Visitation at New Museums Strong - posted July 10, 2018
The number of visitors to the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum has exceeded projections for the first year, with more than 185,000 people touring the museums since they opened seven months ago. State tourism officials had anticipated 180,000 visits for the two museums in their first year in operation.
“We are thrilled to have welcomed so many visitors from across Mississippi and around the world to the Two Mississippi Museums,” said Mississippi Department of Archives and History director Katie Blount. “It is especially gratifying to see so many school children experiencing the museums and learning about our shared past.”
Nearly 100,000 students, ranging from kindergarten to high school, have made a trip to the museums thus far.
Museum officials attribute the strong turnouts to the unique interactive exhibits and unvarnished approach to story-telling that make the histories in both museums compelling and accessible to all age groups. A renewed interest in history and the Civil Rights Movement also has contributed to the high visitor turnout.
The museums have also been popular venues for both public and private events. To date, sixty-seven events have been held at the museums, with another seventy-five events scheduled between now and the end of the year.
Mississippians from every county in the state have visited the museum. International visitors from as far away as Australia, Brazil, China, France, Japan, South Africa, and the United Kingdom also have made trips to the museums since December.
“Group tours have been strong since we opened in December,” said Two Mississippi Museums administrator Cindy Gardner. “This summer we have seen summer camps, family reunions, church groups, and special interest tours related to history at the museums.”
More than 20,000 people visited the museums during the grand opening weekend. In January, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation sponsored free admission to commemorate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., and about 16,000 people took advantage of the offer.
The Museum of Mississippi History opened alongside the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum December 9, 2017 in celebration of the state's bicentennial. The Museum of Mississippi History explores the entire sweep of the state's history. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum explores the period from 1945 to 1976, when Mississippi was ground zero for the Civil Rights Movement nationally. The Two Mississippi Museums are administered by MDAH.
The Mississippi State Legislature provides most of the funding for the museums, with visitor fees and private donations supplementing the operation of the facilities. The Legislature also provided $90 million for construction. $20 million was raised privately for exhibits and endowment.
Tickets to the museums are $12 for both museums for adults and $7 for ages 18 and under. Children under three are admitted free. Groups of ten or more receive discounted pricing of $6 per adult and $3 per student for one museum and $10 per adult and $5 per student for both museums. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The museums are located at 222 North Street, Jackson, MS 39201.