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“Take Me To The River: Live” educates Arkansas State and Delta State students

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Delta Center, GRAMMY, Students | No Comments
Arkansas State University public administration student team at GRAMMY Museum Mississippi with the International Delta Blues Project banner featuring Delta State’s Blues Okra.

 

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State recently hosted a group of public administration students from Arkansas State University of Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Their visit coincided with GRAMMY Museum Mississippi’s “Take Me To The River: Live” program, partially sponsored by The Delta Center’s International Delta Blues Project, in order to learn how cultural heritage is an effective tool for educating and engaging diverse communities.

Led by Peggy Wright, director of the Delta Studies Center at ASU, the group included master’s-level graduate students from the Arkansas Delta, Seattle and Saudi Arabia. The students are learning about the importance of communications in community engagement and economic development.

“We appreciate being so warmly received by everyone at Delta State and the GRAMMY Museum during this valuable learning experience,” said Wright. “Dr. Herts [director of The Delta Center] and I were in the Delta Regional Authority’s Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy together, where I learned more about The Delta Center and Delta State. Site visit exchanges among leadership network colleagues represent a strategic opportunity for our students to gain professional insights, exposure to networking, and knowledge of the Delta’s culture. We look forward to visiting again.”

“The trip to Delta State University and the Mississippi Delta truly opened my eyes,” said ASU student Ali Alghofaili. “While visiting the GRAMMY Museum and hearing the musicians interact with local youth, I saw that they all focused on education, communication, and passing on the Delta’s musical history. The beautiful landscape reminded me of the Al-Qassim region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Al-Qassim region is well known for its agriculture just like the Delta region. This trip helped me to see the importance of understanding culture when serving the public, which is what I will be doing when I graduate in December.”

Delta State University media students pose after a conversation with GRAMMY Award winning Blues legend Bobby Rush.

“Take Me To The River: Live” also served as an experiential learning opportunity for a group of students enrolled in the Digital Media Arts program, a degree in the Depertment of Art at Delta State. The students documented the concert through photography and videography. They also had a group conversation with GRAMMY Award-winning blues legend Bobby Rush.

“Meeting Bobby Rush was amazing,” said Ashliegh Jones, a senior art major from Vicksburg. “My mother and grandmother have listened to his music for years, but have never been to a concert. They were thrilled that I was able to do so, and also to have a one-on-one conversation with him where he encouraged me to keep working hard, and if I do, perhaps one day I might be hired to be his photographer. That was a really cool thing to hear.”

The Delta Center joined forces with GRAMMY Museum Mississippi to host “Take Me To The River: Live.” The program was an official bicentennial project made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council through support from the Mississippi Development Authority.

The event was also supported by The Delta Center’s International Delta Blues Project. The program served as a pre-event for the upcoming International Conference on the Blues at Delta State University and as an educational Blues Leadership Incubator event for students and the broader community.

“We are pleased that Ms. Wright and her students chose The Delta Center and ‘Take Me To The River: Live’ as a case study. We also were impressed that Delta State students were involved in documenting the concert as part of Will Jacks’ class,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center. “Cultural heritage offers powerful ways to bring people together to communicate and understand our shared stories. It also has become a vehicle to educate and prepare students for career opportunities.”

The students joined hundreds of residents and visitors who visited GRAMMY Museum Mississippi that day for the Take Me To The River program.

Delta State students documenting GRAMMY Award winner William Bell’s performance during the Take Me To The River: Live concert.

The program included a morning panel discussion featuring music legends discussing the importance of music and art in the world today; an afternoon conversation with GRAMMY-winning Blues artist Charlie Musselwhite reflecting on the life of Mississippi blues legend John Lee Hooker; and a night-time live performance experience based on the award-winning film and record, “Take Me To The River.” Senator Willie Simmons also hosted a post-concert meet-and-greet the artists reception at his famed soul food restaurant, The Senator’s Place.

Hundreds attended the concert on the museum’s front lawn featuring GRAMMY Award winners William Bell, Bobby Rush and Charlie Musselwhite, backed by GRAMMY Award winner Boo Mitchell, the Hi-Rhythm Section and the Stax Academy Alumni Band. The concert included special appearances from two Memphis-based rappers, Academy Award winner Frayser Boy and Critics Choice Award winner Al Kapone. Remarks from GRAMMY-nominated filmmaker Martin Shore and GRAMMY Trustees Award-winner Al Bell provided important historical and social context about the film and Stax Records.

The film “Take Me To The River” connected multiple generations of iconic Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians to record a historic new album and re-imagine the utopia of racial, gender and generational collaboration of Memphis in its heyday, including Stax and Hi Records. In October 2016, The Delta Center and GRAMMY Museum Mississippi hosted a sold out public screening of the film which included a live performance on the Sanders Soundstage.

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Join Alumni Association for Saturday’s tailgate

By | Alumni, Athletics, Students | No Comments

All alumni, friends and fans of Delta State are invited to join the Delta State University National Alumni Association for food, fun and fellowship as they tailgate before the football game Saturday in Clinton, Mississippi. The Statesmen will battle the Choctaws for the Heritage Bell Trophy.

Fans should take the visitor’s entrance and look for the Alumni Association tent, to be set up near the baseball complex. Tailgating will begin at 5 p.m. and will continue until kickoff at 7 p.m. For game tickets, visit http://gochoctaws.com/sports/2006/8/1/tickets.aspx?&tab=2.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite tailgate dish. Delta State pompoms, RC products and water will be provided.

For more information, contact alumni@deltastate.edu or call Melissa Love, assistant alumni director, at 662-588-3780.

 

CEO of Memphis International Airport lecture set for Nov. 1

By | Academics, Aviation, College of Business and Aviation, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments
Scott A. Brockman, president and CEO of the Memphis International Airport

 

Delta State’s Department of Commercial Aviation will host president and CEO of the Memphis International Airport, Scott A. Brockman, for a Lunch and Learn event Nov. 1 at 11 a.m. in Gibson-Gunn room 129-130.

Brockman joined the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority in June 2003. He was appointed the authority’s president and CEO in 2014 after having previously served as its executive vice president and COO.

Additionally, Brockman took office in May 2017 as chair of the American Association of Airport Executives. Founded in 1928, AAAE is the world’s largest professional organization representing the men and women who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE represents over 5,500 members, 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry.

Over Mr. Brockman’s 32-year career, he has also held executive management positions with Tucson International Airport, Des Moines International Airport, and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. Prior to starting his aviation career, he spent several years with a CPA firm in Sarasota, Florida.

In 2012, an economic impact study by the Univer­sity of Memphis demonstrated that the Memphis International Airport had an annual economic impact of $23.3 billion. It is the busiest cargo airport in the Western Hemisphere and the second busiest cargo airport in the world.

Brockman’s Lunch and Learn event was arranged by Mahi Cosfis Chambers ’86, a Delta State College of Business graduate. Chambers has been instrumental over the years in identifying commercial aviation scholarships for minority and female students at Delta State.

Following the event, Brockman will speak at the Cleveland Rotary Club.

For more information on Delta State’s Department of Commercial Aviation, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-business/commercial-aviation/.

 

 

First Hog Run to support veteran organizations

By | Community, Students | No Comments

Kappa Sigma Fraternity and the Delta State Office of Student Affairs will host the 2017 Hog Run 5K on Oct. 7 during Pig Pickin’ weekend at Delta State University.

The event will raise money to help veterans’ organizations through Kappa Sigma’s national philanthropy, the Military Heroes Campaign. The race begins at 8:30 a.m. at the gazebo in downtown Cleveland. The run is slated to be an annual event.

Participating businesses include: Q102 WIQQ, KIX92.1 WKXY, Baxter, North Sunflower Medical Center, Planters Bank, Barnes Paper & Supply, Advance Physical Therapy, and Andy’s Fifth Ave. Quick Stop.

“These sponsors have been generous in their assistance, and through their sponsorships we have been able to cover all expenses associated with the event, which will allow all proceeds from registration and individual donations to the Military Heroes Campaign,” said Christopher Johnson, assistant alumni advisor. “Some of the organizations funded through the Military Heroes Campaign include The SEAL Legacy Foundation, Veterans Moving Forward, Healing Our Heroes Homes and Veterans Success Resources Group.”

The day begins with a remote radio broadcast from the event, after which the run begins at 8:30 a.m. From there, participants are invited to the annual Pig Pickin’ festivities at Statesmen Park. Pig Pickin’ will be celebrating its 32nd year and its first year as a Memphis Barbecue Network sanctioned competition.

Individuals can register at the RacesOnline website at https://racesonline.com/events/hog-run. The cost of registration is $25 per person. Individuals can also make donations in any amount at the RacesOnline website, and will be accepted through Veterans Day on Nov. 11, which is also Delta State’s Homecoming weekend.

In an effort to increase participation and add a little fun to the campaign, registrants and donors are encouraged to make their registration or donation as part of a team. Participants will notice that all Greek organizations on campus have a team, as well as other student organizations. Local businesses and organizations are encouraged to create their own teams as well.

The course for the race will follow the walking and biking trail ways throughout downtown Cleveland.

“The Kappa Sigma Fraternity would again like to take the time to celebrate all the amazing efforts that have been put into making the first Hog Run to Support Military Heroes a reality. Our incredible sponsors have done so much to help us bring this cause to life, and we are extremely grateful for everyone who has pushed to help us spread the word and make this event possible,” said Turner Davis, event director.

Campus to celebrate bicentennial with series of arts and humanities events

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

In celebration of the State of Mississippi’s bicentennial anniversary, a special series of events involving several Delta State University departments has been planned for the first week of October.

Programming will include:

  • A juried art show from Oct. 4 until the end of the month at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the DSU campus.
  • A historical lecture on Indian Mounds of the Delta on Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. at the BPAC.
  • An evening celebrating diversity sponsored by members of the DSU LGBTQ community on Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. in front of the Roberts-LaForge Library.
  • An evening “poetry slam” featuring student submissions on Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. at Mississippi Grounds Coffee Shop.

The celebration will culminate with an evening gala concert event on Friday, Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center. This special concert will highlight the sounds of Mississippi, with three world premiere performances of works commissioned specifically for the event by the Delta State Wind Ensemble, Delta State Chorale and voice faculty artists. The Delta Music Institute All-Stars will also perform Mississippi-centric music, and audience members will be treated to the unique sounds of the Delta, with performances by special guest artists Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and the Rising Star Fife and Drum band.

Programming is sponsored in part by the Mississippi Humanities Council, the Delta Center for Culture and Learning and Delta State’s QEP Committee.

All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact the Music Department at 662-846-4615.