ITTA BENA, Miss.— The Fine Arts Department at Mississippi Valley State University has a decades-long record of concerts, recitals, and artistic exhibitions, in addition to playing a vital part in maintaining this region's role as an artistic and cultural center and a hub for arts education.
On Sept. 5, the department will be recognized for its influences as the recipient of the Contributions to the Arts Award during the Sixth Annual Museum of the Mississippi Delta’s Leadership and Philanthropy Gala.
Hosted from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Parish Hall of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Greenwood, the gala is the museum’s signature fundraiser event. Proceeds support the museum’s operations, including exhibition and program development, interpretations of the collections, children programs and facility upkeep.
Cheryl A. Thornhill, executive director of the museum, said this marks the first time that an institution will receive an award during the event.
“In the past, we have honored individuals, but this is the first time we have honored an institution,” said Thornhill.
"A group of committee members selected the Fine Arts department because of the unique contributions Valley has offered not only to our community but the world,” Thornhill added.
Dr. Lawrence Goldman, professor of music in the Fine Arts Department, said that members of the department are honored to be recognized for their contributions to the arts by a respected organization.
“The Museum of the Mississippi Delta is at the crossroads of Delta history and art,” Goldman said. “Its extensive collection includes artifacts related to agriculture, Native America, regional military history and one of the Delta's most extensive collections of regional art.”
Goldman, along with Dr. Jerryl Briggs, university president, will be featured in a video highlighting the activities of the fine arts department during the gala.
Thornhill added that MVSU alums have also been impacting the arts all over the globe.
“So many MVSU alumni have gone on and done wonderful things in the arts,” Thornhill said.
“In the interviews, we learned such a great deal of information about their work and we’re excited to share that with 150-180 people we are expecting to attend the event,” she added.
During the event, the museum will also award John Doty Porter for Contributions in Leadership and The Mary E. Wilson Trust for Contributions in Philanthropy. To learn more about the Museum of the Mississippi Delta, visit www.museumofthemississippidelta.com.