BRONZE: Gallagher & Associates – Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience (US)

BRIEF:

Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience (The MAX) showcases Missis- sippi’s arts and entertainment legacy, honor their creative legends and ins- pire tomorrow’s artists. Community engagement research and stakeholder workshops were conducted. The MAX Hall of Fame acts as a participatory hub to bring diverse people from the community together.

STRATEGY:

The design is based on the celebration of the artistic process, asopposed to its nished product. Creativity becomes accessible to everyone.Visitors are engaged not only with interactive media, but also hands- on manipulatives and soundscapes that compliment each space. By organizing exhibits thematically into six galleries based on the places that make Mississippi so special, the aim is to probe the dynamic and reciprocal relationship between artists and place.

CHALLENGES :

The incredible challenge to create a cultural institution that would bring a deeply divided and underserved community together—to celebrate not just art, but the shared human experience that inspired the artist.

OUTCOME:

We invited visitors to place themselves inside the artist’s’ stories—to see their world through the lens of their art. As one guest summarized, “Tears kept welling up, coming to the surface as each tableau lay witness to yet another dimension of my past, the human experience explored, displayed, celebrated in all the beautiful forms that artists use to express their un- derstanding, or their struggle to understand, the human experience.” The MAX brings together the community of Meridian. There are weekly yoga classes in the rotunda; outdoor festivals and farmers markets. It’s also changed the economic and cultural landscape of MS.