MS Delta Top40_01

GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi And Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area Launch New Website Featuring Top 40 Mississippi Delta Attractions

By | Delta Center, GRAMMY | No Comments

CLEVELAND — To recognize their commitment to promoting educational and cultural quality of life in the Mississippi Delta region, GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area (MDNHA) have partnered to develop a new website showcasing the Top 40 places to visit in the Mississippi Delta. Delta residents and visitors can discover 40 of the most celebrated locations in the Mississippi Delta beginning today by visiting and clicking on the Explore tab.

The Top 40 features cultural heritage attractions throughout the Mississippi Delta that tell the region’s diverse stories. The website underscores the Museum and MDNHA’s shared interest in promoting the entire 18-county Mississippi Delta region as an educational cultural heritage destination of which its residents should be proud.

“As GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, we explore and celebrate the enduring legacies of all forms of music, and we’re also telling the story of the cradle of America’s music right here in Cleveland, the heart of the Mississippi Delta,” said Emily Havens, Executive Director of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi. “Our area’s rich musical legacy is a source of pride for Delta residents. We want to encourage everyone to explore and learn about our entire region, from local school groups to travelers from around the globe.”

The Top 40 features panoramic images of some must-see destinations and attractions throughout the Delta. Among the featured attractions are Tunica River Park, the birthplace of internationally renowned actor James Earl Jones; Baptist Town in Greenwood; Vicksburg National Military Park; Cotesworth Mansion in North Carrollton; St. Paul Church of God in Christ in Lexington; and unique local eateries like Blue Front Café in Bentonia and Farmer’s Grocery in Grace.

“The Top 40 celebrates the Mississippi Delta’s rich, diverse culture,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning, which is the management entity for the MDNHA. “GRAMMY Museum Mississippi and the Heritage Area both are committed to promoting the entire Delta. Yes, the Delta is the birthplace of the Blues, and music is a big part of our story, but there is so much more to discover and experience here, such as civil rights, culinary, and nature-based heritage sites. The Top 40 website highlights examples of these diverse cultural heritage attractions across the Delta region.”

Top 40 attractions were identified in collaboration with the Mississippi Delta Tourism Association and various county boards of supervisors throughout the region. Each of the 18 Delta counties has two attractions represented on the list. Four of the attractions are region-wide, including Bridging the Blues music heritage festival and the Mississippi Freedom Trail for civil rights heritage.

“We appreciate GRAMMY Museum Mississippi and the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area for coordinating the Top 40 list,” said Webster Franklin, President and CEO of the Tunica Convention and Visitors Bureau and member of the Mississippi Delta Tourism Association. “This is a great program that will bring positive attention to the entire region.”

There are plans to develop the Top 40 even further during a second phase that would make the website even more interactive and participatory.

About GRAMMY Museum Mississippi
Built and operated by the Cleveland Music Foundation — a non-profit organization developed in 2011 — the 28,000-square-foot GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is housed near the campus of Delta State University, home of the Delta Music Institute’s Entertainment Industry Studies program, which features the most unique audio recording facilities in the South. Similar to its sister Museum — the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE — GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is dedicated to exploring the past, present and future of music, and the cultural context from which it emerges, while casting a focused spotlight on the deep musical roots of Mississippi. The Museum features a dynamic combination of public events, educational programming, engaging multimedia presentations, and interactive permanent and traveling exhibits, including a Mississippi-centric area that introduces visitors to the impact of Mississippi’s songwriters, producers and musicians on the traditional and modern music landscape. For more information about GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, visit For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @GRAMMYMuseumMS on Twitter and Instagram, and like “GRAMMY Museum Mississippi” on Facebook.

About the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and The Delta Center
The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area is a partnership between the people of the Mississippi Delta and the National Park Service. 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

The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University is the management entity for the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. 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. For more information, visit



Vickie Jackson
GRAMMY Museum Mississippi

Children's book author Chuck Galey will present his Illustrator As Storyteller workshop April 8 at 10 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. at the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

BPAC to host children’s book author

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Award-winning children’s book author Chuck Galey will present his Illustrator As Storyteller workshop April 8 at 10 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. at the Bologna Performing Arts Center. The event will run in conjunction with the production of Junie B’s Essential Survival Guide on the same day.

Reservations are required to attend the free workshop. To reserve a spot, email Joannah Taylor, BPAC Arts Education coordinator, at

Galey, a Greenwood, Mississippi native, has been working in children’s book publishing for 22 years. He will discuss visual storytelling from a child’s point of view. Some of the books he has illustrated include “Jazz Cats,” “Rock’N’Roll Dogs,” “Jay And The Bounty of Books,” and “A Special Visitor Comes To Possum Ridge.”

His workshop will cover character development, drawing the main character, storyboarding and executing the finished art for publication. He will also show samples of the creative process from a few of the 15 picture books he has illustrated.

Galey’s original illustrations for his books will be on display April 4-15 in the BPAC atrium. The exhibit hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The workshop and exhibit are sponsored by the Bologna Performing Arts Center, The Delta Arts Alliance and the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Visit Galey’s website for more information,, or contact Taylor at

The U.S. Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants will present a free concert April 13 at the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

U.S. Air Force Band in free BPAC concert

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The United States Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants from Washington, D.C., are coming to Cleveland as part of a 12-day, five-state community relations tour. The performance will take place April 13 at 7 p.m. at Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State University.

The concert is free and open to the public. Tickets are required and can be picked up at the BPAC ticket office or by phone at 662-846-4626. Seating will be general admission. The event is presented by the BPAC and proudly sponsored by The Bolivar Commercial, The Cleveland Current, WABG and WXVT.

The U.S. Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants are two of the six performing ensembles within The United States Air Force Band, the premier musical organization of the U.S. Air Force. Stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., the band honors those who have served, inspires American citizens to heightened patriotism and service, and positively impacts the global community on behalf of the U.S. Air Force and the United States of America.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the band. The April 2016 tour also includes stops in Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas.

For more information, visit the Bologna Center Ticket Office or call 662-846-4626.


Nursing School ranks third in national list

By | Academics, General | No Comments

Delta State’s online graduate program in Nursing ranked third in the nation in a recent list from

“In this ranking of the 50 best graduate nursing programs, we set out to uncover precisely what advanced nursing students want (and need) from a master’s degree,” according to

The website said it selected graduate schools based on program flexibility, faculty involvement in the healthcare field, and tuition cost.

Vicki Bingham, chair and associate professor of nursing, said, “The Master of Science in Nursing program of study has been offered online since 2000. This program of study in an online format provides flexibility to schedules and accessibility to an advanced education for working nurses in different geographical locations.”

The graduate enrollment has increased from 32 in 2000 to 78 in 2016.

“Faculty in the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing are committed to offering quality degree programs and providing students with the knowledge, skills,confidence, and attitudes to practice as a professional nurse providing quality healthcare,” said Shelby Polk, associate professor of nursing.

Polk said being ranked third “speaks to the dedication of our faculty in delivering a quality online program with high standards and student expectations.”

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can be earned either as a degree or there is a certificate option which provides study in a role concentration (i.e. Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Administrator, or Nurse Educator) beyond the Baccalaureate in Nursing (BSN).

Bingham said, “We have been ranked twice by the U.S. & World News report for the Best Online Graduate Nursing Program in 2016 ranked at 42 and in 2014 at 41. In addition to this ranking by the TopMastersInHealthcare, we received notification that we were ranked eighth as the 2016 Most Affordable Online College by OnlineU.”

Bingham said they feel very “honored and delighted” to be ranked third among all of the other universities.

“The expertise of our faculty members, availability to the students, and affordability of the program put us as one of the best schools to obtain an education and advance in the nursing profession,” Bingham said.

Annyce Campbell of Mound Bayou, whose portrait graces the cover of "Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother's Wisdom," recently enjoyed a visit to the White House.

MDNHA, Delta Jewels partnership visits the White House

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When University of Mississippi journalism professor Alysia Burton Steele embarked on a journey to record oral histories from African American church women in the Mississippi Delta over three years ago, she was not sure exactly where the journey would take her.

It started at as labor of love to reconnect with her recently deceased grandmother, which led to the publishing of her critically acclaimed book “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom.” The book led to an oral history partnership with the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and The Delta Center for Culture and Learning, a partnership that culminated in an opportunity for Annyce Campbell, featured on the book cover, to visit the White House in Washington, D.C.

“When they said they wanted the woman whose portrait graces the book cover to attend the presentation, I knew that we had to get Mrs. Campbell to the White House,” said Steele. “She was so proud when President Obama was elected. So much so that the walls in her home are filled with portraits of the president and first lady.”

The visit occurred March 12 during a trip to the nation’s capital for a presentation at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum. The Smithsonian program was held in honor of Women’s History Month and the National Park Service Centennial, which is about reconnecting people with their national parks, especially those from underrepresented communities. The White House is part of President’s Park, a National Park Service site.

Campbell still lives in the Mound Bayou, Mississippi home where she and her husband of 69 years raised their nine children. The election of the first African American President of the United States was something she never imagined would happen in her lifetime. Her goal was to enable her family to have opportunities she never enjoyed. She was thrilled that she and her daughters would get a chance to experience the visit together.

“That moment — visiting the White House with my daughters — was more than my mind could conceive,” said Campbell. “I held my ID in my hand for so long. How many more stops do I get to make? Where do we get to go next? Who do we get to meet? I can’t fully express the joy of that trip. Everyone should have an opportunity like this in their lifetime.”

The trip to the White House was not part of the original itinerary. It wasn’t until Campbell landed in D.C. that the tour was finalized.

Annyce Campbell, seated, poses in the White House with her daughters Alma Campbell and Emily Harris, as well as Dr. Rolando Herts, director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning.

Annyce Campbell, seated, poses in the White House with her daughters Alma Campbell and Emily Harris, as well as Dr. Rolando Herts, director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning.

Mossi Tull, board member for the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, sponsored Campbell’s travel to Washington.

“My grandparents were from Kentwood, Louisiana, and I spent many summers down there,” he said. “Visiting with Mrs. Campbell and her daughters brought back so many wonderful memories for me, and reminded me of the importance of my own family. We laughed. We smiled. We celebrated the fact that we were all together in that moment. It was truly a wonderful afternoon.”

Through the efforts of Maggie Tyler, Southeast Region National Heritage Areas program manager, Campbell was able to participate in the tour with her daughters Emily Harris and Alma Campbell, as well as Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State.

“I was so excited to walk up to the White House gates with them and give Mrs. Campbell her tour ticket and introduce her to the NPS ranger working that day,” said Tyler. “Everyone was so gracious to Mrs. Campbell and her daughters and they were all beaming from ear to ear.  It’s these small moments that make me proud to work for the National Park Service.”

The Delta Center serves as the managing entity of the MDNHA. The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of the Mississippi Delta’s history and culture through education, partnerships, and community engagement. According to Herts, serendipitous moments like this are precisely why their efforts are so important.

“This White House visit is significant on so many levels,” said Herts. “It represents a lifelong dream come true for Mrs. Campbell, her family and her community. It represents the kind of powerful connections that are being made between people and national parks, which is what the National Park Service Centennial is all about. And it represents a story that will be told again and again, which is part of a rich oral history tradition that we are celebrating and honoring with Alysia Burton Steele.”

Steele spent the early years of her career as a photojournalist and editor. She never viewed herself as an oral historian, but through the Delta Jewels project has discovered the craft to be her new passion. Working with the MDNHA and The Delta Center, Steele has been empowered to share the importance of telling stories that have often been left untold and to demonstrate the positive effect conversations can have on communities.

“It’s pretty simple, really, why this important. We’re not going to learn and grow if we don’t talk to each other,” said Steele.