Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area
The Mississippi Delta has been referred to as the “cradle of American culture” for its role in shaping our nation’s character and culture. The American story is reflected here in countless ways: it is the land where the blues was born, where the Civil Rights movement took root, and where increasingly mechanized farming sparked the Great Migration. However, state and local funding cuts, an economically depressed local economy, and neglect of historic properties threaten the character of the 18-county region. Without careful planning, one of the nation’s rarest and most beloved heritage areas could lose the qualities that make it unique.
In 2009, Congress designated the region as a National Heritage Area to “foster partnerships and educational opportunities that enhance, preserve, and promote the heritage of the Mississippi Delta.” Since then, the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area’s board has contracted with the National Trust for Historic Preservation through the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University to develop a plan that will address stewardship of resources, interpretation of the region’s history, and methods of reaching new audiences. The National Trust is also helping to identify threatened historic resources and provide assistance for their preservation.
- Develop a management plan that will guide the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area’s activities for the next 10-15 years.
- Identify key historic sites in the region in need of preservation.
- Showcase best practices as a resource for other National Heritage Areas.
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