Our Mission, Vision, & Goals

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area is unique in that, unlike many other National Heritage Areas, Congress remained silent on the legislative purpose, mission and vision when it created the heritage area. This unusual circumstance left a blank slate on which MDNHA and its partners could craft the heritage area’s vision and mission as the management planning process unfolded. The mission statement articulates how the local coordinating entity and other partners in the heritage area intend to make their vision for the future a reality. The vision statement was also crafted with considerable involvement from the public and the partners, outlining the views of what the Delta should be in ten to fifteen years. Both these statements are crucial in the compilation of this Management Plan, and in formulating and achieving the goals of the heritage areas and its programs. 

The Mission Statement

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area fosters preservation, perpetuation and celebration of the Delta’s heritage through a climate of collaboration and sustainable economic development. Through a comprehensive and continual system of engagement and education, the National Heritage Area leads an inclusive network of partners, institutions and residents in achieving a regional vision. We create opportunities to save our special places, maintain our vibrant traditions, enhance community and cultural pride, support economic and social transformation and advance the appreciation and understanding of the Delta’s important past and its continuing contributions to the American story. We focus on five themes: The River and the Land it Embraces; The Culture of the Blues and the Birth of an American Sound; Moving Toward Freedom: Changing America’s Character in the Struggle for Rights; Growing More than Cotton: The Delta as a Wellspring of Creativity; and The Delta Divide: Creating the Delta’s Communities.

The mission statement follows through on these three areas:

  • To foster partnerships and educational opportunities that enhance, preserve and promote the heritage of the Mississippi Delta.
  • To ensure a balanced and sustainable approach to community and economic development and social transformation
  • To create links between people and institutions that will promote activities that improve, protect and advance the understanding of the Delta

The Vision, 2025

The people who call the Mississippi Delta “home” value the significant events and unique cultural traditions that influenced the development of America. Residents, communities, institutions and cultural groups have collaborated to preserve special places connected to the Delta’s past, to honor and celebrate its diverse traditions and to document and share the history from settlement to migration, from the Civil War to Civil Rights. Residents are proud of their communities and their cultures and want to remain here to contribute to the Delta’s future. They understand the role of agriculture in their history and economy and celebrate the wellspring of creativity that birthed the internationally recognized Blues, a remarkable literary legacy and a spirit of determination. The National Heritage Area includes revitalized communities, conservation of natural resources, new venues and events to tell the Delta’s story and increased visitation by heritage travelers and demonstrates progress toward sustainable economic growth.

The Goals

The following goals emerged from the process of developing the Management Plan and reflect the mission and vision statements, and legislative mandates. The goals are the basis for strategies and action steps that are presented in detail the Management Plan’s strategy sections.

Goal #1

Perpetuate the unique culture of the Mississippi Delta through engagement of the people who live here to preserve, celebrate and share the places and stories of the region.

Goal #2

Save historic and natural resources by raising awareness of the threat of their loss, providing recognition for saving places and directing resources to training, education and preservation


Build a heritage-area wide network of partners by providing opportunities for engagement in a variety of activities.

Goal #4 

Contribute to sustainable economic development through activities that will strengthen local and regional economies.