PLACE Magazine Spring 2020

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Mississippi’s Arts + Entertainment Experience Spring 2020



The new decade promises to be a tremendous era of growth for The Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience, the City of Meridian, and all of Mississippi! Our community is at the cusp of amazing progress. I want to thank our dedicated Board of Directors led by our visionary Chair Ann Alexander and our over 80 community volunteers. Also, none of this would have been possible without the support and partnership of patron families, MAX members, as well as the Riley Foundation, Phil Harden Foundation, Lauderdale County, EMBDC, and the City of Meridian. As a result of your investment and support for The MAX, Meridian is benefiting from new investment in downtown demonstrated by the creation of new restaurants, shops, and major businesses including the restoration of the historic high-rise Threefoot Building as a Marriott Hotel, our new corporate neighbors Progressive Pipeline, and the Mississippi Children’s Museum–Meridian. We also welcome another neighbor, the Jimmie Rodgers Museum, now located across the street from The MAX. The MAX recently acquired the historic bus station adjacent to our campus. Our board is already contemplating plans to transform this facility into a multipurpose performing arts education space while preserving and sharing our compelling story in Civil Rights history. On March 28, a creative group of amazing MAX volunteers will present Sipp & Savor, our first annual Food & Drink Experience. Mississippi’s own Cat Cora, as well as other award-winning chefs from throughout Mississippi, will be in The MAX courtyard presenting freshly prepared locally sourced dishes and specialty cocktails and craft beer from breweries and distilleries across the state. This summer, The MAX, in partnership with the Meridian Museum of Art, will present a groundbreaking exhibition titled, Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South. Southbound is a survey showcasing an honest depiction of how the American South has changed over recent decades, and more so, how it continues to grow and change. Finally, this September at the MSU Riley Center for Performing Arts, we welcome the artists and families of our 2020 Hall of Fame inductees: Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, Jerry Lee Lewis, Margaret Walker (Alexander), and Tammy Wynette. It is hard to believe that a little over three years ago, we began with an empty lot and hearts full of hopes and dreams. Regards,

Mark A Tullos Jr. President | CEO The MAX

On the cover: Eugene Richards, Walking Towards Home, Crawfordsville, Arkansas, 2010. From the Red Ball of a Sun Slipping Down series, Crawfordsville, Arkansas.

Board of Directors Ann Alexander, Chair, Meridian Clay Holladay, Vice Chair, Meridian Archie Anderson, Treasurer, Meridian Marian Barksdale, Secretary, Oxford Shawn Brevard, Tupelo Sheryl Davidson, Meridian Veldore Young Graham, Meridian Checky Herrington, Starkville Melanie Mitchell, Meridian Dede Mogollon, Meridian

Board Spotlight This quarter’s Board Spotlight recognizes the dedication and service of five members of Mississippi’s Arts + Entertainment Experience Board of Directors who retired this calendar year. A heartfelt thank you from the entire MAX family for your contributions in time and effort, and for making The MAX a reality. Mississippi’s Arts + Entertainment Experience was a concept 20 years in the making and now stands as a beacon for the State of Mississippi and the contributions our artists have made to the world.

Joe Norwood, Meridian Millie Swan, Hattiesburg Billy Thornton, Gulfport Coleman Warner, New Orleans, LA

Tommy Dulaney, Past Chair Structural Steel Services, Inc.

Fred Wile, Meridian Duffee Williams, Meridian Laura Carmichael, Ex-Officio

Alan Lamar, Past Treasurer Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Director Emeritus Tommy Dulaney, Past Chair Fred Cannon

Fred Cannon Fred Cannon Music

Billy Estes Alan Lamar

Billy Estes Community Leader

Mississippi’s Arts + Entertainment Experience

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Betty Lou Jones Community Leader

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The South—eight letters, that because of history, create such a loaded name. What does that name mean? What makes it loaded? What is the South?

By Stacey Wilson Curator of Exhibitions 2


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Opposite page: Jerry Siegel, Shooter, Dallas County, Alabama, 2007. From the Black Belt Color series, Dallas County, Alabama. Magdalena Solé, Brooklyn Chapel, 2010. From The Delta: A Journey through the Deep South series; Greenwood, Mississippi. Archival Pigment Print.

On one hand, it is a region. A quick answer is anything below the MasonDixon line. But historically, the South referred to the eleven states that seceded from the Union at the onset of the Civil War: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Today, the United States Census Bureau defines the South as all of the above with the addition of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. This region is tied together by idiosyncrasies such as speech patterns, cuisine, religious beliefs, pace of life, semi-diverse communities, and customs and traditions. Urban contributor Southernbellivin describes the South as a place where the tea is sweet and accents are sweeter, porches

are wide and words are long, summer lasts most of the year, Y’all is the only proper noun, macaroni and cheese is a vegetable, pecan pie is a staple, chicken is fried, and biscuits come with gravy; everything is darlin’, and someone’s heart is always being blessed.1 That definition creates a candid image of the South, which leads to the next meaning—the South is a persona. We are God-fearing Christians who are friendly and welcoming; a large sect of us are retirees, and most of our industry is agrarian or tourism in nature. But like a two-sided coin, the South can be perceived as racist, sexist, uneducated, and because of our cuisine, obese. We are thought to be closed-minded and poverty stricken because we lack industry. The latter persona, a longlasting legacy of Reconstruction that I SPRING 2020

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Tammy Mercure, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2014. From the Saints series, New Orleans, Louisiana. Lightjet Print.

don’t think anyone anticipated, is also a stereotype. Even though times are changing and the South as a region is progressing, often our image in media, literature, music, and film remains trapped in the 19th century. Now, in the 21st century, the South has access to the ideals, customs and traditions, political and religious beliefs, and the history of the rest of the world, not only the United States. With all of these outside influences, is it possible for the South to be stagnant in regards to advancement, development, and progression? Or can it change? What does the term “New South” even mean? It originated in 1886 when Henry W. Grady, a newspaper editor in Atlanta, Georgia, defined the New South as a South that was less agrarian and more diverse in industry and social classes. It maintained the racial hierarchy prevalent 4

before the Civil War, and was more democratic with equality now an option for all white men, but still excluding women and people of color.2 “The old South rested everything on slavery and agriculture, unconscious that these could neither give nor maintain healthy growth. The New South presents a perfect democracy, the oligarchs leading in the popular movement—a social system compact and closely knitted, less splendid on the surface, but stronger at the core… and a diversified industry that meets the complex needs of this complex age. The New South is enamored of her new work. As she stands upright, fullstatured and equal among the people of the earth…she understands that her emancipation came because through the inscrutable wisdom of God her honest purpose was crossed, and her brave armies were beaten.”3


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Stacy Kranitz, Island Road, 2010. From The Island series, Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana. Archival Pigment Print.

Grady’s words created an image of a South full of promise and hope with a bright future ahead. However, his “New South” never fully caught on as farmers did not want to change their crops and Northerners refused to support this ideal because it sought to only benefit whites and maintain the racial hierarchy which disenfranchised, exploited, and caused the death of thousands of people of color. Because of his untimely death in 1889, Grady’s view of a "New South" never caught on. It is interesting that an ideal that was new and fitting in 1886 is also fitting in the 21st century. I posed this question before, and I’ll ask it again here. Is the South stagnant in regards to advancement, development, and progression, or has it changed? Are we embarking on a new “New South,” or are we finally fulfilling Grady’s vision, but in an inclusive manner? The South has

become more diverse, more tolerant of gender identity, sexual orientation, and is moving toward gender equality. In the 150-plus years since the end of the Civil War, the South as a region and a people has faced many battles— figuratively and literally—slavery, countless wars, prohibition, racism, voter rights and voter suppression, segregation and integration, natural disasters, and unemployment and inequality. We’ve won some, we’ve lost some, and we’re still fighting some battles. Our battle scars in some cases continue to divide us, while at the same time continue to unite us. The New South is a movement that has been evolving since 1886 and Southbound is evidence of that. Curators Mark Sloan and Mark Long at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, South Carolina, SPRING 2020

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Alex Harris, Eliza's Birthday Party, 2004. From the Family series, Durham, North Carolina. Archival Pigment Print.

fashioned an exhibition of photographs that shine a light on issues in an effort to understand the New South—its people, beliefs, society, and customs as it exists today. While fifty-six men and women documented everyday life—the good and the bad, the offensive and the progressive, themes of environmental concerns, changing landscapes, racism and diversity, stereotypes, southern history and its commemoration/ memorialization, and tradition within— a southern culture emerged.

A crucial piece to the exhibition is the Index of Southerness map created by Dr. Rick Bunch at the University of North Carolina–Greensboro. Dr. Bunch analyzed maps from the United States Census Bureau, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the United States Agricultural Census using specific data points to uncover the varying dimensions of life in the South. Eight maps look at African American populations, names of businesses, chicken farms, churches, Confederate symbols, field crops (cotton, peanuts,

“The South.” Urban Dictionary, 11 Nov. 2010, South.


Berry, Allena. “The New South: APUSH Topics to Master Before Test Day.” Magoosh High School Blog, Magoosh, 4 Aug. 2017, 2

Grady, Henry W. “The New South.” GALILEO: Georgia Historic Books: Text, A GALILEO Digital Initiative Database, =HTML&byte=9685281&rgn=DIV1. s



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Exhibit Snapshot Jeff Rich, Mary, Esther, and Ellis. From the Watershed series, Uniontown, Alabama. Archival Pigment Print.

rice, sugarcane, and tobacco), place names (cemeteries, parks/forests, public schools, and streets named after Civil Rights activists, Confederate generals, prominent politicians, public figures, and southern synonyms), and Garden and Gun subscribers. These maps combine to create the Index of Southerness—in essence what makes the South southern. This exhibition is full of the past with images of vast countryside and water, Confederate imagery, and cuisine, but is also full of the future with images of strong women, love in the purest form, diversity, industry, and the fight to continue to move forward. The exhibition also features the essential things that make us southern and will never change: God, family, and sports—and in that order.

Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South was organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. Curated by Mark Sloan and Mark Long at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, South Carolina. An exhibition partnership between Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience and the Meridian Museum of Art. Both institutions will display photographs and have exhibit programming. 220 photographs 56 photographers: 21 female, 35 male Five Mississippi photographers: Langdon Clay, Maude Schuyler Clay, Will H. Jacks, Kathleen Robbins, and Euphus Ruth Photographers are from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia On exhibit May 30–August 22, 2020 Website: SPRING 2020

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Maxie’s Juke Joint is jumpin'! Mississippi bluesmen and women will entertain you with a variety of blues styles—so, sit back (or jump up and dance) and enjoy the music. Refreshments + cash bar available. Shows at 6–9pm $20 Non-members | Free for Members B L U E S

S E R I E S :


M A X I E S '



4/3/20 Aa'Keela and The Beats 6/5/20 Vasti Jackson 7/31/20 Jamell Richardson Funded in part by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

There's something for everyone at The MAX Spring Night Market! We’re partnering with Earth’s Bounty, Go Green Meridian, and Meridian Council for the Arts for an evening of live music, beer and wine, artists, artisans, farm vendors, food trucks, and much more. S P R I N G


M A R K E T :

F A M I L Y ,




April 23, 2020 | 5pm–9pm Free and open to the public.

M A R S H A L L' S

M I S S I S S I P P I :


Marshall's Mississippi is hitting the road again—next stop, Meridian! Join us at The MAX for this dynamic roadshow with guests Meridian Mayor Percy Bland, Lindsey Hall with WTOKTV, and Mississippi Today education reporter Kayleigh Skinner. March 12, 2020 | 6pm–7:30pm | $15 8


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Join us on the first Saturday of every month for an entertaining and educational day of themed activities for the whole family! We'll have live performances, demos, contests, themed scavenger hunts, and much more—all for deeply discounted admission prices. All adult tickets are just $5, youth 6–17 tickets are $1, and children 5 and under and members are always free. F I R S T

S A T U R D A Y S :






3/7/20 Food for Thought 4/4/20 Grow Your Own 5/2/20 Road Trip

Enjoy a lunch hour concert at The MAX every third Thursday of the month! Bring a friend or two (and your lunch) and enjoy live entertainment by artists from across Mississippi. Performances begin at 11:30am and end at 1pm. Free and open to the public. T H I R D

T H U R S D A Y S :





3/10/20 Cole Hill 4/16/20 Sam Mooney 5/21/20 Sneaky Tree

Mississippi actors and writers have had an extraordinary influence on film and television, and The MAX Summer Film Series celebrates some of their many contributions to cinema. The films will be previewed by Ward Emling at noon and screened later that evening. Free and open to the public. S U M M E R


S E R I E S :




5/15/20 The Dark Crystal (Jim Henson) 6/19/20 Glory (Morgan Freeman) 7/17/20 Girls! Girls! Girls! (Elvis Presley + Stella Stevens) 8/21/20 The Lion King (James Earl Jones) W S PI N R TI N EG R 202 10 9

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This Spring at The MAX For more information or to register, visit

Ongoing Heal the Knife that Cuts the Wound Through May 3 | 9am–5pm Heal the Knife that Cuts the Wound displays works by Vicksburg artist Lindsay Carraway. She interprets her dreams through the lens of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to create abstract paintings, collages, and sculptures. On exhibit through May 3, Heal the Knife that Cuts the Wound offers a look into Carraway̓s world.

Mini Maestros Thursdays 10:30–11:30am Free with museum admission

Make + Take Workshops 1st + 3rd Saturdays 10am–Noon Free with museum admission

Come ready to learn and play! Every Thursday, children 5 and under are invited to enjoy different guided activities, including music, crafts, games, and dance. Free for toddlers and their parents/caregivers. Museum admission not included. Limit two children per adult. Registration recommended.

Make & Take workshops are teacher-led workshops where children engage in learning fun while making a special craft to take home to enjoy and to share with Mom and Dad! Registration recommended.


Members Only: Open Ceramics Studio Tuesdays + Thursdays 11am–2pm $40 per month MAX Members of all skill levels can practice their ceramics skills in our open ceramics studio. Available space in the studio is first come, first served. Includes materials and firing. Registration required by the first of each month.


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Visit for more details. March 7 | 9am–5pm First Saturday: Food for Thought Focus on Cuisine. All First Saturday events are free with museum admission.

April 3 | 6pm–9pm Blues Series: Aa'Keela and The Beats A night of blues, R&B, and soul music. $20 Non-members | Free for members.

10am–Noon Make + Take Workshop Create a piece of art to take home! Led by a museum educator.

April 4 | 9am–5pm First Saturday: Grow Your Own Focus on the Outdoors. All First Saturday events are free with museum admission.

Noon–1pm Daniel Houze in Concert Country music by one of Meridian's own. 1pm–2pm Art Heals! Lacey Wilson Presentation about art, what art therapy is, and how you can incorporate art in your everyday life. 2pm–3:30pm Kid's Cooking Demo Mark Coblenz, star of MPB's "Making a Chef," prepares a kid-friendly dish. March 12 | 6pm–7:30pm Marshall's Mississippi Marshall Ramsey's roadshow with Meridian Mayor Percy Bland, Lindsey Hall (WTOK), and Kayleigh Skinner (Mississippi Today). $15 March 17 | 5pm–7:30pm St. Patrick's Day at The MAX Hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, music and giveaways. Wear your green! $5 adults, $1 Kids, free for members. March 19 | 11:30am–1pm Brown Bag Lunch Concert: Cole Hill An entertaining hour of live music in The MAX Courtyard. Free and open to the public. March 28 | 6pm–9pm Sipp & Savor Meridian's first annual food and drink experience. Benefits The MAX educational programming. Tickets at

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9:30am–11:30am Plant Demo: Felder Rushing Grow "designer" veggies, herbs, and fruit that produce well and look good in the garden. 1pm–2pm The Process of Creative Healing Mattie Codling from the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, analyzes Anderson's growth as an artist based on art as a therapeutic mechanism. April 16 | 11:30am–1pm Brown Bag Lunch Concert: Sam Mooney Live music on the MAX Courtyard for your lunch hour. Free and open to the public. April 17 | 6pm–9pm Jimmie Rodgers Festival Concert: JJ Grey + Mofro with opening act Royal Horses. Rain or shine. Tickets at April 18 | 1–4pm Drumline Competition High school drumlines compete for bragging rights and “MAX Beats” Champions. Free with museum admission.

May 2 | 9am–5pm First Saturday: Road Trip Focus on Mississippi Travel. All First Saturday events are free with museum admission. May 15 Summer Film Series: The Dark Crystal (Jim Henson). All Film Series events are free and open to the public. Noon–1pm Lunch + a Movie Ward Emling, former Mississippi Film Office director, will preview The Dark Crystal during the lunch hour. 7:30pm–10pm Movie Screening Doors open at 7:30, film starts at 8 in The MAX Courtyard. We'll provide the popcorn! May 21 | 11:30am–1pm Brown Bag Lunch Concert: Sneaky Tree An hour of rock and roll with this Meridian band. Free and open to the public. May 30–August 22, 2020 Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South An exhibit comprised of 56 photographers' visions of the South in the early decades of the 21st century. In partnership with the Meridian Museum of Art. May 29 | 5:30pm–7:30pm Opening Reception Members only. May 30 | 9am–5pm Exhibit Opening

April 23 | 5pm–9pm Spring Night Market An evening of art, food, beer, wine, and live music. Free and open to the public. April 25 | 9am–2pm Acrylic Painting Workshop with Ron Gordon A 4-hour intensive master class. Lunch included. $100, register by 4/1/20 and BOGO.




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A Food + Drink Experience Sip on cold beers, fine wines, and craft cocktails. Savor irresistible bites from Mississippi’s top chefs. Experience the culinary tradition of the South like you never have before. On March 28 The MAX will be home to more than a dozen award-winning Mississippi chefs and the state’s most popular brewers and distillers. Stroll through the courtyard and interact with chefs as they prepare small plates representing their style and region. This all-you-can-indulge-in experience is enhanced by chef-paired cocktails, beers, and wines. Come for the incredible food, but stay for the funk. Ocean Spring’s own Blackwater Brass will be performing in their signature larger-than-life style. Featured at Sipp & Savor is an incredible lineup of chefs, including celebrity chef and Mississippi native, Cat Cora. Among her many other achievements, Cat is the first-ever female Iron Chef, the first female inducted into The American Academy of Chefs Culinary Hall of Fame. She is the President and Founder of Chefs for Humanity, the Women’s Empowerment Culinary Internship Program, and was awarded The President’s Volunteer Service Award and The President’s Lifetime Achievement Award by former President Barack Obama. Other featured chefs include Alex Perry, Vestige restaurant in Ocean Springs; Alex Eaton, Manship Wood Fired Kitchen and Aplos restaurants in Jackson; Hunter Evans, Elvie’s in Jackson; Katie Dixon, The Birdhouse Café in Hattiesburg; Dwayne Ingraham, 5th and Taylor in Nashville, Tennessee; Mark Coblentz, kid chef and finalist on FOX’s Masterchef Jr. and Food Network’s Chopped Jr.; Stephen March 28, 2020 Kruger, Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, Tennessee; Austin 6pm–9pm Myrick, Purple Parrot in Hattiesburg; Cory Bahr, Parish Restaurant, Member Pricing: Standard Coffee Co., and Heritage Catering in Monroe, Louisiana; $65 Adults Austin Sumrall, The White Pillars in Biloxi; and Brad McDonald, The $15 Youth 6–20 Ace Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. Free for 5 and Under As a special thank-you for the generous support of our sponsors, Chef Ty Thames of Eat Local Starkville Restaurant Group, and David Crews of Delta Supper Club, will prepare bites exclusively for our VIP guests to the music of The Pryor Band.

Non-member Pricing: $75 Adults $20 Youth 6–20 Free for 5 and Under

Sipp & Savor Food & Drink Experience is The MAX’s annual fundraiser for 2020.

Tickets available at

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Thank You




Membership at The MAX gives you a front row seat to everything Arts + Entertainment. Grand Patron Level Members + above are listed below. As of January 31, 2020. Charter Benefactor’s Circle

Mr. & Mrs. Chuck Reece

Dr. & Mrs. Ric Alexander

Mr. & Mrs. Bill Scaggs

Dr. & Mrs. Woodie Abraham Jr. Mr. & Mrs. Duncan D. Chalk Mr. & Mrs. Greg Creel Ms. Juanita Crowe

Mr. & Mrs. Robert B. Deen Jr.

Mr. & Mrs. Don Rogers Mr. & Mrs. Wade Sims

Dr. Ed & Dr. Michelle Snodgrass Mr. & Mrs. Coleman Warner

Mr. & Mrs. Thomas K. Dobbins

Benefactor's Circle

Freddie’s Fine Spirits

Mr. & Mrs. Bob Barham


Mr. Ken Allen

Insurance Advisory Group, LLC

Mr. Courtland Gray & Mrs. Shannon Crowe

Mr. & Mrs. Larry Love

Dr. & Mrs. R. Condon Hughes

Mr. & Mrs. Phillip McLain

Dr. Tonea Stewart

Dr. & Mrs. James Lee Valentine

Grand Patron

Mr. & Mrs. Fred Wile

Mr. & Mrs. David Brevard

Mr. & Mrs. Hardy P. Graham Sr. Mr. & Mrs. Steven LaBiche

Mr. & Mrs. Maurice Hall

Mr. & Mrs. Archie R. McDonnell Jr.

Meridian Airport Authority

Stifel Nicolaus

Waters International Trucks, Inc.

Mr. & Mrs. Claiborne Barksdale

Mr. & Mrs. Brad Woodall

Mr. & Mrs. Douglas Coleman

Charter Grand Patron

Harvest Grill, LLC

Mr. William E. Arlinghaus


Mr. & Mrs. Robert A. Coffin III


Mr. & Mrs. Michael M. Davis II

Dr. & Mrs. Nathan Myatt

Mr. & Mrs. Bill Hammack

Mr. & Mrs. Kyle Temple

Mr. & Mrs. David Honeycutt

Mr. & Mrs. Scott Vincent

Mr. & Mrs. Larry Johnson

Mr. & Mrs. George S. Warner

Crooked Letter

Dr. & Mrs. Richard Abney

Mr. & Mrs. Checky Herrington

Mr. & Mrs. Marl Cobler

Julep Antiques & Gifts

Dr. & Mrs. Jeffrey N. Cook

McAlister’s Deli

Dr. & Mrs. Frederick Y. Grant

Dr. & Mrs. Michael Nanney

Mr. & Mrs. Miles Hester

Dr. & Mrs. Michael S. Thaggard

Mrs. Alice James

Dr. & Mrs. John D. Voss

Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Labruyere


Mr. & Mrs. Samuel E. Long III

A Special Thanks to our Donors

Mr. & Mrs. Robert S. Loeb Jr. Dr. & Mrs. David Makey

Meridian OB/GYN, PLLC

Hon. & Mrs. Lawrence Primeaux Mr. & Mrs. David G. Ray

Ann & Jimmy Alexander, Sheryl & Jay Davidson, and Karen & Bob Rea for their contributions to our 2019 Year End Campaign for Educational Programming.

2155 Front Street Meridian, MS 39301

From the upcoming exhibition on view May 30–August 22, 2020

Photographs of and about the New South

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Permit #290 Tupelo, MS 38801