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Mississippi’s Artists, Creators, Entertainers: Arts and Entertainment Center Gets Boost Wednesday

Wanda Harrison contributed to this story.

MERIDIAN, Miss.–A ribbon-cutting was held Wednesday in the Queen City, right across from where the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center will be built. It’s the office for the project opening up there. But, that wasn’t the biggest news. There was also a grant that will add to the ever-growing financial pot for the Center.

The Riley Foundation donated $4 million in the form of a grant.

“I’m real excited, because they’re real particular about how they give to projects and what they give to,” said the Center’s executive director, Marty Gamblin. “So we feel honored that they saw this as a project they want to be a part of.”

The Center’s mission is to honor the state’s most famous creators, artists and entertainers, with interactive exhibits and multimedia. The overall price tag is expected at around $44 million.

“This is going to be spectacular for the State of Mississippi,” said Dede Mogollon, executive director of Meridian and Lauderdale County Tourism.

She believes that since the Center will be located along I-20, the state’s main east-west artery, that it could lead to tourists visiting other attractions in the state, related to exhibits in the Center.

“We’re hoping it will be a launching pad to the Eudora Welty Museum, the B.B. King Museum or any other museum in the state.”

The actual construction on the Center has not yet begun and fundraising efforts on ongoing.

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