Tullos Named President, CEO Of THE MAX

MERIDIAN, MS – Mississippi Arts & Entertainment Experience (THE MAX) has selected Mark Tullos as president & CEO, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG).

         Tullos will lead all operations of the new Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience, a world-class museum being constructed in Meridian that will celebrate Mississippi artists and legendary entertainers and their contributions to the world, museum reps said.

         Tullos has more than 30 years experience as a museum executive. He previously served as Assistant Secretary for the Louisiana Office of State Museums in the Department of Culture and Tourism, which oversees nine museum facilities in Louisiana. He also served as executive director for museums in Texas and Florida, and was founding director of the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, overseeing construction and opening of that museum in 1992.

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         “We are excited to have Mark lead our organization and the board’s decision follows a thorough and intense process to find the very best person for this important role,” said Tommy Dulaney, president of THE MAX Board of Directors. “We worked closely with the Arts Consulting Group to find a candidate of this caliber to lead the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience.”

         Arts Consulting Group President Bruce D. Thibodeau added, “Mark Tullos is just the kind of visionary leader to help build THE MAX into a major cultural destination. It was such a pleasure to work with THE MAX search committee and Board, and we wish Tullos and THE MAX all the best for a successful opening.”

         Slated to open in early 2018, the $49 million Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience will be a two-level structure consisting of 58,500 square feet, with 22,000 square feet devoted to exhibition space. The unique and informative interactive stations, exhibits and attractions planned for the facility will be designed to educate and inspire millions of visitors, generating millions of dollars for Mississippi’s economy. All construction contracts have been awarded to Mississippi based companies and next phases of construction will begin by mid September.

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         THE MAX will also seek to steer visitors to other museums throughout Mississippi, forming partnerships with other regions and localities across the state, such as Tupelo’s Elvis, Indianola’s B.B. King, Pascagoula’s Jimmy Buffet, Jackson’s Eudora Welty and Ocean Springs’ Walter Anderson.

         “This new Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience will offer one of the most revolutionary museum experiences in the country,” Tullos said. “This museum will be a demonstration of how art and museums have a powerful impact on local economies and tourism.

         “Early in my career I came to understand how a museum could shape a visitor's point-of-view. People who visit THE MAX will be immersed in the spirit of this great state and introduced to the great writers, poets, artists, musicians and actors whose art and performances have become a part of our global culture."

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         Exhibits, designed by nationally recognized Gallagher & Associates, will be organized around five themes—the land, the home, the community, the church and the people. Audio and video stories will tell who, what, where, when, why and how Mississippians influenced the arts and the creative economy all over the world and continue to do so on an international level. 

         Dulaney said Tullos will succeed Marty Gamblin in the executive role, but Gamblin will continue in a leadership and consulting role, including active involvement in the museum’s Walk of Fame and Hall of Fame programs. “Marty has been a vital part of the process and we look forward to his continued counsel and vision,” Dulaney said.

         Gamblin, who led planning efforts for THE MAX for six years, said “The board’s due diligence in bringing in a person with Mark Tullos’ credentials to lead THE MAX is an affirmation of their commitment to truly making this a world class experience. Mark’s resume is truly outstanding and I’m excited to be a part of his team in bringing this project to its long awaited fruition.”

         Tullos is a graduate of Louisiana State University and attended graduate school at Stephen F. Austin University. He participated in the Getty Leadership Institute at Claremont Graduate University and was the recipient of the Nancy Hanks Memorial Award for Professional Excellence given by the American Alliance of Museums in Washington, D.C.

         Tullos served as a member of the advisory board for the Museum Loan Network at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the honors committee of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), a panelist for the National Museum Service Board and a peer reviewer for AAM, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the state arts commissions of Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Florida.

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