Grammy Museum Mississippi beginning at 6 p.m.

Mississippitoday.org, is a digital-only nonpartisan news site that launched on March 28 and has aggressively and objectively covered state and local government affairs and community issues, as well as Mississippi’s social culture, including sports coverage by celebrated columnist Rick Cleveland. The news operation is committed to covering issues and events across the entire state, including the Delta region.

The panel discussion hosted by Delta State University will be held in the auditorium of E.R. Jobe Hall. The event will begin with coffee and pastries at 8:30 a.m., with the panel discussion beginning at 9 a.m.

Delta State University President William N. LaForge will introduce the panel, which will be moderated by Jim Barksdale, CEO of Barksdale Management. Barksdale serves on the board of Mississippi Today.

Lack, now chairman of NBC NEWS, chose Mississippi for the site of this innovative approach to news coverage largely because of his family ties to the Delta running back through several generations. His great-grandfather was the mayor of Greenville.

“All of us involved in this project have great aspirations for Mississippi’s future, and believe that competitive, world-class journalism is an essential piece of that puzzle,” Lack said.

Isaacson, a New Orleans native, leads the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, D.C. His most recent book, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (2014) is a biographical tale of the people who came up with the great innovations of the digital age. Among his other books are Steve Jobs, Einstein: His Life and Universe and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.

The Mississippi Today Conversation is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.deltastate.edu/mstodayconversation.

Access to MississippiToday.org is free and its stories are meant to be shared through social media and with other news organizations. The organization is committed to providing wide-ranging coverage presented by a diverse staff of journalists.

The news venture is co-edited by Fred Anklam Jr. and Dennis Moore, award-winning journalists with long ties to Mississippi who have returned home to help bring this innovative news coverage to the state.

“The chance to do public service journalism in a digital format in my home state made the decision to join Mississippi Today a no-brainer,” Anklam said. “We are already seeing a great response to our reporting efforts from our state residents and those interested in Mississippi.”

Mississippi Today is the public arm of Mississippi News and Information Corp., a nonprofit corporation established in 2014. The launch of Mississippi Today was realized through grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Ford Foundation and through the generous support from individual donors, including Lack.

Mississippi Today also is committed to helping develop the next generation of distinguished journalists who reflect the state’s diversity by recruiting exceptional graduates of journalism, communications and public policy programs and by working with current students in the state’s colleges and universities to develop skills that will prepare them for productive careers.

“The team at Mississippi Today is focused on informing residents about state and local government, education and poverty.  Their journalism has the potential to increase civic engagement, by making Mississippians more aware of how government action or inaction affects their lives,” said Karen Rundlet, program officer for journalism at Knight Foundation, the nation’s leading funder of journalism and media innovation.

Support for continued operation of Mississippi Today comes from sponsors, donors, advertising and Mississippians Together, our annual fund that unites readers from different backgrounds who share an interest in meeting challenges facing the state.

For more information, see our events page.