Mississippi Arts Commission Awarded $19,400 Grant for Mississippi Writers Trail

JACKSON, MISS. – July 16, 2019 – The Mississippi Arts Commission is pleased to announce the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area (MDNHA) has awarded a $19,400 grant for the development and placement of Mississippi Writers Trail markers in the Delta. The markers will recognize the work of 12 Delta authors.

The Mississippi Writers Trail is an initiative of the Mississippi Arts Commission, in partnership with the Community Foundation for Mississippi, Visit Mississippi, Mississippi Book Festival, Mississippi Humanities Council, Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Mississippi Library Commission. The cultural trail pays tribute to the state’s most acclaimed and influential writers by recognizing their work through a series of historical markers. Markers honoring Eudora Welty and Margaret Walker have recently been placed in Jackson, and as the project progresses, markers honoring many accomplished Mississippi writers will span the entirety of the state.

“We are very grateful for support from MDNHA for the Mississippi Writers Trail,” said Malcolm White, executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission. “The Delta, with its unique feel and palpable sense of place, was and is home to many legendary Mississippi writers. This funding for the Mississippi Writers Trail provides an opportunity to promote and proudly display the Delta’s rich literary history.”

As part of the process to create this trail, MAC and its project partners rely on literary scholars with a significant knowledge base in Southern literature to identify and prioritize writers to honor. Recommendations for the placement of the markers are generally made based on the selected writer’s wishes, if living, or the surviving family’s wishes, if the writer is deceased. The text for the marker is then drafted, finalized and cast into an official Mississippi Writers Trail marker. After which, the marker is placed, unveiled at a ceremony and becomes a part of the larger cultural trail.

Funding from MDNHA and other public and private sources helps ensure the continued development of the Mississippi Writers Trail. In this year’s funding cycle, MDNHA awarded more than $200,000 in grants for thirteen projects focused on cultural and heritage development in communities across the Mississippi Delta.

Additional funding for the Mississippi Writers Trail was awarded in 2018 when the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded its first Statehood Grant of $30,000 to the Mississippi Humanities Council to support the creation of a Mississippi Writers Trail. NEH’s Statehood Grants help fund state history and heritage projects that commemorate 150th and 200th anniversaries of statehood.

Contact: Kristen Brandt, Special Initiatives Director | kbrandt@arts.ms.gov I 601.359.6030