Illuminating the Soul of Mississippi

Illuminating the Soul of Mississippi

The NLCC’s 35th Annual Celebration in Natchez

If there’s one thing Mississippi is known for, it’s storytelling. Through song, through literature, through film—the Magnolia State has made an impact on the arts around the world. The legacy of storytelling is celebrated at the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration (NLCC), now celebrating its 35th year. Held at the Natchez Convention Center, the event is a soul-stirring exploration of the region's traditions, history, and the enduring spirit of its people.

The NLCC, a convergence of literature, history, film, and culture, has become a cornerstone in Mississippi's cultural calendar. Held annually in February, this gathering attracts luminaries, scholars, artists, and authors from across the nation. The conference aims not only to celebrate the diverse facets of Southern heritage but also to elevate public appreciation for the humanities.

This year, under the guidance of historian and educator Betty Jo Harris, the NLCC takes on the theme: "Rites, Rituals, and Religion in the Deep South." With a bachelor's and master's degree in history and an additional master's degree in teaching, Harris is no stranger to the complexities of Southern history. Now, as the coordinator for NLCC, she is poised to elevate this esteemed conference to new heights.

This year's theme, "Rites, Rituals, and Religion in the Deep South," promises a thought-provoking journey into the intricacies embedded into the Southern experience. Over the course of two and a half days, the event will showcase scholars presenting narratives that mirror the evolving historical American saga, delving into the realms of life and death. Rooted in both "Old World" traditions and infused with a deep sense of democracy, race, and ingenuity, these presentations offer an up close look at the distinctive, historic Mississippi culture.

As the NLCC unfolds at the Natchez Convention Center, attendees can anticipate a transformative experience—a space where the spirit of Mississippi comes alive. It's a celebration of the resilience, creativity, and enduring soul of the Deep South. 

Learn more about the NLCC at