elizabeth-cottage-exterior2The second floor restoration of Elizabeth Cottage has switched from a dream to reality. On December 4th, 2015, the board of trustees for Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) awarded millions of dollars of grants for the repair and restoration of historic structures across the state. Included in the awards was a Community Heritage Grant of $77,720 to be given to Mississippi School of the Arts for the continued restoration of Elizabeth Cottage.

See MDAH News Release (PDF)

Built in 1913, Elizabeth Cottage was the home of the president for historic Whitworth College (now MSA). Dr. Inman William Cooper was the president of the college at the time of construction, serving from 1902 until 1925. The cottage is named after his wife Elizabeth.

The first floor restoration of the Cottage has already been completed. With additional help from a $98,000 grant from MDAH, interior restoration was done within one year. Several events have already taken place in Elizabeth College, which included Literary Arts Showcase events, several holiday events, MSA Foundation board meetings, and much more.

Upon entering the front door of Elizabeth Cottage, two rooms exist left and right. There is a dining room with a large kitchen space, a den and restroom all on the first floor. The second floor includes a bathroom, three bedrooms, and a study area connected by a large hall.

Elizabeth Cottage has been designated a Mississippi Landmark, as well as the rest of the campus. All campus buildings (except the Student Life Center) are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This allows MSA to continue receiving grants and opportunities for the continued renovation and maintenance of buildings, one which is over 130 years old.

The plan, when complete, is to house a residency program. Artists from all over the country may apply for a short-term residency in Elizabeth Cottage. While at MSA, they will be allowed to teach an art-related subject to students. Any work produced while at MSA may be commissioned with MSA’s name attached to the work. Not only will this provide immediate exposure for the artist, but also exposure for the school, Brookhaven, and our state.

In addition to the MDAH grant, funds are necessary for the continued development of the project and furnishing of Elizabeth Cottage. If you would like to donate towards the development of the project by way of monetary funds or items such as period-style furniture, you may contact the Executive Director’s office at Mississippi School of the Arts by calling 601-823-1300.

Brick Campaign

Mississippi School of the Arts is currently promoting a “brick campaign”. Engraved bricks can be purchased to be placed in front of Lampton Auditorium. The purchased bricks will eventually be framed when enough are purchased. Funding from the campaign will go towards the restoration projects on campus.

4″x8″ brick is $100
8″x8″ brick is $250
8″x8″ granite is $500

MSA would like to continue to say thank you to the donors who have already contributed towards this project! We look forward to completion very soon.

First Floor

Second Floor (Unfinished)


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