Category Archives: Press

Get On Up – The James Brown Story


Exclusive Screening of Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment’s Get on Up was Held Sunday, July 27, at Grandview Cinema in Madison, Miss.

 Jackson, Miss. (July 2, 2014) – On Sunday, July 27, Universal Pictures held an exclusive red carpet screening of the James Brown biopic Get on Up at Grandview Cinema in Madison. Mississippi native and Get on Up director Tate Taylor and Chadwick Boseman, the film’s star, were in attendance.

 In his follow-up to the four-time Academy Award®-nominated blockbuster The Help, Taylor directs 42’s Boseman as James Brown in Get on Up. Based on the incredible life story of the Godfather of Soul, the film will give a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Boseman is joined in the drama by Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Craig Robinson, Octavia Spencer, Lennie James, Tika Sumpter and Jill Scott.

 Academy Award® winner Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind, 8 Mile) produces for Imagine Entertainment, with Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman (Shine a Light) producing under their Jagged Films banner. Imagine’s Erica Huggins (Flightplan) also serves as a producer on Get on Up, while Taylor produces under his Wyolah Films label.  Peter Afterman, Trish Hofmann, Jez Butterworth, John Butterworth, John Norris and Anna Culp serve as executive producers.

Get on Up was filmed over a 60-day period in various Mississippi locations—including Jackson and Natchez—with additional time allotted for pre- and post-production. Producers of the film worked with the state’s WIN Job Centers to hire Mississippians as extras and as qualified crew members.

To see the official movie trailer for Get on Up, visit



On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was officially recognized as the 20th state in the United States of America. In 2017 the state will have the unique opportunity to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mississippi’s statehood with a reflection on Mississippi’s history and culture. Through regional bicentennial celebrations and coordinated local events, Mississippi will spend 2017 honoring our people and places, music and food, achievements in agriculture, science, and industry, sports legends, literary and artistic genius, and more.


The bicentennial celebration will begin in January 2017 with a joint session of the Mississippi Legislature. The bicentennial year will end in December with a gala to which citizens from all over our state will be invited. In addition to the gala, celebration events for this weekend will include the grand opening of the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. In the 12 intervening months, communities throughout the entire state and even Mississippians abroad will have an opportunity to participate in this historic milestone for our great state. Plans include:

  • Bicentennial signature events
  • Capitol for a day initiative
  • Co-branded events
  • Taking the bicentennial show on the road


A Bicentennial Matching Grant Program will be established to make many of these events possible for municipalities.

For more information, contact Mary Margaret White at (601) 359-5750 or


The Wiljax Gallery for Southern Photography has finalized plans with the Eudora Welty Foundation to host an exhibit of Welty’s photographs from the 1930’s and 40’s.  The show will run from Thursday, September 12 until Friday, October 25.  An opening reception is planned for the 12th from 6-9PM.  It is free and open to the public.

The show consists of 27 portraits made by Welty early in her career.  Each print was made by Welty in her kitchen darkroom at her home in Jackson, Mississippi.  Many of the pieces were originally printed for Welty’s 1936 show at the photographic galleries of Lugene Opticians on Madison Avenue.  It was her first solo exhibit in New York City.

“We are thrilled to host this show,” says gallery owner Will Jacks. “These images give a wonderfully authentic insight to the beginning of Welty’s career.  It is hard not to sense a connection to her when viewing this work.  Many of the prints have markings and notations made by Eudora.  Several of the subjects from the photos inspired characters and scenes in Welty’s short stories, and a few of the images were created just a few miles from where our gallery currently sits.  We are grateful to the Welty Foundation for entrusting this work to us, and excited to share it with the folks in our small Delta community.”

 About Wiljax Gallery

The Wiljax Gallery was established in 1997.  The mission of the gallery is to encourage dialogue in and about the Mississippi Delta region by hosting photographic exhibits and workshops as well as providing a resource for the Delta’s youth to learn the craft of visual storytelling.

About the Eudora Welty Foundation

The Eudora Welty Foundation was established in 1999 to assist the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) in achieving its goals of celebrating the legacy of Eudora Welty, enhancing appreciation of her work, and encouraging reading and the efforts of young writers.

The Foundation’s broad mission is to fund educational and research activities and to develop programs that will enhance Eudora Welty’s legacy and ensure that her work continues to be recognized as among the greatest in American literature.

Press Contacts

Will Jacks
Owner / Curator
(662) 846-6800

Mississippi Children’s Museum announces plans for “The Literacy Garden”

253337_10151445710846238_611565527_nThe Mississippi Children’s Museum (MCM) announced plans for a $2 million dollar expansion. This expansion includes “The Literacy Garden” project that will create an experiential, innovative outdoor space for visitors to interact with literacy and nature. For more information, CLICK HERE 


  • Provide an outdoor literacy gallery to inspire and educate children through interactive and artfully-designed play spaces;
  • Significantly improve the pre-literacy and reading skills of Mississippi children from birth through third grade;
  • Improve reading instructional practices utilizing a balance of the essential elements of reading instruction, which are: Phonological Awareness; Decoding (inclusive of phonics); Vocabulary Development; Fluency; and Comprehension;
  • Strengthen the museum’s function, research and academic value to the community; and
  • Increase the museum’s capacity and sustainability, ensuring this valuable community resource is available for generations of Mississippi’s children.

Exhibit Elements

The Literacy Garden will contain ten primary installations that encourage creative exploration and learning in pre- and emerging readers, while facilitating active play.

Sound Story Sculpture: A series of interactive sculptural pillars, evoking nature, fantasy and language, will create an immersive soundscape for children to explore. Motion activated sensors within the pillars will activate distinct sounds in relation to a child’s height, movement or location in the grid.Topsy-Turvy Pathway: Inscribed with poetry, the path will guide children and adults through the garden, introducing them to creative learning and play spaces.

Desert Island Exploration: A series of age-targeted sand circles will facilitate free play. Located just in front of the waterfall, these circles will encourage exploration of water, sound and nature, and allow toddlers to play safely, but inclusively.

Creativity Wall: Spanning along one side of the garden, this element offers a blank “dry erase” canvas for writing, drawing and imaginative story telling.

Work of Art Writing Stations: Nature-inspired tables and stools weave through the shade trees offering children a place to write or draw, and serve as an activity space for museum programs.

Interactive Outdoor Learning Lab: This mobile lab will serve as the hub for all outdoor programming in the garden, providing storage for program supplies and access to water and power.