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.