Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area Grants Announced

 The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area recently awarded over $150,000 in grants, bringing it's two-year total of awards to more than $300,000 to organizations managing projects throughout the Mississippi Delta region.

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area recently awarded over $150,000 in grants, bringing it's two-year total of awards to more than $300,000 to organizations managing projects throughout the Mississippi Delta region.

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area (MDNHA) is pleased to announce over $155,000 in grants for nine projects focused on cultural and heritage development in the Mississippi Delta.

The funded work celebrates the diversity of the Delta’s rich cultural heritage including restoration of historical sites such as the Dockery Farms cotton gin, the establishment of a museum featuring the legacy of Dr. L. C. Dorsey at the Delta Health Center, and the influence of the Delta’s Chinese culture in Delta cuisine.

“We are pleased to support a broad range of work from communities and organizations dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of the Delta,” said Dr. Myrtis Tabb, Chair of the MDNHA Board of Directors.  “We are encouraged by the number and scope of applicants in our second year of the Small Grants Program, and hope others will be motivated to participate in future rounds of funding.”

“We do our best to fund work in all parts of the Delta, and in a variety of areas of interest that complement MDNHA’s mission,” said Meg Cooper, Chair of the MDNHA Grants Committee.  “We have now approved a total of over $300,000 in projects in our two years of grant making.”

“The MDNHA is designed to engage and empower organizations and individuals to promote the cultural heritage of the Mississippi Delta,” said Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University, which serves as the management entity for MDNHA.  “This partnership between the people of the Mississippi Delta and the National Park Service is crucial to the preservation, perpetuation and celebration of the Delta’s heritage that is at the core of our mission.”

Grant recipients and their funded projects include:

Delta Health Center, Inc.establish the Dr. L. C. Dorsey Community Health Center Museum in Mound Bayou

Dockery Farms Foundationrestore and preserve the historic Dockery Farms cotton gin, and develop historical exhibits within the gin building

The Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State Universitydevelopment of a new track of classes for its CORE Arts Camp that showcases tales of origination in song and story

Mississippi Valley State Universitydesign and present symposium lectures, panel discussions, musical performances and other work in support of the B. B. King Day symposium

Mississippi State Universitygenerate knowledge about and provide estimates of the economic value of preserving sites of cultural significance in the Delta

Greenville Arts Councilprovide artist residencies to teachers and students that preserve the rich artistic traditions of the Mississippi Delta

Mississippi Heritage Trustconduct four Historic Preservation Toolkit workshops that teach local towns and organizations how to leverage funding to preserve historic places

Delta State University, Department of Archives and HistoryPreserving the historic Mississippi Delta Chinese foodways culture through stories of family, place and cuisine

Cleveland/Bolivar County Chamber of CommerceRestoration of the Façade and Interior of the Cleveland Depot building

The MDNHA includes 18 counties that contain land located in the alluvial floodplain of the Mississippi Delta: Bolivar, Carroll, Coahoma, DeSoto, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Leflore, Panola, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tunica, Warren, Washington and Yazoo. 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 www.msdeltaheritage.com.

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 Delta Center serves as the management entity of the MDNHA and is the home of the International Delta Blues Project and the National Endowment for the Humanities “Most Southern Place on Earth” workshops.  For more information, visit http://deltacenterdsu.com/.