NEA Our Town Planning Grant

Marking the Mule Train:
Placemaking for Marks, MS

This project will consist of a 12 months planning period to develop a comprehensive cultural master plan featuring an interpretive trail and center in Marks, MS. The master plan will highlight and interpret sites of the historic 1968 Poor People’s Campaign “Mule Train.” within Marks. The Mule Train was a wagon train pulled by mules organized by the SCLC starting in Marks, MS and ending in Washington D.C. The protestors joined 3,000 others nationwide at “Resurrection City”, a tent city on the Washington Mall to protest the condition of the poor in the U.S. Marks had been visited twice previously by Dr. Martin Luther King and became a symbol to him of the plight of the poor.

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The plan will incorporate stages of creative placemaking for the revitalization of downtown Main Street, creation of public space for the 2016 pending Amtrak passenger stop, an interpretive trail, and the 2018 Mules and Blues Fest, which will be a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the “Mule Train.”