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1001 G Street Northwest 250W
Washington, DC, 20001
United States

(202) 333-4480

With a professional working relationship spanning three decades, Gary F Martinez FAIA and Thomas E Johnson FAIA founded Martinez+Johnson Architecture in 1994 to bring their design sensitivities to institutional and cultural projects in urban locations. The 25-architect firm has since established an expertise in three main architectural areas – the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic structures, institutional buildings in urban areas and community settings, and the design and planning of performing arts venues.

Known for a thoughtful design approach to public facilities, M+J develops an intimate understanding of the needs of users, patrons, and operators destined to inhabit the projects of the firm. M+J looks to the future in their design aesthetic even when the context may be firmly rooted in the past and executes creative solutions to facilities both new and historic, where flexibility, ease of operation, and high but versatile performance characteristics are requisite. Venues express aspirational values and goals of the communities within which they are located, and at the same time conform to issues of economic value at the highest levels of environmental sustainability.

Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center


Mississippi arts And entertainment Center

Meridian, Mississippi

For generations Mississippians have contributed some of the world’s finest cultural achievements, and today’s artists are notably building upon that heritage. The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center will bring together the literature, drama, music, dance, and visual arts of a state that has inspired generations.



The Center’s Board of Directors commenced a search for a design team to develop a Master Plan addressing various venues at the center, identifying environmental issues, and developing a preliminary Project Budget. Martinez+Johnson was one of the few finalists chosen from twenty firms representing more than twelve cities in the region and the nation.



M+J provided a plan that celebrates the lives and works of Mississippi’s most esteemed artists while nurturing the creative genius of newer generations. In an environment reflective of the state’s natural beauty, the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center will utilize the diversity of the state’s art and culture to entertain and educate via exhibits, interactive learning experiences, concerts, readings, demonstrations, classes, and other events. With ever-changing exhibits and events, it will be a place to visit time and time again. This plan is organized around five central elements: (1) A state-of-the-art Hall of Fame museum celebrating Mississippi artists of all disciplines; (2) A Conference Center to serve as a catalyst for the continued growth of the arts and arts education; (3) Performing arts facilities including a studio grade Theatre Center and an iconic 12,000-seat outdoor Amphitheatre centered at Bonita Lakes and constructed from natural, local, and environmentally friendly materials such as wood and stone, with a dramatic architectural statement roof covering 3,500 seats, grassy terraces for 1,500, and a meadow with 7,000 capacity; (4) An Artists-In-Residence Colony; and (5) A Band Shell to draw visitors into the site to engage in deeper, more meaningful and interpersonal experiences.

Owner: Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center c/o Charlotte Tabereaux

Size: est 7,623,000SF

Cost: est $95M