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ARTS AND CULTURE OFFERINGS ENHANCE QUALITY OF LIFE ACROSS MISSISSIPPI

10/28/2022 - Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi Public Universities offer robust programs to help students hone their visual and performing arts skills, discover professions where they can use their talent to help others, and train the next generation of arts educators. The universities also conduct research on all facets of cultural issues.

Perhaps the universities' greatest contributions to Mississippi's vibrant arts and culture environment are the artistic offerings provided to the community through performances, exhibitions, conferences, and other events for Mississippians of all ages to enjoy. These events improve the quality of life for all citizens, from families with young children to retirees, enhance the local economy by drawing visitors to the areas where the universities are located, and make the college communities attractive places to live, work, raise a family, and retire.

Mississippi State University's T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability offers the Express Yourself! art program, empowering individuals with disabilities to explore their creative interests through their own artistic works. The program removes limitations and allows those with disabilities to participate in art activities to the fullest degree-while also advancing research in assistive technology and disability.

More than 60,000 young people in the state are involved in the 4-H youth development program in Mississippi State's Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine. Arts and culture projects such as photography, theater, cultural education, and clothing and interior design are offered in all 82 counties in an environment that is supportive as well as nurturing.

Mississippi University for Women offers cultural events annually, most without charge, enhancing quality of life in the region. The Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium, now in its 34th year, continues to draw emerging writers and regional participation. The Department of Music Annual Music Festival draws national and international participants.

The music therapy program at The W was established in 2002 as the first program at a public university in Mississippi to educate music therapists. The mission of The W's music therapy program is to provide holistic and clinically based music therapy education with an emphasis on individual student exploration and growth.

The Mississippi Valley State University Choir was selected to participate in the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) 9th National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The (NCCO) invited choral performance video submissions to celebrate the ingenuity and innovation of its choral director members by featuring some of the most creative, impactful, and enjoyable choral performance videos created during the pandemic. MVSU's submission was played live for all NCCO attendees during one of the main meetings of the conference.

Whether you are interested in majoring in music or art or want to participate in the MVSU nationally renowned choir or band, MVSU will find what is unique about an individual and use that knowledge as the seed for educational growth. The music program provides undergraduate studies in music education and music performance and offers cultural opportunities for the university and the community. Music majors may concentrate on instrumental, vocal, or keyboard music and music composition.

The art program of the MVSU Fine Arts Department at provides undergraduate education in two-dimensional design and visual communications and concentrated study in art leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree. Opportunities to pursue artistic study are also available to non-art majors, pre-college art students, and the public.

The Mississippi Valley State University Choir and Valley Singers each year invite the local community to embrace the holiday spirit at their annual Christmas concert. The event is held at a community church in Greenwood and brings together music lovers from all over the Mississippi Delta. The concerts are free and open to the public.

The Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Mississippi hosts over 150 events per year including touring shows, university ensemble performances, pageants, lectures and special events. The Ford Center celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a diverse slate of performances, an expanded offering for area school children, a book and a spring gala featuring Mississippi celebrities and friends. The center has expanded its Youth Theatre Music Workshop and family-friendly events. The new Daytime School Series is part of its work to culturally engage the community. In 2023, the center will host four different shows that appeal to children from pre-K through sixth grade. Besides bringing great performances to campus, the Ford Center serves as a professional learning opportunity for students to gain valuable experience in stagecraft and performing arts management.

The Department of Archives & Special Collections at the University of Mississippi contains archival papers, photographs, films and sound recordings related to Mississippi, the blues, the University of Mississippi and the American South. Established in 1984, the Blues Archive acquires and preserves blues and blues-related materials in a variety of formats for scholars and blues fans alike. With over 70,000 sound recordings in most audio formats; over 60,000 photographs; more than 1,000 videos; over 34,000 books, periodicals and newsletters; and numerous manuscripts and ephemera, the Blues Archive houses one of the largest collections of blues recordings, publications and memorabilia in the world.

The University of Southern Mississippi is one of only 39 institutions in the nation accredited in theatre, art and design, dance, and music. Its faculty and students annually host more than 300 events and perform for thousands of patrons each year.

At more than 100 years old, the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra is the oldest orchestra in Mississippi and a true gem in the Gulf South. As part of the orchestra, Southern Miss students have been able to perform with extraordinary guest artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Placido Domingo, and Renée Fleming.

The mission of the Southwest Mississippi Center for Culture & Learning at Alcorn State University is to celebrate culture, creativity, and community. The Center serves as a resource for identifying, preserving, and communicating the rich history, vibrant culture, and cherished traditions of the region. Through community outreach, hands-on and online learning opportunities, lectures, public forums, exhibitions, and celebrations, the Center is a significant part of the region's cultural landscape.

Delta State University's Digital Media Arts program, which offers the only animation degree in the state, provides a foundation for students seeking to develop careers in the rapidly growing areas of motion graphics, sound design, video production and photography through a multidisciplinary approach. The program produces digital media artists and professionals ready to create, develop, produce, and promote professional quality digital content on industry standard software and hardware. With grounding in both theory and technique, graduates are prepared for jobs such as videographer, video editor, sound designer and motion graphics designer.

Delta State University's Delta Music Institute (DMI) offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Entertainment Industry Studies. This innovative program is intended to develop a broad range of skills in audio engineering technology and entertainment industry entrepreneurship that will give students a foundational base of knowledge for working in various entertainment industry careers. Graduates of the program are well prepared for the technical, business and legal issues that confront the practicing entertainment industry professional today and in the future. The DMI is also an Education Partner with GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi and an Avid Learning Partner offering Pro Tools Certification.

Delta State University's Delta Center for Culture and Learning has provided engaging professional development and research workshops to more than 600 K-12 educators. During the six-day "The Most Southern Place on Earth: Teacher Workshops in the Mississippi Delta," teachers examine the Delta's past and present, experientially, and intellectually, focusing especially on the region's place in the Civil Rights Movement and the development of blues music. They listen to local musicians, walk the landscape, and eat regional cuisine at local restaurants. They also attend scholarly lectures and panels led by civil rights activists and FBI agents. When they return to their classrooms around the country, the teachers bring not only a new appreciation for the Mississippi Delta's role in our national history and culture, but also new methods-focused on food, music, and landscapes-by which to teach regional history to their students.

The Bologna Performing Arts Center provides first-class arts and entertainment for Delta State University and the Mississippi Delta region. The 41,500 square foot facility boasts two performance spaces, providing seating for close to 1,200 in the main theater in addition to the more intimate 145-seat recital hall. The Bologna Center hosts an average of 250 events per year, including a fine arts season of national Broadway tours, concerts, dance, theater, and a dedicated series for school-age students. The Bologna Center serves more than 35,000 individuals each year, including at least 12,000 K-12 students. During the past season, more than 10,000 students and teachers, representing 20 counties and three states, were served by the Bologna Performing Arts Center's arts education programs.

The University of Mississippi's Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a diverse slate of performances, an expanded offering for area school children, a book and a spring gala featuring Mississippi celebrities and friends.
The University of Mississippi's Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts celebrates its 20th anniversary this year with a diverse slate of performances, an expanded offering for area school children, a book and a spring gala featuring Mississippi celebrities and friends.

The Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Mississippi has expanded its Youth Theatre Music Workshop and family-friendly events.
The Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Mississippi has expanded its Youth Theatre Music Workshop and family-friendly events.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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