Committee members will include Morgan Freeman, Jimmy Buffett, Lance Bass, Britney Spears, Faith Hill, B.B. King and others. Paul Ott, chairman of the project, said Sela Ward was a key to gaining the endorsements.
"We're so fragmented today, a lot of us moving off to restore our hopes and our dreams," Ward. "Leaving our communities. I kept thinking I can't be the only one to feel this yearning to go back to my roots."
Sela says spending their childhoods in Mississippi made her and other celebrities the people they've become.
"I think it's a great glimpse at the south, a nice look at a part of the country that people who haven't been in and only know the stereotype from Mississippi Burning, movies, et cetera, and maybe they'll get a glimpse of the flip side," Ward said.
The Southern Arts Center is planned to show the influence growing up in Mississippi had on these celebrities and their roads to fame and fortune.
The plans for the committee will be unveiled to several dozen state legislators who are spending the weekend here as guests of the city and the EMBDC.