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Northwest Performing Arts Center named for college president

Photo: Northwest Mississippi Community College President Dr. Michael Heindl stands in front of the Heindl Center for the Performing Arts on the Senatobia campus. (NWCC photo)

Credit: Northwest Mississippi Community College news release

The standing-room-only crowd who gathered to celebrate the grand opening of Northwest Mississippi Community College’s new performing arts center Jan. 12 received a huge surprise from Northwest Board of Trustees Chairman Cory Uselton when he announced the board had earlier in the day voted to name the center in honor of Northwest President Dr. Michael Heindl.

“This is such an exciting day on campus as we have our ribbon cutting ceremony for our new performing arts center,” said Uselton. “At today’s board meeting, our board voted unanimously to name the performing arts center after Dr. Michael Heindl.” The announcement was met with a room of smiles, accolades, and applause from guests, and heartfelt gratitude from Dr. Heindl.

“I was overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude when our Board of Trustees announced the name change of the center,” said Dr. Heindl. “It is an honor of a lifetime, and I am so very excited for all of the students who will receive training in the center and for our community who will have the opportunity to experience the very best cultural and entertainment experiences there are.”

The center, now known as the Heindl Center for the Performing Arts, is a 61,000-square-foot facility that features a 1,203-seat performance space plus studio and educational spaces for Fine Arts faculty and students. From concept to construction and completion, the four-year effort to bring the new center to the Senatobia campus was spearheaded and supported by Dr. Heindl.

“Dr. Heindl had the vision and foresight for the performing arts center in 2018 and has led the effort to bring it to life today,” said Vice President for Administration and Finance Jeff Horton. “It’s only fitting that the building is named after him. He saw a need for improved instructional space and for a theater that will enrich the community.”

According to Uselton, the board recognized Dr. Heindl’s long-standing commitment to having Northwest be a catalyst for bringing quality fine arts education as well as top-tier entertainment experiences to the community. His leadership in these areas, which carry out the college’s vision of “transforming our students’ lives, enriching our communities and striving for excellence in our educational programs and services,” made the decision to rename the center in his honor an easy one.

“On behalf of our Board of Trustees, we are appreciative of all the hard work done by Dr. Heindl,” said Uselton. “When a faculty member recommended the naming of the Center for the Performing Arts, we brought the recommendation to the Board of Trustees for consideration. Dr. Heindl has been a champion for the performing arts during his time on campus, and the board members voted unanimously in favor of naming the center in his honor. This designation is a fitting tribute due to Dr. Heindl’s personal and professional commitment to Northwest.”

The naming not only highlights Dr. Heindl’s commitment to the performing arts as a college president, it also reflects his own personal connection as a performance artist himself. He began his educational journey as a 1994 Hinds Community College graduate with an Associate of Arts in general studies/music, and was a member of the symphonic band, marching band, concert band, chamber choir, jazz ensemble, madrigal singing group, show choir, and jazz band. In addition, Dr. Heindl has been involved in community choirs, bands, and church choirs and ensembles for many years.

“I am overjoyed that our beautiful facility now has an official name,” said Kerry Goff, director of the Heindl Center for the Performing Arts. “Dr. Heindl’s vision, commitment and follow through is a testament to his support and passion for the arts. It is perfect that this center for the arts is named after him.”

Totaling 16 performances and a film series, the Heindl Center for the Performing Arts is bringing world-class entertainment to the entire northwest Mississippi community. Headlining will be Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth, Emmy Award winner Jay Leno, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, and Oscar Award winner Billy Bob Thornton and his band The Boxmasters. There will also be stunning performances from touring acts such as Disney’s Winnie the Pooh, Pirates of Penzance, and Pinkalicious and so much more!

The Northwest Foundation will host the Northwest Soiree in the new facility on March 25. This formal, ticketed event will highlight a performance by Mississippi native and Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Marty Stuart, Northwest Fine Art students, as well as honor new community award recipients who have contributed to the legacy of excellence at Northwest.

Season tickets and general admission tickets are now available at

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