Dr. Myrtis Tabb, Chair of the Board of Directors, and Dr. Rolando Herts, Director, (standing, center) with representatives from organizations awarded cultural heritage development grants from the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area.

MDNHA awards $160,000 in regional grants

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The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area recently announced nearly $160,000 in grants for eleven cultural heritage development projects in the Mississippi Delta.

The projects represent the diversity of the region’s rich cultural heritage including Native and African American history, music, art, storytelling, the Delta Chinese, and the Mississippi River.

“The grants committee was impressed with the projects proposed through the application process,” said Dr. Myrtis Tabb, Chair of the MDNHA Board of Directors. “Organizations and agencies are doing outstanding community service, and the MDNHA is pleased to provide funding to support this work.”

“The MDNHA is a partnership between the people of the Mississippi Delta and the National Park Service designed to engage and empower organizations and individuals to promote the cultural heritage of the region,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University, which serves as the management entity for the MDNHA. “The successful completion of this first round of grants represents a major milestone as the MDNHA continues to do this work throughout the Mississippi Delta.”

This is the first round of grants awarded by the MDNHA. In January of this year, the MDNHA launched the new grants program and provided a series of workshops throughout the region to educate and inform the people of the Mississippi Delta on how to apply. Workshops were held at Clarksdale/Coahoma County Tourism, Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Sharkey-Issaquena County Library in Rolling Fork, The Capps Center in Indianola, and Desoto County Tourism in Southaven.

Proposals received were reviewed by a grants committee comprised of members of the MDNHA Board of Directors. The eleven organizations and projects that were awarded MDNHA grants represent six of the 18 counties served by the MDNHA including Bolivar, Coahoma, DeSoto, Leflore, Sharkey, and Warren. The grant recipients and funded projects are as follows:

ArtPlace Mississippi, Greenwood, MS
Delta Wild: Connecting people to the Mississippi Delta’s natural habitat and resources

DeSoto Foundation, Hernando, MS
First Contact Historical Trail: Native Americans’ first encounter with Europeans in the Mississippi Delta

Cleveland Music Foundation, Cleveland, MS
Exploring a Culture of Creativity: Engaging students in telling local stories through music at Grammy Museum Mississippi

Lower Mississippi River Foundation, Clarksdale, MS
Between the Levees: Telling the story of the Mississippi River batture

Bologna Performing Arts Center, Cleveland, MS
Public performance of “Dar He: The Story of Emmett Till”

Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, Cleveland, MS
Cleveland Chamber/Tourism office relocation and signage plan

Delta State University Archives and Museums, Cleveland, MS
Amzie Moore House Museum and MS Delta Chinese Heritage Museum docent program

Rolling Fork Visitors Center and Museum, Rolling Fork, MS
Multimedia interpretive display expansion and exhibit preservation

Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation, Vicksburg, MS
1868 St. Francis Xavier Convent restoration

Delta Hands for Hope, Shaw, MS
Photography and Oral History Program for high school students

Rosedale Freedom Project, Rosedale, MS
Unsung Voices of Bolivar County: civil rights stories past and present collected by high school students

The MDNHA recently held a second grant competition round with proposals due on July 5. Proposals are under review currently. The MDNHA expects to announce grant awardees for the second round in fall 2016.

“The grant program is a critical part of the MDNHA’s Management Plan. We look forward to the program continuing in the future and look forward to receiving more proposals from organizations that are serving the Mississippi Delta region,” said Herts.

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.

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 and the National Endowment for the Humanities “Most Southern Place On Earth” workshops. For more information, visit http://deltacenterdsu.com/.


State financial aid now requires 15-hour course load

By | Academics, General, Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

Beginning in Fall 2016, undergraduates must enroll in and complete 15 credit hours each semester to remain eligible for state financial aid programs.

These programs require that students are considered full-time:

  • Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students Scholarship (HELP)
  • Mississippi Resident Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG)
  • Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG)
  • Law Enforcement Officers and Firemen Scholarship (LAW)
  • Teacher Education Scholars Forgivable Loan (TES)
  • William Winter Teacher and Alternate Route Teacher Forgivable Loan (WWTS/WWAR)
  • Health Care Professions Undergraduate Forgivable Loan (HCP-UG)

Students registered for less than 15 credit hours should contact the registrar to add hours.

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions:

  • Summer hours cannot be added to Fall or Spring hours.
  • If enrollment drops below 15 credits before state aid is disbursed to the student, the aid will be cancelled for that term and the following term. If enrollment drops below 15 credits after state aid is disbursed to the student, the aid will be cancelled for the following term.
  • Students should not report their enrollment directly to the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid. Enrollment is reported by the institution on behalf of its students.
  • All credit hours for a given term must be completed at a single institution. Credit hours cannot be completed at multiple institutions for a single term.
  • Students with fewer than 15 credit hours remaining in the course of study may appeal for an exception for a single term. Students with 24 or fewer credit hours remaining in the course of study may appeal for an exception for two terms.  Instructions for submitting an appeal is provided below.
  • Students enrolled in certain programs with defined curriculum pathways (lock-step) should not apply for individual exceptions. Each institution will apply for program exceptions to apply to all students in such programs.
  • Exceptions will be made for students in certain majors that require clinical, practicum, or student teaching terms. Each institution is being advised regarding how to report enrollment for such terms.
  • All students, even athletes, will be impacted in the same way. In order to receive and continue to receive state aid, the student must take and complete 15 hours, regardless of whether or not the student is an athlete or on any other kind of institutional scholarship.

For more information please visit www.mississippi.edu/financialaid or call Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid 601-432-6997 or 800-327-2980 (toll-free).

GRAMMY Museum Mississippi has unveiled a new exhibit devoted to the life and music of Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Video: GRAMMY Museum MS unveils Stevie Ray Vaughan exhibit

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Joining President William N. LaForge is Emily Havens, executive director of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi.

On June 30, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi unveiled its second special exhibit, which follows the success of its first exhibit devoted to the Beatles. This new exhibit focuses on the life and music of blues musician Stevie Ray Vaughan and is a traveling exhibit curated by the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE. The exhibit offers visitors an in-depth look at Stevie Ray Vaughan’s iconic career, and the Museum hosted at the exhibit’s opening Stevie’s brother, Jimmie Vaughan, who is serving as a guest curator.

The exhibit features numerous items from Stevie Ray’s career including guitars, personal photographs, and outfits worn by the performer on stage. The Museum kicked off the exhibit with a concert on its front lawn, headlined by Wes Sheffield and the Slowburners, along with 17-year-old blues musician Christone “Kingfish” Ingram from Clarksdale. It was another example of the growing environment of music and culture here at Delta State, and the university is proud of the partnership with GRAMMY Museum Mississippi and the wealth of opportunities it provides not only Delta State students but also the state and region.


Tickets will be on Sale July 18 for 2016-2017 BPAC Season

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Tickets to the 2016-2017 Season at the Bologna Performing Arts Center (BPAC) at Delta State University will go on sale Monday, July 18, at 9:30 a.m. at the BPAC Ticket Office.

Tickets can be purchased by phone at 662-846-4626, online via the BPAC’s website www.bolognapac.com, and Facebook page www.facebook.com/BolognaPAC.

The BPAC announced its 2016-2017 Season last month to much excitement. The line-up features a total of 23 performances across four series: Main Stage, featuring evening public performances; Family Series, geared at theatergoers of all ages; Recital Hall Series, featuring classical music; School-Time Matinee Series, providing educational opportunities for preK-12 students; and two free community performances. Additional information on all performances, including videos, can be found online.

There are 10 performances on the Main Stage lineup: Travis Tritt with special guest Luke Combs on September 15, sponsored by Bolivar Medical Center; The Avett Brothers on October 4, sponsored by Guaranty Bank; Mavis Staples and the Blind Boys of Alabama on October 20, sponsored by Cannon Motors of Mississippi; Parsons Dance Company on November 10, funded in part by South Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Elf The Musical on December 2, sponsored by Planters Bank. In 2017: Alonzo King LINES Ballet on January 31, presented in conjunction with the USA International Ballet Competition and funded in part by South Arts and the NEA; STOMP on February 28; 42nd Street on March 20; THE ILLUSIONISTS on March 30; and Josh Turner on April 27, sponsored by Robinson Electric.

There are three performances in the new Family Series, geared towards theatregoers of all ages: Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China on October 11; “Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Other Treasured Stories by Eric Carle” on November 6, sponsored by Heidi’s; and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live! on January 24.

The new Recital Hall Series features 2 classical music performances: Los Angeles Guitar Quartet on October 6, and Sybarite5 on March 21. Tickets to the Recital Hall series include a complimentary social hour with hors d’oeuvres before the performance.

The School-Time Matinee Series will feature “A Year with Frog and Toad” sponsored by Monsanto on October 25; a matinee performance by Parsons Dance Company on November 9; “Pete the Cat” sponsored by Entergy on November 18; a matinee performance by Alonzo King LINES Ballet on February 1; Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live! sponsored by Walmart on February 23; and Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters on April 12 sponsored by AT&T.

There is also two free community performances planned for April 2017. “Dar He: The Story of Emmett Till” that is presented in partnership with Delta State University’s Winning the Race initiative and sponsored by the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. On April 5, the U.S. Army Field Band’s Concert Band and Soldiers’ Chorus will perform a free concert presented by the BPAC. Tickets for both events will be free, but required, and will be available beginning March 1.

The 2016-2017 Season is the 22nd Season of performances at the BPAC. For information on group tickets or any other questions, please call the Main Offices at 662.846.4625.

DMI Rotrary

Cleveland Rotary gives support to DMI

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This week, the Cleveland Rotary presented the Delta Music Institute (DMI) with a check in support of the many projects and services faculty and staff in the DMI provide to Rotary and the entire Cleveland community throughout the year.

DMI Director Tricia Walker accepted the check on behalf of the program. The DMI is an independent center under the College of Arts & Sciences at Delta State University. Its mission is to provide students with a broad and thorough education in the technological, creative, and business areas of the entertainment industries.

“Not only does Tricia Walker, her faculty/staff, and students make themselves available to educate Rotary about their programs, they provide a range of services—from performances to partnering with local schools and the entertainment industry—that make Cleveland a more viable and quality place to live,” said Rotarian Leslie Griffin, who also is Dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences.

The Rotary Club is an international service club that promotes good will and partnerships that provide services to the community.

For more information on the DMI, visit www.deltastate.edu/dmi.