Music and arts are the taproot of Mississippi's rich cultural environment. Known as the "Birthplace of America's Music," Mississippi provides visitors with musical experiences in multiple genres. Whether you are seeking soul-filled gospel or blues, foot-stomping old-time string music, or stimulating jazz and symphony, Mississippi is the one stop for your listening pleasure. And our literary, visual and performing arts are a great reason to make your way to the Magnolia State, too.
With ballets, writers, painters and potters galore, Mississippi is home to one of the nation's most fertile creative grounds. The birthplace to such literary greats as Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, Richard Wright and Eudora Welty, as well as contemporary literary gems like John Grisham, Jesmyn Ward, Natasha Trethewey and Richard Ford, Mississippi may have more writers per square foot than any other state in the union.
Visual arts abound as well, with noted artists such as Walter Anderson, Marie Hull, George Ohr, Caroline Compton and William Hollingsworth building the bedrock of Mississippi's artistic heritage. A multitude of contemporary and visionary artists hail from Mississippi as well, including William Dunlap, Ethel Wright Mohammed and Gwendolyn Magee. Pottery also has a stronghold in the Mississippi artistic culture, notably in long-standing, family-owned pottery businesses like Shearwater on the Gulf Coast and McCarty's in the Delta.
Mississippi is home to the International Ballet Competition, and many of our colleges and universities house exceptional dance and performance programs.
Two trails programs have been developed to help visitors navigate the wealth of musical heritage in our state: the Mississippi Blues Trail and the Mississippi Country Music Trail.
The Mississippi Blues Trail is an unforgettable journey into the land that spawned the single most important root source of modern popular music. Whether you're a die-hard blues fan or a casual traveler in search of an interesting trip, you'll find facts you didn't know and places you've never seen, and you'll gain a new appreciation for the area that gave birth to the blues.
Ride the Mississippi Country Music Trail to discover that the state's contributions to country music are boundless, not confined to a region or defined by a single style or technique. If you know the Magnolia State for Delta Blues, you will be amazed to meet its multi-talented first cousin. Call it hillbilly, honky tonk, neo-traditional or whatever you choose, but country music has deep roots and continues to thrive in Mississippi.