NEA Chairman Jane Chu To Visit Mississippi July 17-18, 2017

Contact: Liz Auclair, NEA, / 202-682-5744 and Anna Ehrgott, MAC ( 601-359-6546)

Washington, D.C. – July 11, 2017 – Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will visit Jackson, Oxford, Clarksdale, and Indianola, Mississippi, July 17-18, 2017. While in the state, she will visit arts organizations funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mississippi Arts Commission and give remarks at an event open to the public in Jackson.

Chairman Chu will begin her trip on Monday, July 17 in Jackson, first meeting with a community group of quilters called SEW, an acronym for Sewing Every Wednesday. This group began with support from the Mississippi Arts Commission and meets weekly to sew and offer guidance on each other’s projects.

Next, Chairman Chu will visit the Mississippi Museum of Art (the Museum), which received an FY 2017 grant of $10,000 from the NEA to support an upcoming interdisciplinary symposium to explore the issues related to art and identity in the American South. Chairman Chu will tour the Museum and hear about the impact of an NEA FY 2014 Our Town grant on the Museum’s Art Garden.

At 11:00am at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Chairman Chu will give remarks about the ways the arts are bringing vitality to Mississippi communities while also supporting our national and local economies. Following her remarks, Chairman Chu will participate in a conversation with Malcolm White, executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, moderated by Betsy Bradley, director of the Mississippi Museum of Art. This event is free and open to the public.

That afternoon, Chairman Chu will visit Yoknapatawpha Arts Council in Oxford. Chairman Chu will tour the arts council’s facility, The Powerhouse, and meet with their community partners, including artists who have participated in the Arts Incubator project, which the NEA is supporting with an FY 2017 grant of $10,000.

The next day, Chairman Chu will visit Mississippi’s Delta region and two organizations supported by the Mississippi Arts Commission. First, she will attend a reception at the Delta Blues Museum, the world’s first museum devoted entirely to blues, which in 2014 received a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in recognition of the Delta Blues Museum Arts and Education Program. At the reception, the Delta Blues Museum Band will perform.

Next, Chairman Chu will tour the B. B. King Museum in Indianola. In 1991, B. B. King received a National Heritage Fellowship from the NEA, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. The B. B. King Museum, in addition to Mississippi Museum of Art, Delta Blues Museum, and several other Mississippi museums are taking part in this summer’s Blue Star Museums program, a collaboration among the NEA, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

With the exception of the event at the Mississippi Museum of Art, all other events on the Chairman’s itinerary are closed to the public, but open to the media. Members of the media who wish to attend must RSVP in advance to the NEA at

To learn more about the Chairman’s trip, please visit: