Mississippi city wants visitors to participate at museum

212C393B-7659-4574-8E2F0A71953C4A07MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) – Another Mississippi city is making a big bet on cultural tourism as Meridian opens the $50 million Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience .

The institution aims to transcend being a static museum, focusing on live programming and participatory experiences.

It opened with a black-tie event Friday, followed by a members-only day Saturday, welcoming the public on Sunday.

Among the initial exhibits celebrating Mississippi’s artistic heritage are a series of life-like sculptures of blues and jazz artists by Sharon McConnell-Dickerson of Como.

One main focal point is a rotunda that houses a Hall of Fame of Mississippi artists and musicians, with massive portraits of Elvis Presley, William Faulkner, B.B. King and others.

Meridian follows in the footsteps of other Mississippi communities seeking to bank on their cultural heritage.

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