About the Celebration
The Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration has won numerous awards for its outstanding programming. They include a Cultural Olympiad Award, Best Event of the Year Award at the Governor's Conference on Tourism, the Mississippi Tourism Award, the Mississippi Historical Society's Award of Merit, the Mississippi Humanities Council Humanities Achievement Award, the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi Award, and the 2011 Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.
The NLCC has been called by official evaluators "Mississippi's most significant annual conference devoted to literature, history, film, and culture."
Begun in 1990 by Copiah-Lincoln Community College and sponsored now by Co-Lin and Mississippi Department of Archives and History with support of the Natchez National Historical Park, the Celebration annually presents a theme-based lecture series enhanced by films, field trips, workshops, exhibits, book signings, concerts, and discussions. The conference is made possible in part by the Mississippi Humanities Council through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The conference is also made possible in part by a $100,000 National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant that was successfully matched dollar for dollar.
The Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration (NLCC) is a time-honored tradition in the state of Mississippi with a well-deserved reputation as one of the state's most significant annual conferences devoted to literature, history, film, and culture. Each February, the NLCC chooses a new topic related to humanities in the American South and brings nationally known scholars and authors to Natchez for our award-winning conference. The annual celebration is sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Mississippi Humanities Council, and Copiah-Lincoln Community College and supported by the city of Natchez, Adams County Board of Supervisors, the Natchez Convention and Promotion Commission, and National Park Service.
Notable speakers at past NLCC festivals included writers Eudora Welty, Margaret Walker Alexander, William Styron, Willie Morris, Ellen Douglas, Ernest Gaines, Elizabeth Spencer, Nikki Giovanni, Myrlie Evers-Williams, and Maya Angelou; the Richard Wright scholar Michel Fabre of Paris; and historians Robert V. Remini, David Sansing, William Scarborough, John D.W. Guice, Jay Gitlin, John Blassingame, Michael Wayne, and Douglas Lewis.
The goals of NLCC are simple: to inspire a lifelong love of and commitment to the humanities in the public at large, to educate its audience on a variety of topics within the humanities, and to serve the local community. Our events, with very few exceptions, are free and open to the public.
NLCC co-chairmen are Betty Jo Harris, instructor, Copiah-Lincoln Community College; and Lance Harris, site director, Grand Village of Natchez Indians.
The conference has won many awards, including the Governor's Award for Tourism Achievement; Cultural Olympiad award for outstanding programming from the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games; Most Outstanding Festival or Event in Mississippi from the Mississippi Tourism Commission; Public Humanities Achievement Award from the Mississippi Humanities Council; Mississippi Historical Society's Award of Merit; and Governor's Award for Excellence in Arts.
- 2021: Southern Environments
- 2020- Visits, Vittles, & Vines
- 2019- The Great River Road
- 2018- Southern Gothic
- 2017- Mississippi: A Literary Journey
- 2016 – Natchez at 300: A River Runs by It
- 2015 – Bigger Than Life: Extraordinary Mississippians
- 2014 – 60 Years and Counting: Voices of the Civil Rights Movement
- 2013 – Fiction, Fact, and Film: The Civil War's Imprint on Southern Culture
- 2012 – Legends, Lore, and Literature: Storytelling in the South
- 2011 – Fields of Dreams: Sports in the South
- 2010 – Humor in the Deep South
- 2009 – Southern Women Writers: Saluting the Eudora Welty Centennial
- 2008 – Richard Wright, the South, and the World: A Centennial Celebration
- 2007 – Southern Accents: Language in the Deep South
- 2006 – Biscuits, Gumbo, Sweet Tea, and Bourbon Balls: Southern Food and Drink in History, Literature, and Film
- 2005 – Between Two Worlds: Free Blacks in the Antebellum South
- 2004 – Scoundrels to Statesmen: Politics in the Deep South.
- 2003 – Exploration and Discovery Then and Now: Saluting the Bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase
- 2002 – Creativity in the South: A Living Legacy
- 2001 – Fiction, Fact, and Film: The Genius of the South
- 2000 – The Sacred South: Literature from the Bible Belt
- 1999 – Music of the South: Lyrics, Literature, and Lagniappe
- 1998 – The South: Its Land and Its Literature
- 1997 – Famous Southern Families in Fiction and in Fact
- 1996 – Southern Women: 300 Years of Influence
- 1995 – King Cotton: Its Enduring Literary Legacy
- 1994 – Mississippi’s Literary Heritage: Black and White and Read All Over
- 1993 – The Three R's: Readin', Ritin', and the River 1992 Spain Comes to Natchez
- 1991 – From Provincial Outpost to National Treasure: Natchez Celebrates Its 275th Anniversary
- 1990 – The Natchez Trace: Its Literary Legacy