FROM MDAH NEWS RELEASES – Mississippi governor Phil Bryant and other state officials were joined by representatives from Entergy Corporation to announce a $1 million donation for the 2 Mississippi Museums project on Thursday, May 1. The funds will be used by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for exhibits in the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.
“Our company’s history has been intertwined with the state’s history for 90 years and our future will be as well,” said Haley Fisackerly, Entergy Mississippi president. “We’re pleased and proud to be a part of preserving our state’s rich history and sharing it with the world. The museums will be the ultimate tourism destination for visitors interested in the many facets of the Mississippi story.”
Leo Denault, Entergy Corporation chairman of the board and chief executive officer, and Fisackerly presented the $1 million check at the construction site in downtown Jackson to Governor Bryant, former governor William Winter, and MDAH Trustee Reuben Anderson, who accepted the gift on behalf of the state and the museums.
“Entergy has been a valued corporate partner to Mississippi for generations,” said Bryant. “The company is an important part of Mississippi’s economy and has a long history of supporting Mississippi communities.”
When the state legislature authorized construction of the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in 2011, MDAH was asked to raise private dollars to match the public money for exhibits. The Foundation for Mississippi History and Foundation for the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum are on target to meet the goal of $16 million—$12 million for the exhibits plus a $2 million endowment for each museum.
“We are very grateful to the Entergy stockholders for this extraordinary gift to the people of Mississippi,” said H.T. Holmes, MDAH director. “Entergy’s leadership in making this gift sends a strong message about the significance of this project to the state, region, and nation.”
Since construction of the museums began in December, 120,000 cubic yards of dirt have been removed, retaining walls built, and foundation work begun. The next step will be pouring the concrete floors and walls in the museums, which should begin in early May. Phase one of the project, the shell of the two museums, is expected to be completed in summer 2015. Phase two, interior construction, will last sixteen months. The Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum are scheduled to open in 2017 as the centerpiece of the state’s bicentennial celebration. To learn more visit www.mdah.state.ms.us or 2mississippimuseums.com.