MEET THE BOARD MEMBERSThe Mississippi John Hurt Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and its Board Members work diligently to help advance the Foundation's mission of preserving the musical legacy of Mississippi John Hurt.
Mary Frances Hurt, Founder and President - Mary Frances Hurt, an educator and career teacher, is the granddaughter of Mississippi John Hurt, and she has dedicated her energy and resources to preserving the musical legacy of her grandfather. In addition to creating the Mississippi John Hurt Foundation, Mary relocated John Hurt's home to Foundation property in Avalon, Mississippi, and converted it to a museum. She also relocated the St. James Church, a mecca for African American families in Carroll County since the 1800s, to Foundation property and has plans to use it as a schoolhouse where early blues music and history can be taught. As an educator, teaching people about her grandfather's musical legacy is a primary goal. Additionally, Mary curates and hosts the Homecoming Festival, an annual event in Avalon, for fans of her grandfather's music, and looks forward to greeting old and new friends each year.
Valerie Turner, Co-President - Valerie Turner is a former Systems Analyst and Software Engineer. These days, she is a tradition bearer of early blues music and, together with her husband Benedict Turner, comprises the Piedmont Blūz Acoustic Duo. Valerie is also the author of Piedmont Style Country Blues Guitar Basics, a book that teaches guitar players the fingerpicking style of Mississippi John Hurt. Having been greatly influenced by the music of Mississippi John Hurt, Valerie is delighted to be part of the Foundation, and she works closely with Mary Frances Hurt to help the Foundation achieve its goals. She most recently helped to curate, produce, and host the Mississippi John Hurt 2021 Online Concert Series. In addition, Valerie assists with the Foundation's fundraising efforts as well as their presence on various social media. She is also the webmaster for the Foundation's website.
ADDITIONAL BOARD MEMBER PROFILES COMING SOON...