Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center
Mississippi arts And entertainment Center
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.