Tommy Johnson Blues Festival

Organization and community: Jackson Medical Mall Foundation (Jackson, Mississippi)

Informed by community asset mapping findings from the Mississippi Urban Research Center, the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation (JMMF) made the decision to host more culturally relevant programs and events at the Mall’s center stage to connect arts and culture to the provision of health services.

In 2016, they began hosting the Tommy Johnson Blues festival, named after the delta blues vocalist and guitarist from the early 20th century. This annual festival, founded in 2005 by his niece Vera Johnson Collins, presents local blues and gospel performances. The festival was moved to the Mall in order to better take advantace of co-locating the event in a space with health services. While enjoying music, attendees are given the opportunity to receive diabetes testing and information.