Hilferty and Associates led the exhibition design of the groundbreaking new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, opened in December 2017. Company founder and president Gerry Hilferty and his colleagues helped museum staff tell a challenging story, careful to include community voices wary of trusting a state agency to tell the history of a movement the state had once fought so hard to destroy.
The Hilferty team presents an unflinching look at difficult historical events, focusing on the years 1945–1976, when Mississippi was ground zero for the national Civil Rights Movement. Visitors witness the freedom struggle in eight interactive galleries that show the systematic oppression of black Mississippians and their fight for equality that transformed the state and nation. Seven of the galleries encircle “This Little Light of Mine,” a dramatic interactive three-story sculpture meant to inspire contemplation and hope. The sculpture’s technology senses and responds to visitors, with singing voices swelling from a duet to a choir, as lights move across graceful spirals.