President Mark Killingsworth presided over today’s meeting. A.D. Hunt provided the opening prayer. Joe Meador led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. The meeting was held at the Holiday Inn North and on Zoom. Joe Bost thanked those who helped with today’s meeting. There were no guests.
 
Wes Brooks then introduced today’s guest speaker, Mark Tullos, Jr. Mark is the President and CEO of the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience (The MAX.) Prior to coming to The MAX, Mr. Tullos served as the assistant secretary for the Louisiana Office of State Museums. He also served as the director of the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans and was the founding director of the Walter Anderson Museum of Art. He is a graduate of LSU.
 
When Mark and his wife moved from Louisiana to Meridian, The Max was just a dream. Voters had just passed a 2% food and beverage tax. Some of the proceeds from that new tax would be used to build and operate The Max. The project had been a dream of many Mississippians for the 17 years before it became a reality. It has been open for approximately 3 years.
 
Prior to the 1950’s, Meridian was a large and growing city. It was larger than the City of Jackson. However, the 1950’s brought a severe decline to the city. It is now undergoing a revival. A new hotel will be opened in the downtown area within the next few months. They have also opened a new Children’s Center and recently opened their first brewery and pub.
 
The Max has a Hall of Fame featuring 28 Mississippi artists. It also features an introduction movie theater, a pottery studio where you can design a piece of pottery. There is also a juke joint, a community theater, a TV and Radio exhibit, a recording studio, a writer’s studio, a school yard exhibit, and a foodways chef’s exhibit. Many of the exhibits are interactive.
 
The Experience is located at 2155 Front Street in Meridian. You can reach out to them by telephone by calling 601-581-1550. They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tickets for adults cost $14. Student and Senior tickets cost $12. You can learn much more about The Ma,x by visiting their website at https://www.msarts.org/.
 
Mark notes that Mississippi’s reputation across the nation is seen through the lens of other people. The Max wants to change that my telling the story about the many Mississippians who have impacted art and entertainment across the world.
 
Mark Killingsworth thanked Mr. Tullos for his presentation. He reminded members that the club will support the DuBard School this quarter. We noted that we have sold 25 tee-shirts with a goal of selling 50. If you don’t want a tee-shirt, he asks that members make a financial contribution to the project. He then presented Shirley Moore with her blue badge and congratulated her on the achievement.
 
There being no further business to come before the club, Mark then adjourned the meeting with our motto: “Service Above Self.”