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Join us for HNF’s annual meeting on Friday

The Historic Natchez Foundation invites the Natchez community to attend its annual meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, at foundation headquarters in the Natchez Institute at 108 S. Commerce St.

The meeting is a free community event and you do not need to be a member to attend. We encourage everyone to come and bring a friend. The annual meeting will begin with a cocktail reception and conclude with a short business meeting at 7 p.m. to elect new board members and present the 2019 awards.

The year 2019 was an anniversary year for HNF, which opened its first office and hired its first professional staff 40 years ago in February 1979.  This year’s meeting will honor the combined 40-year tenures of Ron and Mimi Miller. Founded in 1974, HNF largely existed on paper until Ron Miller, an architectural historian with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, became the first executive director.

Ron served as executive director for just short of 30 years and resigned in 2008 to head up a Gulf Coast office of MDAH in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Mimi Miller, who also worked for both MDAH and HNF, served as executive director from 2008 until 2018.  The combined tenures of Ron and Mimi spanned almost 40 years, and this year’s annual meeting will honor their contributions in creating one of the most successful historic preservation organizations in the country. A continually looping PowerPoint program will highlight the successes of the past 40 years and many of the HNF members who made it happen.

This year’s annual meeting will also serve as the opening reception for a new exhibit at the Natchez Institute that is composed of two traveling exhibits: “Welty” and “Eudora Welty: Other Places.”

HNF’s large exhibit hall can accommodate both exhibits, which highlight writer Eudora Welty’s art as a photographer and were both produced by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Eudora Welty gave her papers and photographs to MDAH, which also owns and interprets her family home in Jackson. As noted in the forward to “Photographs by Eudora Welty,” published in 1989 by University of Mississippi Press, “Long before she published her first story, Eudora Welty was a photographer.” The exhibit will open on Jan. 17 and close in mid-April.

Carter Burns is executive director of the Historic Natchez Foundation.

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