Now: The Call and Look of Freedom, Retool Your School and Rural Voices Radio | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Now: The Call and Look of Freedom, Retool Your School and Rural Voices Radio

Romare Bearden's "The Conversation" is among the works being displayed in "Now: The Call and Look of Freedom." Photo courtesy Tougaloo

Romare Bearden's "The Conversation" is among the works being displayed in "Now: The Call and Look of Freedom." Photo courtesy Tougaloo

The Mississippi Museum of Art and Tougaloo College recently announced the inaugural exhibition of the institutions' Art and Civil Rights Initiative titled "Now: The Call and Look of Freedom." The initiative is a multi-layered, multi-year partnership that uses the art collections of both institutions for community dialogue and interpretation about past and present civil-rights issues. The program receives funding from the Henry Luce Foundation, which Time Inc. co-founder and Editor-in-Chief Henry R. Luce established in 1936 to honor his parents, who served as missionary educators in China.

"Now: The Call and Look of Freedom" is on display at the Tougaloo College Art Gallery in the Bennie G. Thompson Academic & Civil Rights Research Center (500 W. County Line Road, Tougaloo) through May 15. It is the first in a series of four exhibitions over two years that will pull from both Tougaloo College and the museum's collections, and will be alternatively displayed at both institutions. The art gallery will host an opening reception for installation today, March 2, at 5:30 p.m.

The exhibit, which takes its name from the 1960s civil rights slogan "Freedom Now," features works by artists who focused on the Civil Rights Movement and African American experiences, including Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, Betye Saar and Ernest Withers.

"Now: The Call and Look of Freedom" is free and is open to the public on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon, Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment for groups. To schedule a group visit, email curator LaTanya Autry at [email protected]. For more information about the Mississippi Museum of Art's exhibitions, programs and special events, call 601-960-1515 or visit

JSU Competing in Retool Your School Program

Jackson State University has entered a competition with other historically black colleges and universities to receive a campus-improvement grant of up to $50,000 from Home Depot's annual Retool Your School program. The business established the program in 2010 to support HBCUs through grants for on-campus enhancement projects.

Home Depot will determine the winning schools through project proposals that participating schools submit, as well as school supporters' votes on social media. People can vote for JSU by using the hashtag #Jackson_RYS18 on Twitter and Instagram. There is no limitation on how many times the hashtag can be used in one day, but contest rules say posts made via social media must be public to be counted. People can also vote at Voting ends April 15.

Each HBCU is divided into three clusters based on student enrollment for the competition, and Home Depot will choose three winners from each. A total of $360,000 in grants will go to nine schools for necessary upgrades to their campuses. The first-prize grant is $50,000, while second- and third-place winners will receive $40,000 and $30,000, respectively.

A panel of judges will review project proposals from each school and score them based on completeness of the proposal, ability to execute the project within a $30,000-to-$50,000 budget, the project's notable lasting positive effects on campus, the use of sustainable, eco-friendly and energy-saving materials, and a cumulative voting score. Home Depot will announce the grant awards on May 1.

For more information, visit or find JSU on Twitter and Instagram.

MSU Receives EPA Grant for Rural Voices Radio

On Monday, Feb. 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Gulf of Mexico Program awarded $24,925 to Mississippi State University's Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute to help students develop environmental content for the institute's "Rural Voices Radio: Voices Along the Gulf" project. The award will support two school groups—Bay-Waveland Middle School in Bay St. Louis and Stone High School in Wiggins—and a nonprofit called the Hancock County Historical Society.

As part of the project, EPA staff will work with Rural Voices Radio to help students identify and learn about environmental issues within the Gulf of Mexico region. Participants will then write about what they learn and record a segment for radio.

Rural Voices began in 2003 as a partnership between MSU and Mississippi Public Broadcasting to help children and adults write and record radio content. Pieces from the project each weekday at 3:28 p.m., and are broadcast throughout the state and nationwide over the Internet.

The EPA began the Gulf of Mexico program in 1988 to protect, restore and maintain the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in economically sustainable ways. For more information about the program, visit Learn more about Rural Voices Radio at

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