Mississippi has produced an incredible number of talented artists, including Elvis Presley, Jimmy Buffett, Walter Anderson, James Earl Jones, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and John Grisham, to name only a few.
To commemorate this rich heritage, plans for the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center (MAEC) project in Meridian are underway with the purpose to promote the state's premier arts and entertainment legacy through education, performances, exhibitions, and festivals, and it is backed by true Mississippi star power. "We've been particularly blessed to have the active participation of Celebrity Committee chairpersons Faith Hill, Marty Stuart, and our original and current chairperson Sela Ward," says the center's executive director, Marty Gamblin.
The MAEC will showcase literary, visual, and performing arts and encompass an educational component with workshops and arts programs. It will include interactive and hands-on exhibits, a Hall of Fame, recording and broadcasting studios, a gift shop, and more.
"When the MAEC opens, it will be a place of creativity, entertainment, and learning." explains Gamblin. "The MAEC will capture the essence of Mississippi's stellar legacy in the arts."
A Hollywood-style Walk of Fame will greet visitors and honor outstanding Mississippi artists such as Jimmie Rodgers, B.B. King, Sela Ward, Marty Stuart, Morgan Freeman, Mac McAnally, Moe Bandy, Eudora Welty, and Tennessee Williams.
"I believe the MAEC will be the best PR the State of Mississippi can receive when our superstars from all genres of the arts are inducted into the Hall of Fame and their stars continue to be unveiled on the Walk of Fame," says Mississippi entertainer Paul Ott, who serves as vice-president for the center's board of directors. "It is a long overdue project to honor these great artists as Mississippi continues to amaze the world with its wealth of talent--must be in the water!"--S.M.B.
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