Grand Village of the Natchez Indians Hosts Native American Fashion Designer

The Grand Village of the Natchez Indians will host Native American Influence on Modern Design at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 2. This program will feature Indigenous textile artist and fashion designer Tina Benavente. 

“Tina’s presentation will be a fascinating look at the intersection of Native American heritage and fashion,” said Lance Harris, director of the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians.  

Not only will Tina Benavente discuss how her heritage influences her work, she will also share design examples at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians. 

The Grand Village of the Natchez Indians was the main ceremonial mound center of the Natchez people from 1682 until 1730. The 128-acre National Historic Landmark features three mounds, a plaza, nature trail, museum, and store. Administered by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the Grand Village is located at 400 Jefferson Davis Boulevard and is open free of charge to the public 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and Sundays 1:30 to 5 p.m.    

For more information, visit, or call 601-446-6502. 



Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Celebrate 5 Years

1 Mississippi. 2 Museums. 5 Years.

Since opening on December 9, 2017, more than half a million people have visited the Two Mississippi Museums – Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. Join us December 9–11 for a free, fun party weekend to celebrate our fifth anniversary. 

“In celebrating this fifth anniversary, we acknowledge the wealth of opportunity and wisdom these museums give us,” said Pamela D.C. Junior, director of the Two Mississippi Museums. “More than 500,000 people have come together to listen, investigate, learn, and reflect on our Mississippi history. We look forward to continuing this journey with all of you, for many more years to come!"  

The celebration begins on Friday, December 9, with free admission and continues Saturday, December 10, with free admission, trackless train rides for children, live music, food trucks, and guided tours. Admission will also be free on Sunday, December 11, with a showing of The Muppet Christmas Carol.

The Mississippi Legislature funded construction of the $100 million Two Mississippi Museums along with generous support from private donors. A significant early contribution from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation was critical to attracting additional support from others.

“The Two Mississippi Museums preserve the painful stories and truths of our ancestors and are a testament to the deep resolve we have to healing our communities,” said Rhea Williams-Bishop, director of Mississippi and New Orleans programming for the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. “We are excited to celebrate the museums’ anniversary and help ensure everyone can learn our rich and complex history.”

The anniversary celebration also will give visitors an opportunity to see the special exhibit The World of Marty Stuart before it closes on December 31. This exhibit includes hundreds of items never shown before in the state, including Marty's first guitar, original handwritten manuscripts by Hank Williams, guitars from Merle Haggard and Pops Staples, costumes from Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, personal items from Johnny Cash, including his first black performance suit, and much more.

The free weekend is sponsored by the Community Foundation for Mississippi through funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.


MDAH Thanksgiving Closures

MDAH offices and archives library will be closed Thursday, November 24–Saturday, November 26.

The Two Mississippi Museums, Eudora Welty House & Garden, Old Capitol Museum, and Grand Village of the Natchez Indians will be closed Thursday, November 24.

Visit for more information about our one-of-a-kind museums, historical sites and cultural attractions throughout the state. Explore our wide-ranging Digital Archives here


Two Mississippi Museums to Host Veterans Day Ceremony

The Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum are partnering with the Daughters of the American Revolution, Mississippi Veterans Affairs, and Mississippi War Veterans Memorial Commission to honor Mississippians who serve and have served in the United States Armed Forces. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 10, on the Entergy Mississippi Plaza in front of the Two Mississippi Museums.

“Mississippi’s extraordinary record of military service is one of the most inspiring stories that we share in the Two Mississippi Museums,” said MDAH director Katie Blount. “We are pleased to join with our military service organizations to pay special tribute to all the many Mississippians who have served our country.” 

The program will include a performance by the 41st Army Band, recognition of Veterans Day by Sergeant First Class (Retired) Max Fenn—Chairman of Mississippi Veterans Affairs and tribute to fallen heroes by Major General Janson D. Boyles—the Adjutant General of the Mississippi National Guard. A memorial volley and wreath laying will follow. The museums are offering free admission to those currently serving in the military, Veterans, and a family member of a Veteran on November 10.

The museums are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The museums open free of charge on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free parking is available in the Two Mississippi Museums parking garage, located behind the museums on Jefferson Street. 



Web Heidelberg Retires from MDAH Board, TJ Taylor Elected

Web Heidelberg retired from the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) during its regular meeting in Natchez on Friday, October 21, 2022. Arnold “TJ” Taylor of Madison was elected to the board during the meeting to fill the unexpired term of Edmond Hughes, who stepped down earlier this year. Taylor’s nomination will be submitted to the Mississippi Senate for confirmation.

Heidelberg served on the MDAH Board of Trustees for twelve years. He has been an active leader in preservation, serving on the boards of the Mississippi Heritage Trust and the Mississippi Historical Society. Heidelberg served as the president of the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association in 2011, and has served on the National Register of Historic Places Review Board since 2012. He was involved in the restoration of several properties in the Hattiesburg community, including Saenger Theater and the Forrest County Courthouse.

“Web’s continued dedication to preserving our state’s historic resources is both remarkable and unwavering,” said MDAH director Katie Blount. “He and his wife, Michelle, will be greatly missed by his board colleagues and the MDAH staff.”

TJ Taylor is executive director of the Mississippi Cable Telecommunications Association. He formerly served as counsel, policy advisor, and policy director for House Speaker Philip Gunn. In 2020, Speaker Gunn appointed Taylor to the Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag.

“TJ has a strong interest in our state’s history, and has even made history as a member of the Flag Commission,” said MDAH board president Spence Flatgard. “He is highly regarded by our state’s leadership, and I am thrilled he has agreed to join our Board.”

Taylor earned his juris doctorate from the Mississippi College School of Law and is a member of the Mississippi Bar. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Historical Society.

Members of the MDAH board serve six-year terms and must be confirmed by the state senate. Other members of the board of trustees of the Department of Archives and History are Hilda Cope Povall of Cleveland, vice president; Carter Burns of Natchez; Kimberly Campbell of Madison; Nancy Carpenter of Columbus; Betsey Hamilton of New Albany; and Mark Keenum of Starkville.

The board also reviewed plans for MDAH sites in Natchez—the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians and Historic Jefferson College. MDAH will renovate and expand the visitors center at Grand Village, working closely with Tribal partners and the Natchez community to develop new interpretation at the site.

MDAH will restore the buildings at Historic Jefferson College and create an interpretive center sharing the nationally significant history of the Natchez region. MDAH is working with the Historic Natchez Foundation, National Park Service, Mississippi State University, Tulane University, and other colleges in the region to develop a historic preservation field school at the site. The field school will offer hands-on training in preservation skills that are in high demand.

The Mississippi Legislature has provided $8 million for the MDAH sites in Natchez, and the department is seeking additional funding from federal, local, and private sources.

For more information call 601-576-6850, or email

Photo courtesy of TJ Taylor. 




Old Capitol Museum Reopens

The Old Capitol Museum will reopen on Wednesday, October 5, with new hours—10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday through Friday. The National Historic Landmark was closed for repair of long-standing problems with the building’s roof and dome. Admission is free.

"The Old Capitol is the most historically significant building in the state," said Katie Blount, director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. "We are pleased to reopen and welcome back visitors."

Parking is available on the lower lot accessible from Amite Street. Limited handicapped parking is available on the upper lot. Due to construction at the War Memorial Building, a portion of the lot will remain fenced off.

The Old Capitol Museum is also available for event rental such as weddings, receptions, ceremonies, and lectures. More information about reserving space is available at, or email

The Old Capitol is home to a museum exploring the history of the site when it was the seat of Mississippi government from 1839 to 1903. The 180-year-old building is one of the country’s premier examples of Greek Revival public architecture. The massive limestone exterior, copper dome, and grand interior spaces made the Old Capitol at one time the most distinguished building in Mississippi.

The building was the site of some of the state’s most significant legislative actions, such as the passage of the 1839 Married Women’s Property Act, Mississippi’s secession from the Union in 1861, and the crafting of the 1868 and 1890 state constitutions.

For more information call 601-576-6920 or email


National AIDS Memorial and Southern AIDS Coalition Sponsor Free Saturday at the Two Mississippi Museums as part of Change the Pattern Initiative

Change the Pattern is supporting free admission to the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum on Saturday, October 1. Admission to the Two Mississippi Museums is free every Sunday. 

“We are grateful to Change the Pattern for their generous support which allows free admission to all visitors for all exhibits,” said Katie Blount, director of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Change the Pattern is an initiative of the National AIDS Memorial and Southern AIDS Coalition, in partnership with Gilead Sciences to bring displays of the AIDS Memorial Quilt to twelve Southern states. The program will raise awareness about health disparities and social justice issues that continue to disproportionately impact communities of color. 

Museum hours are Tuesday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. The Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum—Two Mississippi Museums—are located at 222 North Street in Jackson. For more information visit the MDAH Facebook page or email  


MDAH to Host Women in Country Music: Songs and Conversation Event

US Country 96 and MDAH have collaborated to host Women in Country Music: Songs and Conversation at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 15, at the Two Mississippi Museums. This event is free and open to the public.

“Country music is about stories,” said Traci Lee, program director of US Country 96. “I'm so excited that we're part of an event that gives the women in our industry an opportunity to tell the stories that make them who they are and shape our format.”

Inspired by The World of Marty Stuart special exhibit, this event will celebrate country music and spotlight female country music performers, creating a conversation about identity, musical influences, and the next steps in the future of country music.

The event will feature a panel discussion moderated by Traci Lee and acoustic performances from country performers Hannah Everhart—an up-and-coming country music artist inspired by souls and blues music and nicknamed “The Country Katy Perry” on American Idol—the sibling trio Track45—Jenna, Ben, and KK Johnson—who have songwriting credits from Justin Timberlake, Charlie Puth, Dierks Bentley, Weezer, Lee Brice, HARDY, and Lauren Alaina.

The Two Mississippi Museums are located at 222 North Street in downtown Jackson. For more information, call 601-576-6850 or email




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