holidays from down in the Delta!
It's been a
very busy 2017 at the Delta Blues Museum.
We presented new programs and exhibits, hosted distinguished
guests, and welcomed 25,000+ visitors who came from
all 50 states and all over the world (as they do every
year) to experience the authentic history of the Delta
We did all that with support from the City of Clarksdale, many funding sources, and most importantly, from you, our visitors and supporters.
your help to continue to preserve and present
the history and the legacy of the Delta blues.
how you can contribute:
received national attention when we hosted a reception
honoring National Endowment for the Arts Chair,
Jane Chu, who visited the Museum as part
of her tour of art programs in Mississippi. Chu endorsed
the importance of learning about the blues and continuing
the historic traditions of the Clarksdale/Delta area.
Delta Regional Authority Co-Chairman Chris
Massengill, Mississippi Arts Commission Director
Malcolm White, and NEA Chair Jane Chu
NEA Chair Jane Chu and James "Super Chikan" Johnson
DBM band played, and James "Super
Chikan" Johnson, a recipient of the 2004
Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, showed
an example of the unique handmade guitars he creates.
Photos Credit: Panny Flautt Mayfield
The DBM Band
DRA Co-Chair Massengill, Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy, Chu, and Bill Crump of Senator Thad Cochran's office.
Movie Nights", a new, monthly outdoor film
series that reflected the state's rich musical heritage,
was begun in honor of Mississippi's 2017 Bicentennial.
Over the summer, we showcased Cadillac
Records, The Last Waltz, Crossroads,
Ode to Billie Joe, Jailhouse Rock, and The Blues Brothers.
The goal of the series was to show the influence that
musicians from our state and the Delta region have
had on music and the arts.
was made possible by a Bicentennial grant from the
Mississippi Development Authority
and the Mississippi Humanities Council.
We appreciate the support!
Thanks to support
from Clarksdale Revitalization, Inc.,
we were able to purchase the projection equipment.
This fun series will continue next spring - stay tuned
Pettey Financial Advisors, Clarksdale Public
Utilities, and the Mississippi
Arts Commission sponsored a reception
for artist/photographer R. Kim Rushing
for the opening of Parchman,
an exhibit of photographs from the book of the
same name about the infamous Mississippi prison.
Rushing was allowed long-term access to inmates
to create the stories of eighteen volunteer
inmates through images and their own words.
The book is available from our Gift
with our Mississippi-focused year, we hosted
a book signing to celebrate the publication
of The Mississippi Encyclopedia.
It's a huge volume that features essays on
many subjects, among them cotton, the Mississippi
River, the civil rights movement,fiction,
foodways, myths, Native Americans, and, of
course, music, including the blues.The book
will appeal to anyone who wants to know more
about Mississippi and the people who call
it home. You can buy signed copies from our
of books, longtime Museum supporter and photographer
Panny Flautt Mayfield has published
Live from the Mississippi Delta,
a collection of her photographs and stories
about musicians from world-famous celebrities
ZZ Top, B.B. King, and Robert Plant
to local blues icons Wade Walton, Early
Wright, and the Jelly Roll Kings. Panny
presents over 200 images from her long career
of photographing live music in and around Clarksdale,
recording blues festivals, the Delta Blues Museum,
and the juke joints where the Delta blues was
made and played, such as Smitty's Red Top, Shelby's
Dew Drop Inn, Po 'Monkeys, Sarah's Kitchen,
and Red's, among others. On December 14, we
hosted a book signing at the Museum. Signed
copies of Live from the Mississippi
Delta are available from our Gift
Speaking of longtime
Museum supporters...Charlie Musselwhite
appeared on a panel with Jim O'Neal,
co-founder of Living Blues
magazine, of the Sunflower River Blues Festival, and
research director of Mississippi's Blues Heritage
Trail, during the 30th annual Sunflower Festival
in August. For this Mississippi Bicentennial
program, the two blues veterans swapped stories from
their decades of experience with Mississippi music
and with Clarksdale's Delta blues pioneers. This free
program was supported in part by a grant to the Sunflower
River Blues Association from the Mississippi
Humanities Council and State Tourism - thanks!
celebrated Clarksdale/Delta blues legends:
(April is "Muddy Month") and
(August is "John Lee Hooker Month")
with special programs and related displays in
the highlights of Muddy Month
was a presentation about Muddy's life and
times by his son, musician Joseph
Morganfield; Robert Gordon, author
of I Can't Be Satisfied,
the definitive Muddy Waters biography; and
Paul Wilson, owner of WROX
radio and Museum board member.
Robert Gordon, Joseph Morganfield and Paul Wilson
Photo Credit: Howard Greenblatt
John Lee Hooker - Explore & Learn Program
For John Lee
Hooker Month, we added "Follow John Lee Hooker",
a visual biography, to the "Explore and Learn"
section of our website.
Check out all
of our "Explore and Learn" series
of illustrated biographies and histories on our website.
Besides John Lee Hooker, subjects include Muddy
Waters, Robert Johnson, Son House, Charlie Musselwhite,
The Blues and the Great Migration, and Clarksdale's
New World. You're guaranteed to learn something
you didn't know-and get a colorful look at blues history.
Youth docent program wrapped up a successful
inaugural series of activities under the direction
of PJ Walker. Our 27 high school
student-docents assisted in our Gift Shop, helped
present receptions, and promoted the Museum during
Juke Joint and Sunflower River festivals. We look
forward to building on this success with our new docents
We are very
grateful to all who helped us raise $30,000 to complete
our Museums for America grant. Thanks
to you and to the Institute of Museum and
Library Services, we have completed our designs
for new permanent exhibits. We will be sharing more
about the implementation of these exhibits after the
sources make our programs possible. Our latest award
comes from the Mississippi Arts Commission,
a two-year grant for general operations. Many thanks
to MAC, and to those in Congress
and the Mississippi Legislature who
keep this important state agency funded.
oldest museum dedicated to music (founded 1979), we're
looking forward to our 39th year
with renewed excitement. To keep up with the Museum's
news and events, join the 28,385 blues fans who follow
us on Facebook.
Come visit us-we're always glad to meet our visitors who come from all over the world. We appreciate your support!