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Delta State’s Delta Center to host Gear Up Delta Heritage camps during the summer

By March 4, 2009General

Rising eighth graders across Mississippi will have the opportunity to discover the rich heritage of the Mississippi Delta during a series of camps at Delta State University this summer.

The Mississippi Delta Arts & Heritage Summer Experience, now in its fifth year, combines heritage workshops and arts instruction to increase awareness of the Delta’s history and culture among youth.  The program is divided into three residential camps, each serving 20 students and exploring a different aspect of the Delta: the Blues, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Mississippi River.
Delta State’s Delta Center for Culture and Learning received a $25,000 grant from Gear Up Mississippi to run the camps.  The arts component of the camp is led by Camp Director Pat Brown, who also teaches in the Delta State Art Department.
The first camp session will be May 31 to June 5. Campers will immerse themselves in issues related to the Mississippi River.  They will visit the Tunica River Park, learn about the Flood of 1927, and get a taste of local ethnic cuisines and construct exciting art projects.
The second camp will take place June 21 to June 26, and will focus on the Blues.  Campers will experience live performances by local musicians as well as visit the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola and the Highway 61 Blues Museum in Leland. Campers will learn about how the Blues grew out of the Mississippi Delta.
The third camp, which will examine civil rights issues, is scheduled for June 28 to July 3.  The week will include a fieldtrip to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis as well as an intensive focus on local events and leaders of the grassroots movement in the Delta.
Participants must attend schools sponsored by Gear Up Mississippi.  A division of the Mississippi Institutes of Higher Learning, Gear Up promotes higher education to students in low-income school districts throughout the state.
For more information, contact the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at (662) 846-4311 or e-mail LaKendra V. Jones at