The art of living well in a cultural capital.
Inside the Mississippi Crafts Center, the sleek glass staircase appears to float on air, a seemingly magical balancing act that typifies Madison County’s immersive and irresistible experience of arts and culture—a vibrant blend of traditional and modern, educational and exuberant that plays out in an enticing menu of music, dance, theatre, film, fine arts, and arts and crafts. In venues ranging from scientific to novelistic and offerings both uniquely local and nationally renowned, there really is something for every taste and every age.
This area has always been a talent magnet: Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Eudora Welty found the perfect rhythm living and writing here (her home and gardens are open to the public), even as the Farish Street historic district nurtured blues icons like Sonny Boy Williams. Our ballet community stays on its toes—for the past 30 years, this area has played host to the International Ballet Competition—and as largest professional arts organization in the state, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra calls Thalia Mara Hall home stage when not hitting the road with more than 120 concerts annually. Mississippi Opera has an equally distinctive record as the tenth oldest continually performing opera company in America.
Newly renovated and reborn as a gleaming “museum without walls,” the Mississippi Museum of Art offers a brilliant showcase for a collection containing a virtual roll call of American art—Whistler to Warhol, O’Keefe to Cassatt to Calder—as well as a treasure trove of Mississippi masterworks. Madison County has also come into its own as an artisan’s colony, home not only to the Crafts Center, headquarters of the Craftsman’s Guild of Mississippi, but to the annual Ridgeland Artsfest, a fine arts exhibition and sale drawing thousands every year. And though it’s a relatively new operation, the Mississippi Film Studios at Canton is already making waves, and great movies.
The options are endless here: be an extra in a film or count the stars at a planetarium show; while away an afternoon at a museum, then dance the night away at downtown clubs; thrill to the symphony or chill out with the blues of Farish Street; take in a play at New Stage or take home a clay creation from the Crafts Center. For the art of living well, everything thing you need is right here.
· Classical: International Ballet Competion, Mississippi Symphony, Mississippi Opera
· Farish Street historic blues district; a lively downtown club scene.
· Mississippi Museum of Art and more than a dozen other museum venues dedicated to children, natural sciences, history, agriculture, sports, religion, literature and more.
· Mississippi Crafts Center
· New Stage Theatre
· Year-round events, including the fine arts Ridgeland Artsfest, two different film festivals, the Canton Flea Market and Jubilee Jam, a regional arts and music festival.