Grand Village program to offer peek into new state museums

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 15, 2017

Special to the democrat

NATCHEZ — Residents have an opportunity to take a peek at two new state museums that open in December in celebration of the Mississippi’s bicentennial.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, May 25, at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, Rachel Myers will give a presentation on the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum — interconnected museums that will take visitors through the sweep of Mississippi history and the state’s role as ground zero in the Civil Rights Movement. The museums in Jackson are scheduled to open on Dec. 9, as the capstone of the state’s bicentennial celebration.

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Myers is the director of the Museum of Mississippi History.

The museums will combine state-of-the-art interactive visitor experiences with exhibits showcasing artifacts such as a 500-year-old dugout canoe, a rare 20-star U.S. flag from 1818 and a set of flip flops worn by a Freedom Rider while imprisoned in the Hinds County Jail.

“As we get closer to opening day, I’m excited to share our progress and give everyone a sneak peek at our new museums,” Myers said. “By featuring the many voices that make up Mississippi’s rich and complex history, we believe the museums will encourage new exploration and appreciation of our state’s history. We hope everyone will join us for opening day on December 9th and find their story in these museums.”

Mississippi’s former history museum was closed after Hurricane Katrina severely damaged its roof in 2005. The Mississippi Department of Archives and History, which administers the museums, took the opportunity to expand the way history is presented. Both museums will use Mississippi’s rich tradition of storytelling to showcase the compelling lives of ordinary people who made extraordinary contributions to the state and the nation. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum will be the only state-operated civil rights museum in the nation.

Thursday’s program is free and open to the public.

Myers previously served as the museum and special projects coordinator at the Institute of Southern Jewish Life in Jackson where she worked to preserve and present the history of the southern Jewish experience through education and outreach programs.  She holds a bachelor of arts from Brandeis University and a masters of arts from Johns Hopkins University.

The Grand Village of the Natchez Indians is administered by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and is located at 400 Jefferson Davis Blvd. The museum and grounds are open free of charge to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:30 to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Call 601-446-6502 or email for more information.