Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation

June 2007

Vicksburg Welcomes The Smithsonian

The Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation (SCHF), in cooperation with Mississippi Humanities Council (MHC), will explore America’s roots music as it hosts the local showing of New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music, a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition. New Harmonies will be on view at SCHF beginning June 28 and continuing through August 9, Monday - Saturday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily.

When you stop and listen, you quickly realize that music is all around us -- at a local festival, at a dance hall on a Saturday night, or on your radio or your MP3 player. Whether you’re hearing blues, country western, folk, or gospel, American roots music reveals the American story – people reshaping themselves in a new and changing world. As Americans from a variety of heritages shared cultural influences, musicians found new ways to play unique sounds learned from new neighbors on traditional instruments. The inevitable intermingling of musical influences created exciting new sounds – new American music.

SCHF and the surrounding community has been expressly chosen by the Mississippi Humanities Council to host New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music as part of the Museum on Main Street project.

Through a selection of photographs, recordings, instruments, lyrics and artist profiles, New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music will explore the distinct cultural identities of American roots music forms. The exhibition will examine the progression of American roots music, as rich and eclectic as our country itself. Other musical genres profiled include zydeco, tejano, bluegrass and klezmer.

“We are very pleased to be able to bring New Harmonies to our area,” said Bess Averett, SCHF executive director. “It allows us the opportunity to explore this fascinating aspect of our own region’s musical history and we hope that it will inspire many to become even more involved in the cultural life of our community.”

“Allowing all of our state’s residents to have access to the cultural resources of our nation’s premiere museum is a priority of the Mississippi Humanities Council,” said MHC’s director, Barbara Carpenter. “With this special tour, we are pleased to be working with SCHF and Vicksburg to help develop local exhibitions and public programs to complement the Smithsonian exhibition.” Such free events include concerts, performances, an opening night festival and lectures.

Ballroom Dance

The SCHF offers monthly ballroom dance classes. James Frechette, owner of Applause Dance Factory in Ridgeland, teaches classes in ballroom, Latin, swing and many other styles of dance.

Class will meet Sundays, June 10 and 24 from 5 - 7 p.m. in the academy building.

Both individuals and couples are welcomed. The fee is $20 per person for each two hour session. For more information, please call the SCHF office at 601-631-2997.

Southern Book Club

The Southern Book Club meets the third Wednesday of each month.

There is no fee to attend and it is open to the public.

The group focuses on Southern authors and subjects, but is open to any good read. Book and author suggestions are welcomed.

For June, the Southern Book Club will discuss Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20.

Please call the SCHF office for meeting location or for more information.

Smithsonian Schedule of Events






The Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit, New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music will kick off its six weeks in Vicksburg on Thursday, June 28 with a Vicksburg Roots Music Celebration including a tribute to Vicksburg’s own Willie Dixon. The summer will be filled with workshops, children’s programming, concerts and lectures celebrating Vicksburg’s own musical heritage.

The exhibit opening, Thursday, June 28 from 6 to 9 p.m., will feature live music with local musicians including:

  • Willie Dixon Tribute Jam Session courtesy of HIGHWAY 61 COFFEEHOUSE in the courtyard

  • Gospel Music - listen and sing along in the Holy Cross Chapel - Sisters of Mercy Convent

  • Bluegrass Pickin’ in the Courtyard

  • New Harmonies Exhibit including the Vicksburg Roots Music Exhibit featuring Willie Dixon, The Red Tops, The Blue Room and “O Brother, Where Art Thou”

Bring the family for a spectacular evening of fun and musical history. Move from venue to venue listening and interacting with the performers.

Other events scheduled during the exhibit include:

  • Willie Dixon Mural Unveiling - Thursday, June 28 at 4 p.m.

  • Mississippi Blues Roots lecture by William R. Ferris - Monday, July 2 at 7 p.m.

  • American Roots Music lecture by Chris Goertzen - Tuesday, July 10 at 7 p.m.

  • Folk Music Today lecture by Larry Morrissey - Tuesday, July 17 at 7 p.m.

  • Blues Concert with Cadillac John and Bill Abel - Thursday, July 19 at 7 p.m.

  • Children’s art, music and dance camp - Monday, July 23 through Friday, July 27 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. daily (open to any child 1st through 6th grade)

  • Bluegrass Concert with the Delta Mountain Boys featuring songs from “O Brother Where Art Thou” - Thursday, July 26 at 7 p.m.

  • Sacred Harp Singing - observe shaped note singing with over 75 vocalists from across the USA - Saturday, July 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Gospel Brunch with Patrick Smith - Sunday, August 5 at 12:00 p.m.

SCHF is also looking for volunteers for the busy summer ahead. Volunteers are needed for every aspect of the exhibit and programming including docents, food preparation, greeters, mailings, help with the children's workshops and much more.

For more information about the upcoming events or to volunteer, please call the SCHF office at 601-631-2997 or email us at

Lebanese Kouby Video/DVD Available for Purchase

SCHF has been pleased to offer Lebanese cooking classes in the past. Lebanese cuisine is a favorite of the people of Vicksburg and the South in general.

Unfortunately, distance or other scheduling conflicts often keeps participants from signing up for the class. After much persuading, Lebanese cooking instructor Mary Louise Nosser is making her kouby video available for purchase.

The video, How to Make Lebanese Kouby, is a 27 minute instructional video in the art of traditional Lebanese kouby. It was originally made to insure that future generations in her own family would have step-by-step instructions for the recipe.

“It is a recipe that you have to see made to learn. You cannot simply look at a written recipe to master kouby,” according to a class participant.

Ms. Nosser has agreed to have the video available for sale with a portion of the proceeds to benefit SCHF. Learn to make this traditional Lebanese favorite at home with personal tips from Mary Louise Nosser.

The 27 minute VHS video or DVD version can be purchased from the Cultural Center for $15. Call the SCHF office at 601-631-2997 or stop by at 1302 Adams Street to purchase a copy. Shipping is available.

For more information about activities, membership, or rentals, please call or stop by the SCHF office, 1302 Adams Street, Vicksburg, MS  39180, 601-631-2997.

1302 Adams Street
Vicksburg, MS 39180
Phone: 601-631-2997
Fax: 601-631-3734

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