Mississippi River Delta’s culture to be discussed at May 14 forum

Published 10:46 am Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The culture and heritage of the Mississippi Delta — including Vicksburg and Warren County — will be the focus of a community forum May 14 at the Vicksburg National Military Park.

The meeting will be hosted by officials from the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, a federally authorized program for preserving and celebrating the region’s stories and historic sites.

The forum is to inform and engage people in planning for the preservation and “sharing” of Delta culture, said Dr. Luther Brown, director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning, the project manager.

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Creation of the Delta National Heritage Area was authorized by President Barack Obama in March 2009, said Brown. Management plan work began in November.

“We are really still at the beginning of the planning process and want community involvement and input,” he said. “It’s going to be an interactive forum — we won’t just provide information, we’ll be gathering it as well.”

Meetings also will be May 15 in Greenville and Clarksdale.

The forums are part of a two-year planning process to develop a management plan for the 18-county National Heritage Area, Brown said.

The Vicksburg meeting will begin with a “special announcement” by John Hildreth, vice president at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Brown said.

“I can’t reveal what he’s going to say, but I can say it will be good news for the Mississippi Delta,” he said.

The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area comprises the 18 counties within the flood plain of the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers. The Vicksburg event will run from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Visitor Center auditorium. Admission is free.