NEH "Most Southern" workshop participants enjoy a welcome reception before starting an intensive week of Mississippi Delta experiential learning led by the Delta Center for Culture and Learning.

Delta Center begins “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshop

By | Delta Center | No Comments

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning’s “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshop kicked off its seventh year with an opening reception at the Martin and Sue King Railroad Museum in downtown Cleveland on Sunday.

The workshop is a week-long educational and cultural immersion experience for 36 participants from over 20 states. The workshop is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Joshuah Totten-Greenwood teaches high school history in New Hampshire. He was particularly drawn to the workshop because of the hands-on learning environment it provides.

“I like to learn by doing. I needed to see the actual places — talk about them with the people that are from here,” said Totten-Greenwood. “Otherwise forget it. It’s just not the same learning from books as it is actually being there.”

For the next five days, participants will travel around the Delta interacting directly with historically and culturally significant people and places in the region.

“I’ve always loved jazz and the blues. I’m classically trained, but I’ve never really been in the South before. I’ve always just listened to the music,” said Melody Nishinaga, a New York elementary school music teacher. “I’m really excited to be able to explore the history and the culture this week.”

The NEH workshop has created a national network of over 500 educational and cultural ambassadors for the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. Participants take what they have learned from the workshop back to their schools and communities, sharing stories and lessons from the Delta with students, colleagues, family and friends, nationally and globally.

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 center serves as the management entity of the MDNHA and is the home of the National Endowment for the Humanities “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshop and the International Delta Blues Project.

Frank Sibley '71 has been elected chairman of the Mississippi Bankers Association.

Alumnus elected chairman of Mississippi Bankers Association

By | Alumni, Community | No Comments

Frank Sibley ’71, president and CEO of Citizens Bank & Trust Bancshares in Marks, Mississippi, has been elected chairman of the Mississippi Bankers Association.

Sibley graduated from Delta State with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration. He also completed the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University and the Commercial Lending School at the University of Oklahoma.

The MBA is a 127-year-old trade association representing all banks and savings institutions operating in Mississippi. MBA members hold over 95 percent of all bank deposits in the state.  

As MBA chairman, he will chair the association’s board of directors and executive committee.

Sibley has been an officer with Citizens Bank & Trust for 32 years. He joined the company in 1984 after working for Peoples Bank of Indianola for 12 years.

His involvement in the MBA includes service as vice chairman and treasurer, as well as a three-year term on the MBA board of directors. Additionally, he served as chairman of the board of the MBA Education Foundation, and served on the MBA Insurance Committee, Executive Committee and Legislative Committee.

Active in his community, Sibley is president of Wellsgate Homeowners Association in Oxford. He is also a past president of the Wilson Lake Country Club, Delta State University Foundation Board, Marks Rotary Club and Indianola Lions Club. He is a member of Marks Presbyterian Church where he serves as an Elder.

Sibley and his wife, Kay ’73, have two children. Their son, Taylor, is president and chief operating officer of the Marks office of CB&T. Their daughter, Dr. Gina Russell, is an audiologist at Magnolia Speech School in Clinton. 

First Lady Nancy LaForge will serve as vice president of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.

Mrs. LaForge elected VP of MIAL

By | Community, President | No Comments

Delta State University First Lady Nancy LaForge was recently elected to the role of vice president of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters (MIAL).

Now in its 37th year, MIAL celebrates Mississippi’s artists, musicians and writers.

LaForge, who previously served as a MIAL board member, will serve one year as VP and then as president.

“I am humbled to be elected vice president of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and grateful for the opportunity to serve an organization so dedicated to promoting the arts,” said LaForge. “MIAL sponsors the only juried arts and literature competition and awards ceremony in the state of Mississippi.”

“As vice president, I will oversee the category chairmen responsible for receiving and organizing all nominations for awards,” added LaForge. “I am thrilled to be working with an outstanding group of people in the MIAL, and I am dedicated to supporting the artists, musicians and writers who share our wonderful Mississippi connection.”

JoAnne Prichard Morris of Jackson will serve as president this year, and LaForge will begin her service as president in 2017.

In 1978, MIAL was dreamed up by a few discerning individuals, including former Governor William Winter, Dr. Aubrey Lucas (former president of Delta State), Dr. Cora Norman, Dr. Noel Polk, and Keith McLean of Cleveland. These founding members believed that among Mississippi’s greatest riches are its artists, writers, and musicians, who must be supported, nurtured and recognized.

MIAL strives to recognize outstanding achievement in seven categories: fiction, non-fiction, visual arts, musical composition (concert), musical composition (popular), photography and poetry.

Each year, MIAL hosts an awards gala to recognize and honor the artistic achievements of living Mississippians. The ceremony, which is hosted in different cities across the state, will take place at Delta State in June of 2017.

Learn more about MIAL at http://www.ms-arts-letters.org.

12783790_10153551808304200_5563945618339234650_o

Delta State among best for private scholarships

By | Academics, Students | No Comments

LendEDU, an online resource for information on student loans, recently ranked Delta State University among the Top 150 universities in the nation for providing private scholarships.

Utilizing data licensed from Peterson’s (https://www.petersons.com), LendEDU calculated the average amount of non-need based private scholarship funding per student at 1,000 colleges and universities. Delta State came in at No. 131 on the list.

“Clearly, the top ranked schools are doing a great job encouraging their students to seek additional sources of scholarship funding,” said LendEDU, in a press release. “We think the results of our study are interesting, relevant and eye opening. Before you apply for a student loan, you should look for scholarships and grants to help cover your cost of attendance. Scholarships are a great way to finance your education. Unlike student loans, scholarships do not need to be paid back. And, according to College Board, there is $122 billion in scholarship funding awarded to students each year.”

LendEDU’s study found that on average, the students winning the most private scholarships are coming from small to mid-sized schools.

Founded in 2014, LendEDU was created to help student loan borrowers find transparency without damaging their credit.

For more information on the survey, visit https://lendedu.com/blog/june-private-scholarships-study.

 

 

GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi will host Wes Sheffield and the Slowburners (left) and Kingfish June 29 at 7:30 p.m. Photos by Todd Wolfson and Rory Doyle.

GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi announces “Celebration of Pride & Joy: The Texas Blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan”

By | Community, GRAMMY | No Comments

GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi will host a concert June 29 at 7:30 p.m. to celebrate the opening of its second special exhibit, “Pride & Joy: The Texas Blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan.”

Taking place on the museum’s front lawn, the concert will be headlined by Wes Sheffield and the Slowburners, along with 17-year-old blues guitar phenom Christone “Kingfish” Ingram from Clarksdale.

Tickets to the show are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the performance. Tickets can be purchased online, by calling the museum box office at 662-441-0100, or in person at 800 W. Sunflower Rd. in Cleveland. Food and drinks will be available for purchase on the museum grounds.

“We are so excited about this celebration of our new exhibit,” said Emily Havens, executive director of the museum. “It will be a great evening of fun, food and terrific music by Wes and his band.” 

Curated by the GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. LIVE, the exhibit opens June 30 and will offer visitors an in-depth look at the iconic career of legendary bluesman Stevie Ray Vaughan. Jimmie Vaughan, Stevie’s brother, serves as a guest curator of the exhibit.

About Wes Sheffield
Wes Sheffield is quickly becoming an emerging artist to watch in Mississippi. Raised in a small town tucked away in North Mississippi, Sheffield quickly developed an affinity for the soulful sounds for which the South has always been revered. He recorded his first album with help from Adam Grace, a native of Tupelo, Mississippi, and member of the six-piece roots rock/Americana band Truth & Salvage Co. After a hard month of work at Creative Workshop Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, Sheffield completed his debut album “Fever.” Encouraged by the legendary Muscle Shoals Swamper, producer, engineer and session guitarist Jimmy Johnson, Sheffield began serious work on his latest record. The new project is being produced by Johnson and Glenn Rosenstein, and recorded in part at Blackbird Studios in Nashville.

About Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Exposed to the rich gospel music emanating from his family’s church, combined with the blues he heard being played by musicians in his Delta neighborhood and at the Delta Blues Museum, Kingfish became a natural sponge of musical talent. Kingfish has shared the stage with Bob Margolin, Eric Gales, Rick Derringer, Guitar Shorty, Buddy Guy and many more. He has played festivals and venues all over the U. S., and has also performed in Washington, D.C. at the White House, right in front of First Lady Michelle Obama. This child prodigy’s soul is possessed with the feeling, passion and fire of the much older men who created the most important genre of American music — the blues.

For more information, visit grammymuseumms.org.