Mississippi’s creative spirit, and the legends who’ve harnessed it to entertain the world, has a new home.
The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience opened in downtown Meridian this weekend. The multimedia museum will celebrate the legendary artists and entertainers from all creative mediums who are Magnolia State natives.
From Indianola’s B.B. King and Tupelo’s Elvis Presley to Pascagoula’s Jimmy Buffett and Ocean Springs’ Walter Anderson, the state’s roster of diverse artists will all be showcased at The MAX.
“The impact that Mississippians have had on music, art, literature and theatre stretches far beyond the state’s borders and is truly global,” said Vice President of Public Relations and Corporate Services Johnny Atherton, who also serves on The MAX’s board of directors.
“Mississippi has long needed a destination like The MAX to showcase the work of Jim Henson, Eudora Welty, Jimmy Rodgers and countless others. This is an exciting development for Meridian and all Mississippians.”
The facility is expected to bring tens of thousands of visitors, if not more, to Meridian every year.
Businesses on Front Street in downtown Meridian have been sprucing up their exteriors as well. Expecting to see an increase in customers with The MAX’s opening, several have taken advantage of a downtown improvement grant offered by the company.
“Downtown Meridian is buzzing with anticipation because of The MAX,” Meridian Division Manager Eddie Kelly said. “We’ve got a very large piece of the puzzle in place now, and we’re hoping to build on this excitement and create new business opportunities and experiences downtown.”
While a groundbreaking ceremony was held for The MAX in October 2015, the company’s work began before the first shovels hit the dirt.
“We began working with The MAX long before site work began and were able to be involved in the initial designs of the mechanical and electrical systems,” Commercial Marketing Specialist Jennifer Taylor said. “The old Meridian Hotel had been located on the site, so we removed the pre-existing service. We also upgraded and made some additions to the new underground service.”
Museums typically have certain temperature and humidity requirements to maintain the integrity of their showcases. The MAX is no different.
The building will have a steady temperature of 68 degrees and 22 percent humidity.
“We set a 1500 kVa transformer on the southwest corner of the property and it is dedicated to The MAX,” Taylor said. “For additional reliability, we reconfigured the circuit that feeds the building.”
The MAX is designed all-electric, which includes electric heat and water heat. The facility also houses two chillers, which help regulate temperature and humidity.
Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for more than 187,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. With nearly 160 megawatts of approved solar energy capacity, Mississippi Power is the largest partner in providing renewable energy in the state of Mississippi. Visit our websites at mississippipower.com and mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.