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Two Mississippi history museums close to private fundraising goal

In total, The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum complex will encompass more than 300,000 square feet. A ground-breaking ceremony is slated for next month, and the target completion for the museum’s shell is May 2015.

In total, The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum complex will encompass more than 300,000 square feet. A ground-breaking ceremony is slated for next month, and the target completion for the museum’s shell is May 2015.

JACKSON — Two Mississippi history museums being built in Jackson are moving closer to their private fundraising goal.

Including a new donation announced Friday, the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum have raised $11.3 million. The goal is $16 million of private money to go with an estimated $87 million in state funding.

The museums will share one structure. Construction started in December 2013, and opening is scheduled during the state’s bicentennial in 2017.

The latest contribution, $2.5 million, is the largest private donation to date. It comes from Ray Neilsen, who’s a former vice president of Ameristar Casino, and the California-based charity started by his father, the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.

Ray Neilsen says he wants people to learn about Mississippi’s history, particularly in civil rights.

 

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