Gov. to set new date for visit
by Chance Wright
Dec 14, 2012 | 1426 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Today's scheduled presentation of a $1 million check by Gov. Phil Bryant and the state of Mississippi to the Cleveland Music Foundation has been postponed.

Bryant opted out of the commitment in order to attend the funeral services of long-time state Sen. Alice Harden, who died Dec. 6 at the age of 64.

The former educator was the first black woman elected to the Mississippi Senate, winning office in 1987 and serving until her death. She was known as an advocate for public schools.

Harden's funeral was held at 11 a.m. today at Greater St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Jackson and followed with her burial in Cedar Lawn Cemetery.

"Having served in the Mississippi Senate for 24 years, Sen. Alice Harden was a pioneer for civil rights and a staunch supporter of public education," said Bryant. "She served her constituents well and will certainly be missed. I had the pleasure to work with her during my term as lieutenant governor and was always impressed with her determination to stand for her beliefs."

The check presentation was scheduled to be held at 10 a.m. at the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni House on the campus of Delta State University, just next to the approved site for the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi.

GRAMMY Museum Mississippi will be a world class, 20,000 plus square foot facility dedicated to exploring the past, present and future of music and the cultural context from which is emerges in the Mississippi Delta.

It will be the first official GRAMMY Museum outside of Los Angeles and will present unique economic opportunities for the state.

The check that would have been presented was just the first installment of money guaranteed to the project from the state.

During this year's legislative session, the state's lawmakers voted to make a contribution in the amount of $6 million to the project.

Both Cleveland and Bolivar County also made large commitments to the project.

"The city of Cleveland has committed to give us $3 million," said Lucy Janoush, president of the Cleveland Music Foundation in October. "We can get that money on an as need basis while the county has committed to $1 million to be paid in four installments of $250,000."

The rest of the funding is expected to come from personal donations.

"Personal donations have come in from individuals and companies from all over the state," she continued. "At this time we have raised approximately $1 million from personal donors."

According to Janoush, the governor's office and the foundation are working together to secure another date for the check presentation.