JACKSON - The Mississippi Development Authority's tourism division in February added five communities, including Pontotoc and Aberdeen, to its Certified Cultural Corners program.
The designation is awarded to towns with a population of less than 20,000 to preserve and promote their cultural heritage significance. It includes a $10,000 grant.
Along with the two Northeast Mississippi communities, Rolling Fork, Port Gibson and Bay St. Louis were added this year to the program.
The MDA Tourism Bureau of Film and Culture established the Certified Cultural Corners program in 2008 to identify communities in Mississippi that have cultural heritage assets of national significance in at least two of the following areas: American Indian heritage, art and architecture, Civil War history, Civil Rights history, culinary culture, literary heritage and musical heritage.
Pontotoc and Aberdeen were both recognized for their significant assets relating to the Civil War and art and architecture.
The communities join the 2008 inductees of Cleveland, Holly Springs, Ocean Springs, Philadelphia and Woodville.
The next step is to conduct meetings where community leaders will participate in their initial cultural heritage assessment and begin making plans to enhance their areas of cultural heritage significance.