The Mississippi Hills Heritage Area Alliance announced today that it awarded a $20,000 grant to the Starkville Convention & Visitors Bureau, a division of The Greater Starkville Development Partnership. The grant funds will be used to develop exhibit space in the lobby of The Partnership office to display artifacts from the four museums housed within Mississippi State University’s Mitchell Memorial Library.
“This is an outstanding project that will lure additional visitors both to downtown Starkville and the incredible museums housed at the MSU Library,” said Mary Cates Williams, executive director for the Mississippi Hills Heritage Area Alliance. “This is exactly the type of project we like to provide funding for. It highlights our region’s rich cultural heritage while also creating a positive economic impact.”
Artifacts from the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, the Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana, the John Grisham Room and the Charles H. Templeton, Sr. Music Museum will be showcased and information about visiting the museums will be prominently displayed to encourage visitors to explore these attractions.
“We are so pleased the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area recognized how the visitor experience will be enhanced by highlighting the many and varied artifacts located within the MSU Library’s museums at our downtown office. Our hope is that this project will drive visitation to the museums and that visitors will spend more time exploring Starkville and Mississippi State’s campus,” said Greater Starkville Development Partnership President & CEO, Mike Tagert.
The staff at the MSU Library will curate the exhibit with artifacts from their existing collections. The four museums are vital to interpreting and telling Starkville’s cultural and heritage story and items chosen for display will best help tell that story.
“We have so many one-of-a-kind artifacts and documents that illustrate the fascinating stories that we tell here that it’s a privilege to be able to collaborate with the Greater Starkville Development Partnership to engage even more visitors with those stories,” said David Nolan, reference librarian for the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library.
The Mississippi Hills Heritage Area awarded a record total of $301,485 in grant funds for FY2022. Thirty-four grants impacting 17 counties were approved as part of the FY22 Community Grant Cycle. Since its inception in 2016, the Community Grant Program has awarded more than $1,436,000 in grant funds.
The Starkville Convention and Visitors Bureau is a branch of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership. The Partnership is also comprised of the Starkville Area Chamber of Commerce, Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority, and the Starkville Main Street Association.