Mississippi museum honored with top award

Published 8:10 am Monday, February 6, 2023

The Utica Institute Museum at Hinds Community College’s Utica Campus is the winner of the Mississippi Humanities Council’s Reflecting Mississippi Award for 2023.

Co-directors of the museum are English instructor Dan Fuller and retired librarian Jean Greene.

“Something that I’ve been very excited about as this project has developed is the degree to which our students have become involved in the process. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mississippi Humanities Council, along with the Institute for Museum and Library Services, we’ve been able to provide internships for our students to explore careers in the humanities through their work at the Museum,” Fuller said.

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“Students are leading tours, processing archival materials, developing components of new exhibits – all while diving deep into what makes our HBCU campus special,” he said.

The Utica Institute Museum preserves and tells the story of William Holtzclaw and the Utica Institute, which was established in 1903 to educate rural Black Mississippians. The museum is housed in what was formerly the home of the vice president of the campus.

The project has received two major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and multiple grants from the MHC to create the museum on campus, develop an exhibit about the Utica Jubilee Singers, and hold public humanities programs for their campus and Utica community.

The Mississippi Humanities Council will honor all this year’s award recipients at the 2023 Public Humanities Awards ceremony and reception 5:30 p.m. March 24 at the Two Mississippi Museums.

Tickets for the Mississippi Humanities Council Public Humanities Awards ceremony and reception are $50 each and may be purchased through the MHC website or by sending a check to the Mississippi Humanities Council, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Room 317, Jackson, MS 39211