Studio DBA

The 100 Men Hall is refurbishing a 1956 Silver Streak Clipper (Studio DBA) to create a podcast and recording studio that will be docked at a permanent Studio DBA Station at the Hall while also expanding year-round public access during scheduled annual tours along the MS Blues Trail to preserve oral histories, conduct interviews, record live music and provide a container for the exchange and archiving of creative Mississippi. Studio DBA would house recording and lighting equipment in an accessible venue that will document the real lives of Mississippi musicians, artists and legendary performers (artists) whose life-long talents and struggles are often expressed in an hour or two of pure joy. Recognizing social inequality in the arts forces us to confront the reality that often, audiences understand too little of the artistry and authentic lives of the performers who entertain us. Refurbishing and expanding this public point of access will allow us to document untold numbers of standard culture bearers’ lives for future generations of Mississippians.

While Studio DBA is not a brick and mortar structure, the realities of living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast require a flexible interpretation, one that helps preserve history in the event of catastrophe (in particular, weather related). In keeping with the vision of the Building Fund for the Arts Grant, Studio DBA will remain “docked” to its platform at the 100 Men Hall during most of the year, and will maximize its role as a literal vehicle for culture during frequent story-gathering pilgrimages through other locations in Mississippi and along the Chitlin Circuit, expanding our ability to provide year-round public access to a scale we would not otherwise reach.

The project is made possible through a MAC Building Fund Award, with additional funding from MS Coast National Heritage Area, Coast Electric Round Up, and Silver Slipper Hotel & Casino.

Much in the way Alan Lomax* was able to preserve American folk music through field interviews and recordings, the 100 Men Hall Studio DBA project seeks to document through story-telling, live music performance, and candid interviews, the music and art of Mississippi. The project would provide a broadcast transmitter and antenna that would allow Studio DBA to live stream music, interviews, anecdotes, and oral history. [The 100 Men Hall also curates and maintains a digital library of live recorded music and oral histories that will provide additional continuous stream of recorded culture and entertainment.]

* Alan Lomax was an American ethnomusicologist, best known for his numerous field recordings of folk music of the 20th century. He was also a musician himself.