Mississippi School for the Arts: A Hidden Gem

MSA: A Hidden Gem

Mississippi, an artistically rich state, has one School for the Arts. Where might you find this school? Sixty miles south of the state’s capital in our very own Brookhaven. 

Mississippi School of the Arts started in 2003, as an upper high school focusing on literary, visual, and performing arts. This high school is home to both boarding students and day students, and the campus lay within the historic site of beautiful Whitworth College. 

But before our current MSA students inhabited this campus, there were many women that walked the same hallways that MSA students walk today. MSA, formerly known as Whitworth College, was founded in 1858 as a methodist female higher education institution. One of the only female colleges during its time. The school was very successful for its first 67 years. In 1925 Whitworth College hit its peak in enrollment with 315 women! After its peak in 1925, began a long road of steady decline for Whitworth College. In 1928 the college became incorporated by the Millsaps College system as a liberal arts junior college. The Methodist Conference withdrew their support in 1937 due to a significant decline in numbers, which eventually left the school in a state of abandonment. 

But with every ending, there are new beginnings. In 1999 the Mississippi State legislature voted to open a School of the Arts in the state of Mississippi, and no other campus and city seemed more fitting than Brookhaven on the Whitworth College campus. Students were going to make the hallways of Whitworth College come back to life again. MSA opened its doors in 2003. 

Admission for MSA students is rigorous process, but one that keeps its’ students competitive. Students are asked to audition before being considered for enrollment. The school offers several arts disciplines including: dance, literary arts, theatre arts, vocal music, visual arts and media arts. 

Mississippi School of the Arts is dedicated to challenging students to use their gifts to their maximum potential, while simultaneously helping to preserve the rich artistic culture that is deeply rooted in this state. If you’re a guest in our city, take a pit stop at this historic Mississippi Landmark. You won’t regret it!