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Mississippi’s art scene

Photo courtesy Jackson CVB

The largest city in Mississippi, Jackson has a number of arts attractions that contribute to a sophisticated urban appeal. Leading the pack is the Mississippi Museum of Art, which moved into a new facility last year.

“They just opened a new art garden, a beautiful new outdoor space,” said Marika Cackett, public relations manager for the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau. “They also have an outdoor theater, where you can watch a movie. Part of the museum’s permanent collection is the Mississippi Story, which has original Eudora Welty photographs in it.”

Dance lovers will enjoy Jackson’s ballet scene, which includes the Ballet Magnificat, one of the premier ballet organizations in the Southeast. Jackson also hosts the USA International Ballet Competition every four years.

Handcrafts also play an important role in the area’s arts heritage.

“We have a huge craftsmen’s guild and the Mississippi Craft Center in Ridgeland, which is very close to here,” Cackett said. “It has all types of Mississippi painters, carvers, basketweavers and glassblowers. They have big festivals every year where they show their wares.”

Groups can arrange a number of interactive arts experiences during a trip to Jackson. Artists at the craft center can give visitors hands-on workshops, and the art museum holds events for groups in the art garden.

The convention and visitors bureau can also set up harmonica lessons for groups with an interest in the blues.