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MSA receives final grant for Elizabeth Cottage

Photo by Kaitlin Mullins / A $77,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History means Mississippi School of the Arts will soon begin the final phase of construction on Elizabeth Cottage.

Photo by Kaitlin Mullins / A $77,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History means Mississippi School of the Arts will soon begin the final phase of construction on Elizabeth Cottage.

The Mississippi School of the Arts has received its third and final grant for the restoration of Elizabeth College on the historic Whitworth Campus. This project began with the first grant from the MDAH in 2009 for $98,000.

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History in its Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 4 awarded a Community Heritage Preservation Grant in the amount of $77,720 to complete the restoration of the cottage at MSA. The campus has been designated as a Mississippi Landmark and is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Phases one and two of the project were also funded by MDAH grants.

“We’re very excited,” said MSA Executive Director Suzanne Hirsch. “We’re hoping the completion of this will fulfill a major part of our strategic plan that has been in the works since I got here. It’s our hope we’ll be able to move quickly.”

Hirsch said efforts to stay within budget have proved difficult with the historic building, which has made the project last a little longer than they’d like. The grant will allow for the completion of the third phase of Elizabeth Cottage, which is the second floor interior.

When complete, Elizabeth Cottage will house classrooms as well as a guest artist long-term residency program. The program will give artists the opportunity to live on MSA’s campus for the purpose of making art and teaching a class in lieu of room and board expenses. This type of program is attractive and beneficial to many artists looking to produce work and can be mutually beneficial for MSA as commissioner of the work.

“When it goes out into the art world, Brookhaven and MSA goes with it,” Hirsch said.

The money comes with a stipulation that 25 percent of it is raised by the recipient. Hirsch said MSA is actively seeking donations to raise the 25 percent with naming opportunities and selling bricks that will be in front of the Lampton Auditorium. A  4-by-8 inch brick is $100, an 8-by-8 inch brick is $250 and a granite 8-by-8 inch is $500. To purchase bricks or to inquire about naming opportunities, call MSA at 601-833-1300.