Support Pleiades literary/arts magazine at Jackson’s Murrah High School
In 2013 an English teacher at Murrah High School in Jackson discovered a stack of literary magazines that the school first published during the year of its founding in 1954. Called the Pleiades, it continued to be published yearly for many years then disappeared and was almost forgotten. With the help of enthusiastic students, the teacher reached out to Murrah alumni for help in funding a magazine of student writing and art, and a new issue of the Pleiades was published.
The new Pleiades includes Murrah students’ poetry, essays, short stories, and drawings, — just like the archival issues from much earlier days. Due to technological advances, today’s Pleiades also features full color photograms and paintings. Recent issues of the Pleiades have won state awards from the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association including “Best Literary Magazine” and “Best Design.”
Pleiades staff advisor Sarah Ballard says, “We are known as being an outstanding publication producing mature student writers who win awards and go on to pursue careers in writing, journalism, and design.” These are experiences that lead to many more successes in life—not just in art and writing.
In March 2020, in celebration of their 50th reunion, a group of Murrah alumni developed the Murrah Pleiades Literary and Visual Arts Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi. The fund will create a steady income that will pay for the production of the school literary magazine for years to come, making it possible for the teacher to focus on teaching and the students on their creative endeavors and academics, rather than fundraising.
The regular school budget at Murrah does not cover the yearly $2,000 needed to produce the Pleiades, and without this fund students at Murrah are not assured a chance of being part of this important experience. We invite you to assist Murrah’s dedicated staff and students to secure more permanent funding for the Pleiadesby making a tax-deductible contribution to the Murrah Pleiades Literary and Visual Arts Fund.
We are very grateful for donations amounting to over $28,000 during our first 19 months, most of which coincided with COVID times. Your added contributions will help assure that many future students at this Jackson high school will enjoy the benefits of participating in the hard but creative work to produce the Pleiades.