The Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience (The MAX) is Mississippi’s best opportunity to showcase Mississippi’s worldwide legacy in every area of the arts, to honor Mississippi’s legends in arts and entertainment and to inspire tomorrow’s artists through exhibitions, performances, classes, and events. After 17 years of development from an idea to a reality, The Max opened in downtown Meridian, MS in the summer of 2018 with fanfare and high expectations.
The Max will blend a Hall of Fame, Museum Exhibits, Events and Learning Opportunities to highlight Mississippi’s contribution to the Arts in the past while stimulating and encouraging new artists to greater heights.
Visitors can take a walk through The Max’s iconic Hall of Fame which is a 360-degree exhibit showcasing the tremendous impact of Mississippians in the arts and entertainment world. The Hall of Fame rotunda is two stories high and completely surrounds visitors with a beautiful multimedia display.
Visitors can participate in immersive exhibits at The MAX which help them explore the birthplaces of some of the most iconic performers, writers and artists. Get to know their cultural influences, see their earliest forms of creative expression, and understand the raw creative process behind the work for which they are famous.
Events at The Max include special programs like Brown Bag Lunch days with live music, Yoga classes held in and around the iconic architecture, or special lectures led by artists who describe and explain their artistic process in detail. You can even rent The Max to create your own special experience. Weddings, Professional Gatherings, Social Mixers and kid-friendly parties are more fun at The Max! There’s plenty of space for gathers small and large.
Finally, education takes center stage at The Max. People of all ages can explore the life stories of Mississippi’s legends and expand their own creative education through hands-on workshops and events in every area of the arts: music, dance, drama, writing, visual arts and more.
Here’s some more information directly from The Max:
Mississippi Arts+Entertainment Experience (The MAX) is an exciting, first-of-its-kind multimedia tribute to the rich culture of creativity and the legacy of artists from all mediums who have called Mississippi home. With names like B.B. King, Elvis Presley, William Faulkner, John Grisham, Morgan Freeman, Jim Henson, Eudora Welty, Oprah Winfrey, and many, many more, Mississippi has a lot to celebrate. This is no ordinary destination. This is Mississippi to The MAX.
The MAX took its first step toward reality in 2001, when the Mississippi State Legislature enacted Senate Bill #2666, sowing the seeds for a major destination with a cultural impact that could extend far beyond Mississippi. Over the decade to follow, a dedicated board and a supportive celebrity committee pressed on toward our fundraising goals, despite financial blows from both Hurricane Katrina and the Great Recession. In 2009, nearly ten years of hard work reaped a tangible reward—the unveiling of The MAX Hollywood-style Walk of Fame. Six years later, on October 3, 2015, The MAX officially broke ground in downtown Meridian, Mississippi.
The MAX opened April 28, 2018.
A modern silhouette and large glass windows make The MAX an architectural icon in the historic backdrop of downtown Meridian. The 58,500 square-foot-space was designed by LPK Architects of Meridian.
The MAX is not a traditional collecting museum. The exhibit design combines artifacts and the latest in interactive technology for a unique visitor experience.
Exhibit design: Gallagher & Associates, Silver Spring, MD
Exhibit fabricator: Solomon Group, New Orleans, LA
The MAX Hall of Fame Gallery is the centerpiece of the museum. The eighteen artists represented in the gallery are the inaugural class of The MAX Hall of Fame. The class includes:
Walter Inglis Anderson, Painter Elvis Presley, Musician
William Faulkner, Writer Leontyne Price, Opera Soprano
Morgan Freeman, Actor Jimmie Rodgers, Musician
John Grisham, Writer Sela Ward, Actor
Jim Henson, Puppeteer Muddy Waters, Bluesman
Robert Johnson, Bluesman Eudora Welty, Writer
James Earl Jones, Actor Tennessee Williams, Playwright
B.B. King, Bluesman Oprah Winfrey, Entertainer
George Ohr, Potter Richard Wright, Writer
The second floor is divided into six galleries that focus on influences on Mississippi artists, past and present: Land, Home, Community, Church, People + Places, and the Global Community.
To Learn more…
The Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience
2155 Front Street
Meridian, MS 39301
P.O. Box 148
Meridian, MS 39302
or visit their website at https://www.msarts.org