Twyla Johnson displays two collages at the Mississippi Bicentennial Small Town Film Festival

Twyla Johnson, an Alcorn State University alumna and Hermanville, Mississippi native, used her creativity to showcase the county in which she grew up.

Johnson, who earned a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling in May, presented two collages titled, “Quilting: Legacy Keeper” and “Port Gibson Homemade Happiness,” at the Mississippi Bicentennial Small Town Film Festival Friday, June 16 at the Mississippi Cultural Crossroads in Port Gibson. Her purpose for presenting the photographic stories was to showcase the positive things happening in Claiborne County.

“My mission is to celebrate the culture, creativity, community and improvement by producing photo stories to highlight the importance of economic revitalization in Claiborne County,” said Johnson.

In Claiborne County, the Mississippi Cultural Crossroads is where people go and put their creativity to work by knitting quilts. Johnson used her “Quilting: Legacy Keeper” collage to express the prevalence of quilting in her community.

“Quilting has had an amazing, heartfelt, hands-on impact in our community, and I want to make sure future generations understand the history behind making homemade quilts. Quilts represent themes such as family love, passing down memories to the next generations and sharing among the community. Hopefully, this will inspire people to join the handmade quilting class at the Mississippi Cultural Crossroads.”

In her “Port Gibson Homemade Happiness” collage, Johnson portrayed the togetherness of Claiborne County residents.

“This was important to me because I want people to know who we really are as a community. I want people to know that our families spend a good deal of time interacting with each other to strengthen our bond. We generally know everyone on a first-name basis and render aid to our neighbors when needed. I want people to see our town as a well connected community.”

Johnson said that her experience at the film festival was one that she will always remember.

“It felt amazing. I couldn’t believe I produced images that were so beautiful. Port Gibson has so many hidden treasures, and it felt amazing to show others the beauty of our community.”

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